You can certainly make a strong argument for at least two Steelers to be the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 — Troy Polamalu and James Harrison. You can probably make a decent case for Lawrence Timmons as well. Polamalu has 6 interceptions, a touchdown and several game-defining plays. Harrison has 10 sacks, 2 interceptions and 6 forced fumbles. Timmons boasts 108 tackles and a pair of interceptions as well.
Harrison and Polamalu have been so impressive that the USA Today makes the argument that they could be co-Defensive Player of the Year:
Would it be poetic justice if it wound up that Polamalu and Harrison were named co-defensive MVPs when the Associated Press balloting among a panel of 50 sportswriters and league analysts is held at season’s end?
While that is an awesome prospect, it is unlikely to happen. The fact that both Harrison and Polamalu are likely to receive first-place votes actually hurts the chances of a Steeler winning the award. It’s likely that anybody associated with Green Bay and a lot of the writers covering the NFC North will vote for Clay Matthews while those covering the Steelers and who frequently watch their games may split votes between 92 and 43. There are a lot of extra factors that come into play aside from “Who is the best defensive player in the NFL?” and I can’t think of many off the field factors that favor the Steelers here.
The excuse that Harrison and Polamalu have ‘more help around them’ is likely to come up as well, but I think having two candidates from one team is the kiss of death for awards like this. For what it is worth, I’d vote for Polamalu if I had a ballot. Hopefully enough of the voters feel the same way and Polamalu (or Harrison) ends up on top.