Steeler Nation, it’s a sad,sad day as one of the Steelers All-Time greats has called it a career.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has retired after 12 seasons in the NFL. Polamalu was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft (16th overall) out of USC.
Polamalu was the center piece of the Steelers famed defenses under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and played his safety position like no other before him and no doubt no other after him.
He played in three Super Bowls, winning two Super Bowl Championships. He was named to the Pro Bowl 8 times,All Pro 4 times and NFL Defensive Player of the year in 2010. He was selected to the Steelers’ 75th Anniversary Team and the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade team.Troy Polamalu’s next stop will no doubt be the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He had closing speed like no other and could come at opposing offenses from almost any position on the field, often lining up at one spot only to show up at another, just before the snap of the ball.
No player played with such a sense of controlled chaos and no player had to be more accounted for by opposing quarterbacks and offensive game planners.
Polamalu had great football instincts combined with great skills and studied the game like no other. He was always around the ball and had a knack for the big play.
His biggest play may have came in 2008 when he made a key late interception and returned it 40 yards for a game sealing touchdown in the AFC Championship game to beat the rival Baltimore Ravens. The play helped send the Steelers to the Super Bowl where they collected their 6th Super Bowl Trophy.
As a fan watching Troy Polamalu play, you often got the feeling you was watching a special player, greatness that you may only see once a lifetime.
As great as he was on the field he is even a better person off the field. He will forever define what a Pittsburgh Steeler should be.
Head coach Mike Tomlin may have said it best when asked about Polamalu at this years annual NFL Owners Meeting …
Mike Tomlin:””He’s one of those once-in-a-generation type of a guy, man, he’s a different guy. The way he views the game is different. The way he plays the game is different. He is unique. And I’m sure you’ll see great players in that position in the future, but none will do it quite like he does it.”
Yes, there may be other great players, but there will never be another like Troy Polamalu.
Thanks for all the great years and memories Troy and may God bless you and yours.
A list of some of Troy Polamalu’s Career Highlights from Steelers.com
- Selected to the Pro Bowl eight times (2004-08, 2010-11, ‘13).
- Named AP first-team All-Pro four times (2005, 2008, 2010-2011) and second-team two times (2004, 2007).
- Named to Pro Football Weekly’s and Professional Football Writers of America’s All-NFL Team four times (2005, 2008, 2010-2011).
- Selected to the 2000’s NFL All-Decade Team.
- Tied for the second-most defensive touchdowns during the regular season in franchise history with five.
- Named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year and NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year (2010).
- Named the Steelers’ MVP and Walter Payton Man of the Year (2010).
- Named Sporting News’ All-Pro Defense twice (2008, 2010).
- Named Sports Illustrated All-Pro twice (2008, 2010).
- Named to Pro Football Weekly’s Midseason All-Pro Team three times (2008, 2010-11).
- Earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week seven times (Week 12, 2013 / Week 17, 2011 / Week 13-4, 2010 / Week 2, 2008 / Week 6, 2006 / Week 10, 2004).
- Earned the Joe Greene Great Performance Award, given annually to the Steelers’ top rookie, in 2003.