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Polamalu shrugs off early praise for his play

Troy Polamalu, who has two interceptions and perhaps the most jaw-dropping tackle of the young season, has been as good as any defensive player in the NFL.

The Steelers' strong safety also ranks, as usual, among the league leaders in humility.

When asked Thursday about baiting quarterbacks, Polamalu said, "That's more (Ravens safety) Ed Reed's style. He's really great at playing mind games. Somebody at my level is just kind of right spot, right time."

It was suggested to Polamalu that some might say he is on a higher level than Reed.

"You find me them, and I'll find you a liar," the five-time Pro Bowler said.

It shouldn't come as any surprise that Polamalu shrugged off the play in which he dived over the line and tackled Titans quarterback Kerry Collins just as the ball was snapped Sunday.

"It's one good play before they scored," Polamalu said. "That's the thing about defense, you have to have four great plays in order to be successful."

Polamalu missed 11 games in 2009 because of two separate knee injuries. His play through the first two games of the season is as strong an indication as any that Polamalu is back to full strength.

"I am feeling more and more comfortable," Polamalu said.

Quotable

"It wouldn't matter if Josh wasn't young. That's what they do. Josh has to stand up and be ready to identify protections and get the ball out of his hand."

—Raheem Morris, Buccaneers coach, on whether he expects the Steelers to blitz second-year quarterback Josh Freeman early and often because of his youth

Digits

0: Points the Buccaneers have allowed in the second half this season

8: Third-down receptions by Buccaneers tight end Kellen Winslow, who leads the NFL in that category.

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