Pittsburgh Steelers star safety Troy Polamalu retires

April 10, 2015

The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense will be without one of its mainstay anchors next season, as veteran safety Troy Polamalu has retired from the NFL, the team announced today.

Polamalu, a fearless, hard-hitting safety who could make game-changing plays at both the line of scrimmage and in the secondary, played 12 seasons for the Steelers (2003-2014) after originally being selected by the team in the first round (16th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft out of USC.

“Since we drafted him in 2003, Troy Polamalu has been an outstanding player and person,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “On behalf of the entire Steelers organization and the Steelers Nation, I am happy to be able to publicly celebrate and thank Troy for his many contributions to the Steelers. His unique style of play will be remembered among the all-time Steelers. His passion for the game of football on the field and his willingness to be a contributor to the community make him a very special person.”

In 2014, Polamalu was named a defensive team captain. He started 12 games during the regular season, where he recorded 59 tackles, two pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Polamalu also started the lone postseason contest, finishing with a team-best eight tackles.

"Troy is a shining example of a football man in the way he loved the game, the way he respected the game and the way he played the game," said Head Coach Mike Tomlin.  "It’s a shining example of the window into who he is. He is a legendary Steeler and a legendary man. I congratulate him and wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

Polamalu's career totals include 12.0 sacks, 32 interceptions, 13 forced fumbles, and seven fumble recoveries during the regular season, and his postseason numbers include one half-sack and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.  He played in 158 career regular-season games and in 15 postseason contests.

Polamalu is tied for the second-most defensive touchdowns during the regular season in franchise history (5), is tied for seventh on the team’s all-time interceptions list (32), and is ninth on the team’s all-time interception returns yards list (398).  His 158 career games played during the regular season are the fifth-most among defensive backs in team history.

"Troy Polamalu was as unique a person as he was a football player," said General Manager Kevin Colbert.  "His actions as a human being were just as impressive as any of the many inhuman plays he made on the football field. We were very fortunate to have him be a part of our organization for the past 12 years."

Polamalu has earned numerous accolades during his career and likely will be voted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

An eight-time Pro Bowler (2004-08, 2010-11, ‘13) who has been named first-team AP All Pro four times (2005, 2008, 2010-11) and second team two times (2004, 2007), Polamalu was also named to the 2000’s NFL All-Decade Team. He also earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors seven times. He also was honored with the team’s Joe Greene Great Performance Award in 2003, given annually to the team’s top rookie.
In 2010, the two-time Super Bowl Champion (XL and XLIII) had one of his most memorable seasons, as he finished second in the league with seven interceptions despite missing two games.  For his efforts, he was named Steelers’ MVP and the team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year, and he was also named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year and NFL 101 AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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