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43 days until Steelers kickoff: Celebrating the career and legacy of Troy Polamalu

With 43 days until kickoff, we look at the career and legacy of legendary safety Troy Polamalu

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We are a mere 43 days away from the Pittsburgh Steelers opening their 2023 season in Acrisure Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers.

Because of this, we celebrate the career of Hall of Fame safety, Troy Polamalu, who was instrumental in Pittsburgh appearing in three Super Bowls, and helping the Steelers hoist two Lombardi Trophies in Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLII. He is one of the best safeties of all time, and one of the most important players in franchise history.

Troy Polamalu’s NFL career

Polamalu wasted no time leaving his imprint on the NFL. Drafted 16th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, was a Pro Bowler in just his second season, beginning a string of five consecutive Pro Bowl appearances.

In 2005, Polamalu earned the first of his four All-Pro nods, intercepting two passes, breaking up eight passes, and racking up 97 tackles en route to Pittsburgh winning their first Super Bowl since the 1979 season. Polamalu made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2007, as well, but 2008 was his best year up until that point. He intercepted a career-high seven passes, and he was named an All-Pro for the second time as the Steelers won their Second Super Bowl in four seasons.

2009 was a year full of injuries, as the star safety only played in five games. In 2010, though, Polamalu had the best season of his career. He tired his career-high with seven interceptions, even while missing two games. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Pittsburgh made it to their third Super Bowl in seven seasons. Although they would ultimately fall to the Green Bay Packers, Polamalu’s dominance was undeniable as he was unquestionably the best safety in football at the time.

2011 would be Polamalu’s fourth, and final, All-Pro season as his career began to wind down. He made his final Pro Bowl in 2013, and 2014 would be his swan song with the Steelers.

Troy Polamalu’s legacy

Polamalu finished his career with a laundry list of accolades. Four All-pro selections, eight Pro Bowl nods, two Super Bowl rings, and a Defensive Player of the Year to his resume led to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.

Polamalu is one of the most special players in NFL history, and completely unique from anyone to ever play the game.