Entering his third NFL season, safety Shamarko Thomas has a lot of unanswered questions since being drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. The first one being if he can stay healthy long enough to be put into the rotation. Two, can Thomas contribute more than just a special teams player? And most importantly, can Thomas do what it takes to help Steeler Nation move past Troy Polamalu?
Now, there is only one Troy Polamalu and there always will be in the heart of Steelers’ fans, however, with the rumblings of the Steelers potentially parting ways with the future Hall of Fame safety, the Steelers must find some safety of their own to fill Polamalu’s position.
Thomas has missed a total of five games the last two seasons due to injuries. In his rookie season, Thomas played in 14 NFL games and made two starts. At first, Thomas seemed like an impressive, young talent. In his second season, Thomas started in zero contests and made a total of five tackles. Thomas’ efforts were held just to special teams. During college, Thomas was an interesting prospect from Syracuse. A guy who battled through a lot of adversity, put up good numbers, and delivered a tough hit. The Steelers thought so much of Thomas that they decided to swap some picks with the Cleveland Browns to make him apart of the black and gold.
Now with Thomas entering a pressured offseason, and the Steelers not having much depth at safety, Thomas must turn on the engines and prove some of the naysayers wrong. Now that Polamalu is most likely gone, Thomas must make his own legacy with the defense. Whether it will be a positive or negative legacy, that will be determined.
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