Troy Polamalu

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Troy Polamalu

12 Seasons
8 Pro Bowls
2000s NFL All-Decade Team
2 Super Bowl Victories
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12

Seasons

8

Pro Bowls

2000s

NFL All-Decade Team

2

Super Bowl Victories
View full stats

“The greatest thing for me football-wise is it’s a test of will. It’s not exactly playing the game against the opponent. It’s playing the game within yourself. The fears of making a mistake, the fears of getting injured. When you overcome those obstacles within the game, that’s when you become a better man.”

Read Troy Polamalu's Bio

(Southern California)...5'10'', 207...Made huge impact with tenacious play en route to becoming premier safety of his era … Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 2010 when he intercepted seven passes for 101 yards and 1 TD … Career numbers include 32 interceptions for 398 yards and 3 TDs … Also scored 2 touchdowns on fumble recoveries … First-Team All-Pro four times and Second-Team All-Pro twice … Voted to eight Pro Bowls … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s … April 19, 1981 in Garden Grove, California.

BIO

Troy Polamalu Pittsburgh Steelers

“The greatest thing for me football-wise is it’s a test of will. It’s not exactly playing the game against the opponent. It’s playing the game within yourself. The fears of making a mistake, the fears of getting injured. When you overcome those obstacles within the game, that’s when you become a better man.”

The premier safety of his era, Troy Polamalu played his entire 12-year professional football career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A two-time All-American out of the University of Southern California, Polamalu was drafted in the first round, 16th player overall, of the 2003 National Football League Draft. He quickly earned his nickname, “the Tasmanian Devil,” given to him by his fellow teammates for his range, explosiveness and impact on the field.

He had a strong performance in the 2008 AFC Championship Game with a 40-yard pick-six late in the game to propel the Steelers to a Super Bowl title. Polamalu added to three tackles, one assist, one tackle for loss and two passes defensed.

During his storied tenure, Polamalu was a defensive leader who guided the Steelers to seven playoff appearances in 12 years, five division titles, and them win two of their three Super Bowl appearances – XL and XLIII. The 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, Polamalu recorded seven interceptions for one TD, a sack and 63 tackles for the season.

Polamalu was selected to eight Pro Bowls, received First Team All-Pro honors four times, Second-Team All-Pro twice, and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week seven times throughout his illustrious career. He is a member of the NFL All-Decade Team of the 2000s and the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team. He started 142 of 158 career games; made 32 interceptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns; recorded 107 passes defensed; forced 14 fumbles; recovered seven fumbles for 120 yards and two TDs; made 12 sacks; and recorded 783 tackles – 583 of which were solo tackles.

As dangerous as Polamalu was on the field, he was just as well-known for his mild-mannered and kind-hearted demeaner off the field. Polamalu was the 2010 Walter Payton Man of the Year – an accolade he earned for his service work.

STATS

Troy Polamalu's Stats

 

     

Tackles

Sacks

 

Interceptions

Year

Team

G

Tot

Solo

Asst

No.

FF

No.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

2003

Pittsburgh

16

38

30

8

2.0

1

0

0

0

0

2004

Pittsburgh

16

96

67

29

1.0

1

5

58

11.6

1

2005

Pittsburgh

16

91

73

18

3.0

1

2

42

21

0

2006

Pittsburgh

13

77

58

19

1.0

1

3

51

17

0

2007

Pittsburgh

11

58

45

13

0.0

3

0

0

0

0

2008

Pittsburgh

16

73

54

19

0.0

0

7

59

8.4

0

2009

Pittsburgh

5

20

18

2

0.0

0

3

17

5.7

0

2010

Pittsburgh

14

63

49

14

1.0

1

7

101

14.4

1

2011

Pittsburgh

16

91

64

27

1.0

0

2

33

16.5

0

2012

Pittsburgh

7

34

29

5

1.0

0

1

1

1

0

2013

Pittsburgh

16

69

50

19

2.0

5

2

36

18

1

2014

Pittsburgh

12

61

40

21

0.0

1

0

0

0

0

Career Total

158

771

577

194

12.0

14

32

398

12.4

3

 

                     Additional Career Statistics: Fumble Recovery for TD: 2



CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

Troy Polamalu's Championship Games

Championship Games

 

2004 AFC – New England Patriots 41, Pittsburgh Steelers 27

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had six tackles and one assist.

 

2005 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Denver Broncos 17

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had five tackles, one assist and one tackle for loss.

 

2008 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Baltimore Ravens 14

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had three tackles and one assist. He also had one tackle for a loss, one interception for 40 yards and one touchdown, and two passes defensed.

 

2010 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 24, New York Jets 19

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had four tackles and one assist.

 

 

Super Bowls

 

Super Bowl XL – Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Seattle Seahawks 10

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had four tackles and one assist.

 

Super Bowl XLIII – Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had two assists and one pass defensed.

 

Super Bowl XLIII – Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25

Polamalu started at strong safety. He had three tackles.



CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Troy Polamalu's Career Highlights

All-League Teams

           

All-Pro: 2005 (AP, PFWA, SN)  ·  2008 (AP, PFWA, SN)  ·  2010 (AP, SN, PW) · 2011 (AP, PFWA, SN, ESPN) 

 

All-Pro Second Team: 2004 (AP)  ·  2007 (AP)

 

All-AFC: 2004 (PW) ·  2005 (PW) ·  2011 (PW)  ·  2011 (PW)  

 

 

Pro Bowls

(8) – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008*, 2009, 2011*, 2012*, 2014*

* Did not play

           

Team Records

Steelers records held by Polamalu

(Records through the 2014 season, Polamalu’s final season with Pittsburgh)

·    [Tied for 3rd] Most Interception Return TDs, Career – 5

·    [Tied for 7th] Most Interceptions, Career – 32

·    [9th] Most Interception Return Yardage, Career – 398

 

League/Team Statistical Titles

Team Statistical Championships

Interceptions Titles: 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013

                                                                                                                                    

Awards and Honors

·       NFL All-Decade Team of 2000s

·       2004 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 10)

·       2006 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 6)

·       2008 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 2)

·       2010 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 13)

·       2010 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 14)

·       2010 Steelers MVP

·       2010 Walter Payton Man of the Year

·       2010 NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year

·       2010 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year

·       2011 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 17)

·       2013 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 12)

 

Year-by-Year Team Records

2003     Pittsburgh Steelers............. 6-10-0   (3rd)

2004     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 15-1-0   (1st)

2005     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 11-5-0   (2nd)

2006     Pittsburgh Steelers............... 8-8-0   (3rd)

2007     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 10-6-0   (1st)

2008     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 12-4-0   (1st)

2009     Pittsburgh Steelers............... 9-7-0   (3rd)

2010     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 12-4-0   (1st)

2011     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 12-4-0   (2nd)

2012     Pittsburgh Steelers............... 8-8-0   (3rd)

2013     Pittsburgh Steelers............... 8-8-0   (2nd)

2014     Pittsburgh Steelers........... 11-5-0   (1st)
 

(Division Finish in Parentheses)

Qualified for Postseason in Bold

CAREER CAPSULE

Troy Polamalu's Career Capsule

Full Name: Troy Aumua Polamalu

Birthdate: April 19, 1981

Birthplace: Garden Grove, California

High School: Douglas (Winston, Oregon)

Pro Career: 12 seasons, 158 games

Drafted: 1st round (16th player overall) in 2003 by Pittsburgh



ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH

Troy Polamalu Enshrinement Speech

ANNOUNCER:  Presenting Troy Polamalu for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dick LeBeau.  (Applause.) (Cheering.)

TROY POLAMALU:  Thank you guys, thank you.  Congratulations to the Class of 2020, Class of 2021, and welcome back to the fellow Gold Jackets.  Your presence without a doubt is most definitely felt.  Thank you for being here. 

I love football.  I love football.  It was my entire life since as long as I can remember.  I fostered an obsession with the game early on that I modeled after meticulous regimens of some of the greatest artists of the past:  Dickens, Beethoven, Demosthene.  These great men were known to have a beast-like worth ethic coupled with an unwavering ability to create until perfection beyond what most believe the human body will allow.

To me, that's what it takes from being ordinary to extraordinary.  It is the willingness to push beyond what the brain says to the body is possible and create a new order of boundaries for ones self.  It is the ability to learn from greatness around you and curate for yourself a unique version of their efforts.

Football challenged me mentally, physically, and spiritually, in a way that no other feature of life could, so I was hooked.  I had to succeed in order to quench this desire, or I knew I would've lived a life without direction.

Thank you to everyone had who has been a part of my journey to make this feat possible, to give me the opportunity to live my passion fulfilled knowing that I achieved my objective.  (Applause.)

I come from a culture where discipline, humility, and respect are not only the foundation to our survival but the key to our existence.  I am a first generation American Samoan and proudly representing my family's lineage to America through the NFL.  (Applause.) (Cheering.)

My Uncle Kennedy instilled in me, who's the current running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings, an authentic respect and passion for the game.  His intensity has inspired not just me, but countless athletes to revere and love the game at all costs.  Uncle, you're a true coach not just in sport, but in life.  (Applause.)

My first introduction to the NFL was at our first full padded practice when Hines Ward and I hit.  (Applause.)  Listen, it was my legs that subsequently buckled and he held me up like a toddler and said, I'm not like any other wide receiver.  No doubt Hines.  I look forward to sharing the stage with you one day.  (Applause.)

My locker partner and mentor unfortunately was a Notre Dame running back whose name doesn't need to be mentioned.  Jerome, I know you wish you could have been here.  But your life experience and knowledge spoke a language I was accustomed to from my older brothers and cousins that looked out for me.  Thank you so much. 

The patriarch of Steelers football, Joe Greene.  He defined a standard that we would all struggle to emulate decades later.  When Joe was at the front office the scouting department, elated for a defensive prospect, sought Joe's approval.  He wouldn't give it because this prospect didn't properly retaliate when slapped. 

This story planted deep into my psyche.  When a rival opponent stood over me during a game, let's just say the NFL made more money that day.  

No matter how times have changed, as Coach Tomlin often says, the standard is the standard.  My rookie year was a challenge.  I couldn't make a play of any significance.  I recall reading the newspaper early in the season labelling me a first-round bust. 

When I vowed not to read any sports column hoping it would somehow change, Mr. Dan Rooney approached me before our very last game and said, Don't pay attention to what they're saying about you.  I think you're doing fine.  I said, Mr. Rooney, they're still talking bad about me? 

Coach Cowher would teach us to embrace misery by forcing us to practice outside no matter the weather, recalibrating us to love the hot, humid camp days and bask in the bitter cold frost of game days. 

He instructed us to embody the Yinzer spirit of hard work, humility, and toughness, coupled with loyalty so that we could accurately represent the city of Pittsburgh.  Thank you, Coach.  (Applause.)

Mike Logan, the starting my rookie year, shared his full knowledge of the game wholeheartedly showing a level of humility that helped shape my career.  Like many other teammates, his selflessness paved a greater opportunity for others at his own expense. 

It is unnatural in the most competitive environment to train your replacement, yet this is our culture, Steeler culture.  These virtues I learned while playing for the Steelers and what make the legacy of the black and gold timeless.  They are passed down in the locker room from the Steel Curtain to anyone who valiantly wears the black and gold, creating a brotherhood that is deeper than money, business, and winning.

To be a Steeler is to consider others before you consider yourself, to protect your brother even from himself, to give support at your own expense, and when wearing the black and gold suit of armor, make sure nobody desecrates it, disrespects it.  Most importantly we ourselves don't dishonor it. 

The only approval any Steeler should seek is to earn the approval from previous legends who have donned the black and gold.  If you've really earned their respect they'll say, You could have played with us.  (Applause.) 

What I truly appreciate about the Steeler way is that at its core it's a family, a culture based on the essential virtues any person respects and honors:  Humility, passion, resilience, service, and legacy. 

Being the youngest son, brother, cousin, and nephew leaves me with a lot of older siblings, moms and dads.  They have given me everything anyone could have possibly given mentally, physically, and spiritually.  I never had to ask for anything.  I was nourished by everyone in every way. 

Living with different ethnicities, traditions, ideologies, left me little to say or ask for.  I of lived and learned from all my heros. 

Like most young people, I also admired all these amazing athletes that have influenced their sport and culture, and even world history.  Beautifully, divinely inspired lives where sports served as the pulpit, patriarchs of culture and sport, leaders.  We all know and aspire to have those qualities.

What better person teaches the game of football than Hall of Fame defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.  (Applause.)  Six of our eleven years together our team led the NFL in total defense.  To be draft by a Hall of Fame coach, Bill Cowher, to observe the development of another Hall of Fame coach in Mike Tomlin.  I had a Hall of Fame college coach at USC.  My strength and conditioning coach was Marv Marinovich, and I even had Tom Brady's body coach, Alex Guerrero. 

Some would say that it was destined for me to stand before you tonight and accept this achievement.  I would agree.  I receive spiritual guidance from a saint, and for those who know my wife, Theodora, truly understand how blessed I am. 

Baby, thank you seems so disingenuous.  I love you.  Please forgive me for not always being a Hall of Famer in every aspect of my life. 

Boys, the best thing I could do for you guys is love your mother.  I love you guys.  Thank you.  Thank you for holding me accountable.  (Applause.)

I'm a follower, everyone's little brother, nephew, and son.  I love God.  I love and thank God for my life, because I have all of you, my family, the biggest family in the world, Steeler Nation, thank you.