The history of football is essentially the history of ideas meeting talent meeting a moment. Decades of strategic tug-of-war preceded Reed's and Polamalu's careers, and they arrived at a point in the game's development when their skills were particularly needed. Their versatility in defending both pass and run plays allowed NFL defenses to claim victory in one of these strategic battles. Reed and Polamalu have had the good fortune of playing for excellent coaches, but they're also both so talented that they have bent coaches' schemes to their strengths and ruined opponents' carefully designed game plans. This is the beauty of watching these future Hall of Famers play: In every interception, in every tackle for loss, in every big hit and big return, football history is not only made, but also extended. Their brilliance on the field will continue to inspire the film room schemers to innovate, and football history will continue to be pushed by the twin forces of ideas and athleticism.
"My main objective was to be a jazz-playing clown. That kind of worked out."