Troy Polamalu says he feels fine.
He arrived to camp with a slimmer, more fit body, to the surprise of many. He’s made alterations to his practicing regimen as well as workout, and claims to be feeling as good as he has felt since his USC days. But, just as well as fans, coaches, and he himself know alike, “feeling fine” NOW means NOTHING this fall.
The Steelers made a huge overhaul of veteran players in the offseason. Casey Hampton, James Harrison, and many others met their demise contractual or due to production/age reasons. Many assumed Polamalu would join the casualties.
Presently, with Rod Woodson along the sidelines in camp mentoring what appears to be future stud, Shamarko Thomas, the writing on the wall is slowly presenting itself.
Make no mistake, Polamalu when healthy is still one of the most feared safeties in the NFL. Problem is the glaring emphasis of the term “when healthy.” Nagging injuries have kept Troy sidelined early and often. Thus far this offseason, Polamalu has sworn to take a different approach to practice to ensure his health for the long-term. At 32 years old, this would definitely be wise. Troy has 2 seasons left on his contract. If he expects to play that contract out, Polamalu needs to be every bit of the monster that he was in 2011 and years prior. Troy Polamalu only recorded 34 tackles last season & played in 7 games. This left many to consider Polamalu as “overrated,” considering the Steelers still ranked 1st in the NFL in defense.
With a revamped lineup defensively and mixture of veterans, including a 1st year starter potentially at left corner, Polamalu is essential to the success of the Steeler secondary. He’s often been looked upon as the “quarterback,” if you will, of the defense, the secondary in particular. Now with many new faces as 1st year starters or rookies amongst the defensive line and linebacking core, Polamalu’s durability may directly dictate the success of the defense as a unit.
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