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Troy Polamalu's ninja training routine works for Shamarko Thomas

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Pittsburgh Steelers' Pro Bowl safety, Troy Polamalu, is known for his unorthodox training methods, and Shamarko Thomas got a taste of that first hand this offseason.

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Polamalu walks to the beat of his own drum. That has been known for years since he has been in the NFL. One of the most unorthodox things that Polamalu does is his offseason training regimen.

Polamalu has been going to California to train with Marv Marinovich for years now, and attributes his training to his success. Whenever Polamalu makes the trek westward, it is typically by himself, but this year he brought along a training partner, something he has never done before.

This year Polamalu invited second year safety Shamarko Thomas to California with him when he received a text from Thomas that said one sentence.

"I want to be great."

Polamalu's training is one of the iso-kinetic variety, focusing on fast twitch muscle fibers rather than trying to get big muscles, which seem to be the trend in today's NFL. Thomas shared with Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette what it was like training with Polamalu.

"It was an amazing experience," "It’s like a karate movie. It’s like some ninja stuff. But it works for him, and I felt it worked for me, too."

Thomas is hoping that the training he went through in the offseason will translate into more playing time in his sophomore season. He certainly sees the game differently going into his second season.

"I’ve matured a lot," "Last year, it was a fast game, a lot of things going through my head. I’m slowed down right now and confident I’ll be able to play."

Thomas is expected to compete with Will Allen as the top back-up safety, as well as the primary safety to be inserted into sub packages on the defensive side of the football, a position he held as a rookie in 2013 until an ankle injury had him sidelined. Will Allen was signed and Thomas never regained that role with the team.

Here is hoping that Thomas' offseason training and maturity will equate to success for the young safety.