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Steelers dismiss notion D better without Polamalu

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Troy Polamalu hasn't been himself while struggling through injuries this season. The 33-year-old has missed the past two games, which happened to be two of the Pittsburgh Steelers' best defensive efforts in 2014.

Polamalu's absence, coupled with improved play, led someone, somewhere to suggest the team is better off without the eight-time Pro Bowl safety Saturday night when the Steelers face the Baltimore Ravens.

It's a notion universally scoffed at within the Steelers' locker room.

"That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard," fellow safety Mike Mitchell said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "That's absurd. It just shows the disrespect that some people have, and they have no clue about our game."

NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala said on NFL AM Friday morning that one Ravens coach told her that they believe the Steelers' secondary is more disciplined and more mentally sound without Polamalu on the field.

Perhaps players being in predictable spots make communication easier. However, that's a double-edged sword, as the offense also has a better idea where the pawns will be on the board when Polamalu isn't on the field mucking everything up.

"I remember growing up watching Troy pick off Joe Flacco and returning them for touchdowns," Mitchell said. "Those are the kind of plays Troy makes, and you lose that when he isn't on the field."

It remains to be seen whether he'll be on the field making more of those memories Saturday. 

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