Now that Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu has decided to retire after 12 seasons, it’s likely that his torch will be passed on to third-year safety Shamarko Thomas.
Thomas was, in essence, groomed personally by Polamalu and the two trained together out in California last offseason.
The Syracuse product and former 2013 fourth-round draft pick was hampered by hamstring injuries last season and it resulted in him only playing just a few snaps in the regular season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Thomas did, however, see the field during his rookie season as he logged just under 200 snaps mostly as a slot defender before going down injured with an ankle injury in the Week 10 game against the Buffalo Bills. While he would eventually get himself healthy, he never played another snap on defense for the remainder of the season.
Thomas has been in the league long enough now to have a good understanding of what will be expected of him moving forward. He has mighty big shoes to fill, but has shown during the last two preseasons that he has the potential to become the Steelers next great safety.
Thomas learned from one of the best safeties that ever played the game and we will now hopefully get to see the knowledge that he acquired in action every week moving forward.