He was voted The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year. ESPN.com's Power Rankings panel made him the unanimous choice when voting on the best defenders last month.
But in a segment for the NFL Network, a pair of opinionated and decorated veterans didn't rate Polamalu even the best defensive back in the game.
New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber assembled their top-10 list of the greatest defensive backs. With one safety and one corner compiling the order, there was no positional bias.
This is what Sharper and Barber came up with:
Darrelle Revis, Jets cornerback
Troy Polamalu, Steelers safety
Ed Reed, Ravens safety
Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders cornerback
Charles Woodson, Packers cornerback
Champ Bailey, Broncos cornerback
Nick Collins, Packers safety
Adrian Wilson, Rams safety
Devin McCourty, Patriots cornerback
Aqib Talib, Buccaneers cornerback
I believe Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL, but it's a little strange to see him rated higher than Polamalu, who's coming off such a great season.