City Sports Report

Troy Polamalu: The Decision

It's decision time for Troy Polamalu as he is faced with pressure to retire (photo courtesy of www.cnn.com)

Troy Polamalu was once one of the most exciting players in the NFL. The veteran safety out of the University of Southern California has been known to jump over offensive lines, track down running backs and wide receivers and make huge plays throughout his career. But as time has gone on, he has been banged up a lot. Over the last few seasons, he has missed a total of 13 games in the past three seasons. And now 13-year veteran has been hit with something he has never faced in his career. The Pittsburgh Steelers organization is hoping that Polamalu retires this offseason. Because if he does not , then Pittsburgh has to release him. Crazy that this talented guy has his career come down to this decision. But what do you do if you are Polamalu?

It is not known whether or not the veteran wants to continue playing in the 2015 season. Polamalu has been a fixture of the Steelers defense ever since he was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NLF Draft. For years he has been a part of the identity of the Pittsburgh defense. Opposing quarterbacks would look in the Steelers secondary and try to find the ferocious dynamo in the secondary creeping around. And even though he would be out of position a lot of the time, Polamalu would always find a way to make a play. He would rush from the end of the line of scrimmage, fake rushing the quarterback to drop up under passes and leap over the line of scrimmage to make incredible plays. He made a career out of reading and reacting to what things the offense would do and being in the correct position at the right time. And it is because of his skills, you had to account for him in every single play on the field. He could be coming from anywhere. But over time, Polamalu began to slow down. His penchant for making plays while being out of position slowed down. And when he was out of position, that’s when the opposing offenses would make big plays. Often that seemed to catch Polamalu off guard and with a confused look on his face. And if this year was any indication, it seemed like he was not out there making many plays at all. His name was hardly called and the WOW plays were essentially gone.

Polamalu’s situation echoes the situation of many vets when the end of their career comes. Unfortunately, veterans do not get to go out their own way all the time. In most circumstances, the veteran is let go and left fighting for a job around the NFL. As for Polamalu, it would be weird to see him get released and try to compete somewhere else. He would not be known as anything but a Pittsburgh Steelers great in most fans’ eyes and one year someone else would not change that. It would almost be like LaDanlian Tomlinson when he left the Chargers and headed to the New York Jets. It was great that LT was still able to play, but it was also weird to see him in another uniform. The same type of feeling of sickness would overcome the Steelers fans if he were to leave and play for someone else. The main question with this whole scenario is one that Troy will have to answer. He must ask himself if he is willing to go through with the uncertainty of the rest of his career to keep playing football. If he is ready to do so, then there will be plenty of teams looking for a veteran safety with great range. But if he chooses not to, then he has to be satisfied that this part of his life is over and it’s time to move on.

The time to make the decision is coming quickly for Polamalu and it will be one that will change his world instantly. Will he or won’t he is the question. And if he does decide to leave, there will be plent of questions as to where he may land. But if Troy were to not play another down of NFL football, he would definitely end up in the NFL Hall Of Fame. It will be interesting to see what he decides to do. But if he were to play in another uniform, it could be something that takes away from what he has done, if only a little bit.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

2 Comments

  1. Dori Longino

    March 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Troy Polamalu and I have followed each other on FB for years. I have such incredible respect for the man not a player that as a husband and father and a manrespect for the man not a player that as a husband and father and a humanitarian. Personally I think you would be an asset to any team in the locker room. He has so much he could share and teach to the younger players. it’s a sad day in the NFL when players like Troy Polamalu retire. whether you’re a Steelers fan or not it’s easy to be a Polamalu fan!

    • Mike Patton

      March 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      If he still has knowledge to pass on (which I am sure he does), then he may want to start coaching. His abilities on the field have eroded quickly.

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