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Steelers Polamalu healthier and wiser in 2013

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A healthy Polamalu gives the Steelers a dynamic defensive presence that can lead to increases in both sacks and takeaways in 2013.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Judy Battista of NFL.com wrote a great feature on Steelers safety Troy Polamalu Monday in advance of the Steelers' preseason game at the Washington Redskins.

The overlaying theme to it speaks well to a Steelers team stuck between predictions of optimisim and failure.

Wisdom and patience.

Throughout his career, Polamalu has generated significant highlights and accolades. He also developed a balky calf muscle that he says now is full of scar tissue - the reason he missed a big chunk of the 2012 season.

With frequent massages, a new personal trainer and the realization of those years all taking a toll on him physically, he enters the 2013 season with a renewed focus on his health.

That is the same as there being a renewed emphasis on defense in Pittsburgh.

Plain and simple, a healthy Troy Polamalu is a dangerous Troy Polamalu, and Steelers defense. His instictive play and intimidating presence gives the Steelers an element of surprise in what has been an otherwise straight-forward defense during his injuries. It wouldn't be a surprise to see an increase in both sacks and takeaways if Polamalu can remain healthy through 2013.

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