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Steelers Training Camp: Troy Polamalu saving his impressions for padded practices

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Steelers' veteran strong safety Troy Polamalu is one of the few in the NFL with the experience as well as the high-level athletic ability to dominate the opponent. He sent a message, while speed is good, there's a lot more to the game than that.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

What: Steelers 2014 training camp
When: Players report to St. Vincent College Friday, July 25
Who: The Steelers' have a full roster of 90 players scheduled to arrive

The Steelers end their Speed is Good Tour of Football in Shorts late this week and early into next week as training camp begins in Latrobe, Pa. They'll have just a few more practices in which to marvel at the speed the team has added this offseason.

Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu is among the group that can't wait to break out the pads to see how well this team can move when in full uniform.

"I think we can get really fast playing in helmets and shorts but once you put the pads on, you really find out who is made of what," Polamalu told O-R reporter Dale Lolley. "I will wait for my first impressions for the first day in pads."

Definitely the veteran thing to say. The Speed is Good Tour has been met with huge excitement from the fans' perspective, and even if it isn't reasonable to expect such speed when the armor is added, the relative gains made in that regard from last year to this year is no less impressive.

Like Polamalu, fans hope the requisite game skill will come out as well, and this team shows more than just a letter and a few bars for their success in track and field on their jackets.

Still, it's accepted speed in and of itself is not the reason for success on the field, but success is considerably harder to achieve without it. The Steelers' coaching staff can't teach players to run faster, but it can teach them to play faster - the result of outstanding preparation and technique.

Polamalu is in the minority of NFL players with experience to play fast and athletic ability to boot on the higher end of the spectrum. There's only so much his teammates can emulate from him. That's why his message is important; it won't matter if you're only fast; if you can't prepare to succeed and if you can't play in the manner you need to succeed, all you're worth is that track and field recognition.

It all starts Friday.