It was announced earlier in the week by former Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu that Dick LeBeau, his defensive coordinator for nearly his entire NFL career, will be the one to present him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this summer as a member of the Class of 2020. Since then, LeBeau has commented on what an honor it is for him to be the one chosen to induct Polamalu.
“Troy was a dream come true to coach and it’s a tremendous honor and a dream come true to call him a fellow Hall of Famer,” LeBeau said, per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “I think the good Lord made only one Troy and I am very thankful he placed him in our lives, that being mine and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s a once in a generational player. There won’t be another safety like him in another 100 years.”
While 100 years is a very long time, it’s easy to see the point that LeBeau is trying to make. Polamalu’s stellar play over the course of his 12 years in the NFL was legitimized even more with him being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
LeBeau joined the Steelers as their defensive coordinator in 2004, one year after Polamalu was selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Once LeBeau arrived in Pittsburgh it didn’t take Polamalu long to rise and become one of the best safeties in the NFL. Polamalu was even voted the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.
Had Polamalu continued his NFL career in 2015, he likely would have done so as a member of the Tennessee Titans, as that is where LeBeau landed that year after being let go by the Steelers.
The announcement that LeBeau would be Polamalu’s presenter wasn’t overly surprising. It will now be interesting to see if LeBeau’s presentation speech winds up being longer than Polamalu’s induction speech. That is only because the humble Polamalu is a man of few words, something LeBeau recently referenced as well.
“That is why Troy is Troy,” said LeBeau. “He doesn’t think what he did is particularly exceptional, with the assistance of his teammates. We had a great bunch, but Troy was as productive and more as any.”
— Steelers Depot ✌️❤️✌️❤️ (@Steelersdepot) February 2, 2020