Steelers great Troy Polalmalu may be gone,after announcing his retirement earlier this off-season. However, he and his words of wisdom are far from forgotten.
Shamarko Thomas is now entering his third season as a Steeler and finally has his shot to become a starter after two seasons of patiently learning behind his mentor Troy Polamalu.
Thomas recently spoke to Steelers.com reporter Teresa Varley about what he learned from Polamalu and his opportunity to be a starter in 2015. Here are a few quotes from that interview…
Shamarko Thomas: “Troy (Polamalu) taught me always do extra and have expectations higher than what others have for you,that is my mentality, come out here and do more and set myself up.
He was a father figure, a big brother and I even called him uncle, I learned a lot from him, how to be a Godly man, a family man, everything you want to be in life.
He gave me some tips and stuff, he told me to pray to God, work hard, and everything is going to happen as far as the rest.
I have been waiting three years for this opportunity, I am going to seize every moment and come out here and work hard with my teammates and just develop myself as a player.
It would be a dream come true (to start). I was talking to Will Gay about that yesterday. I told him if I start I don’t know what my introduction is going to be. It would definitely be a dream come true. I see other players come out, guys like Le’Veon (Bell) in my (draft) class, and it would be a blessing to come out as a starter.”
The 2015 season is Shamarko Thomas’s chance to shine and time will tell if he is up to the task.
One thing is certain, he couldn’t have had a greater teacher. Troy Polamalu may be gone but his positive influence on Shamarko Thomas remains.
The full interview of Shamarko Thomas can be seen and read by following this link to Steelers.com
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