Troy Polamalu Talks Retirement Life, What It Meant To Be A Steeler, 2019 Team And More

If things go as expected over the course of the next few months, former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu will be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. However, while Polamalu passes the time waiting to find out if he’ll ultimately be a member of the Class of 2020, he’s seemingly busy doing promotional interview for Head and Shoulders, who he has been a product spokesman for for quite a while now. On Tuesday, Polamalu was a promotional guest on ‘The Jim Rome Show’ and as you would probably expect, it was a great interview.

First, Polamalu was asked to comment on how his life is now that he’s been retired for several years.

“It’s been great, thank God,” Polamalu said. “I’ve got two boys that are nine and 11 so I’ve just really been trying to be the best father and best husband that I can be and living out their dreams in sports and school and music and all that fun stuff. So, it’s been great.”

Polamalu was then asked what means to him when former teammates of his talk about him as a man, as a friend and as a brother before they talk about him as a football player.

“Well, it means, quite honestly, everything to me that those who are most close to me really value me for who I am and not necessarily what I’ve done in my career or in my life,” Polamalu said. “And I really sincerely appreciate that.”

With Polamalu recently being named a semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 in his first year of eligibility, he was asked to describe what that honor means to him.

“Honestly, I’ve kind of been really indifferent towards receiving any type of award or recognition because for a sport like football, it’s such a team-oriented sport,” Polamalu said. “It’s hard to really talk about individual players, especially coming from the team that I’ve been a part of, thank God, for the 12 years that I played with the Steelers.

“There’s definitely more than a handful of players that I know that I’ve played with that are more deserving of this award. And I could even point out players on other teams that had they played with the James Harrisons, the James Farriors, the Ike Taylors and under Coach [Dick] LeBeau, that perhaps could have been even more successful, or just as successful as I’ve been.”

With Polamalu playing his entire NFL career with the Steelers in Pittsburgh he was asked Tuesday to comment on what it meant for him to be a Steeler and what that represented to him. His response was quite amusing and began with a quick story.

“It evolved over time,” Polamalu said. “What’s really funny is you’re playing at USC for four years and then going on my pre-draft visit to Pittsburgh it was just a miserable winter night. I landed in Pittsburgh at like 11:30 at night and went to the hotel and it was just, you know, that freezing rain. I remember calling my agent and saying like, ‘I do not want to play here.’ Anyway, his response was like, ‘If they’re going to draft me, you’re going to go there, definitely.’ I was like, ‘Okay, whatever.’

“So anyway, as I moved to Pittsburgh and I understood more about the community, as I understood more about just the legacy of what it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, to me there was no better place, obviously, that I could have been a part of. Being part of, you know, really the same sort of environment at USC that breeds greatness, that breeds, you know, sort of this sort of success.”

Speaking of success, Polamalu was also asked on Tuesday to comment about the 2019 Steelers and the turnaround they have had after losing players during the offseason such as wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, getting off to an 0-3 start and losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2.

“So, yeah, I definitely catch the headlines and I think it’s really awesome coaching jobs, to be very frank,” Polamalu said. “For the coaches to miss so much talent and to continue to be in a position to make the playoffs, that’s what this game’s all about. Because one thing that we had always kind of pulled each other internally is they never want to see us in the playoffs.

“They never want to see the Steelers in the playoffs because that’s really where the guts come out, where the real personality of what the legacy of a Pittsburgh Steeler means to everyone. So, when we got an opportunity to really display that in the playoffs, to us, it was always a win-win situation. So, for the current team to continue to put themselves in this position where they can make it to the playoffs, to me, it’ll just show how dangerous they can really be if they do make that.”

Polamalu also answered questions on Tuesday about several other topics such as what he thinks about the current state of quarterbacks in the NFL, if he was inspired by other former NFL players when he was younger and how humbling it is for him to hear his name now mentioned in the same sentence as other greats that have played the game. If you get a chance, make sure to listen to Polamalu’s full interview with Jim Rome on his show below.

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