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.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers vs. Redskins StoryStream
- Young WRs looking up to Antonio Brown
- Steelers Madden 25 offensive ratings
- Le'Veon Bell gets start vs. Redskins
- Tomlin: Observing in prime time spotlight
- Polamalu healthier, wiser
- Steelers 53 man roster projection
- Steelers organization greater than the sum of its parts
- Steelers roster bubble: Moorman vs. Butler
- Steelers vs. Redskins: 5 things to watch
- Steelers roster cheat sheet
- Steelers vs. Redskins: How to watch tonight's game
- Report says Heath Miller may miss first month of season
- Are the Steelers injury-prone? An in-depth look at the answer