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Polamalu's picks prime Steelers' defense

There was lots of speculation about what was wrong with the 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers.

After Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, there's no mystery. The problem with the 2009 Steelers was the absence of safety Troy Polamalu.

No ifs, ands or buts about it.

Polamalu makes the Steelers. Without him, they simply are an average team.

With him, he turns a team with a banged-up offensive line and a quarterback that looks like he can barely walk and breathe into a title contender.

Polamalu's interception return for a touchdown Sunday kick-started the Steelers and turned the Bengals into the Bungles.

Another Polamalu interception and a LaMarr Woodley pick-six later, and the Steelers beat the Bengals 23-7.

It was quite a showing by the defense. And it all happened because of Polamalu.

Polamalu's play the past couple weeks elevates him into the frontrunner for the defensive player of the year award.

More importantly, it sets the Steelers up for a long playoff run.


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Scary news from Antwaan Randle El

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Every Steelers fan knows Antwaan Randle El.

His pass in Super Bowl XL helped clinch the Steelers' fifth Lombardi.

Now people might know Randle El for another reason: He's having trouble remembering things and having trouble walking down stairs.

The Post-Gazette's story was a grabber, with Randle El saying he wouldn't play football if he could do it over again.

Here's a quote:

The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse. It’s a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. But I tell parents, you can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid. There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.
He played football for nine seasons. Now he worries ab…