Nobody will say that Will Allen should keep his starting job when Polamalu returns but nonetheless Allen has played very well since replacing Ryan Mundy this season. Hey may not have all the exotic moves that Troy has, but he’s a solid, well rounded veteran player that can hold his own opposite Ryan Clark.
Allen has started 7 games for the Steelers this season, totaling 16 tackles, 1 Forced Fumble, and 3 Passes Defensed. While those numbers may not seem earth shattering, Allen has been around the ball quite a lot. During Ike Taylor’s struggles earlier in the year, Allen was there to back him up. If Carnell Lake, defensive coordinator, needed an extra body anywhere in the secondary Allen was able to answer the call.
Since coming over from Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2010, this is the most action Allen has seen to date.
His play has allowed Ryan Clark to take over more of Polamalu’s role this year. We’re all accustomed to #43 dropping 20 yds off the line of scrimmage and then come firing up at the last minute to stop the run. Those types of plays, and other patented Polamalu specials, were picked up and executed well by Clark, who has 76 Tackles, 2 Forced Fumbles, and 1 Interception on the year.
There’s no telling how long Polamalu will be able to stay on the field, playing all of about 5 quarters to date, but if things go south, Allen will be there to step in for the leagues #1 overall defense.
Be sure and check out The Will Allen Foundation, “Inspiring Youth to Obtain Their Personal Best”.