The Pittsburgh Steelers first OTA (Organized Team Activity) is underway today and a few of the early reports are starting to surface. As I posted last week, safety Troy Polamalu was expected to be present this week and now we have confirmation from Steelers Digest on Twitter that he is indeed in town this week.
Troy Polamalu, not always a regular attendee of OTAs, is present for the 1st one of the 2012 offseason.
— Steelers Digest (@SteelersDigest) May 22, 2012
OTA activities are volunteer in nature, but attendance is highly encouraged by teams. Polamalu in the past has chosen at times to remain in Southern California to train in the past and it really hasn\’t been a huge issue that he has done so. Perhaps Polamalu being present is a sign of him taking more of a leadership role on the defense and leading by example in light of the release of team captain James Farrior this past offseason, or perhaps he just felt that he wanted to be around his teammates. Regardless of his reasoning, it is always good to see as many players in attendance at these practices as possible.
Polamalu is coming off of a season that saw him play in all 16 regular season games for the first time since 2008 and last year he recorded 91 tackles, of which 64 were of the solo variety. He also had 2 interceptions last year to go along with 14 defensed passes and 7 stuffs. Polamalu signed an extension prior to the start of the 2011 regular season that should ensure that he finishes his illustrious career in Pittsburgh.
ETA: Troy said after the first OTA session that he plans on attending all OTAs. “It\’s my time to be around the team a little more.”