Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was recognized for his outstanding play today by his teammates who voted him the team's 2010 Most Valuable Player. It is the first time in Polamalu's eight-year career that he has received the honor, making him the first Steelers safety in 30 years to win the award.
Polamalu, who was named to his sixth Pro Bowl and his fifth as a starter, is tied for the AFC lead and for second in the NFL with six interceptions. He was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week during consecutive weeks in December (Weeks 13 and 14).
In typical Polamalu fashion, he saved his biggest plays for when the Steelers needed it most. Among Polamalu's many highlight-reel plays was his Week 2 goal line stop of Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins when Polamalu jumped over the pile to deny an attempted quarterback sneak for a touchdown. In Week 13, Polamalu's sack and forced fumble of Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco set up the game-winning touchdown in a 13-10 Steelers victory. Polamalu's knack for timely plays was on display again in Week 14 when he intercepted two passes, returning one 45 yards for a touchdown.
Polamalu's 81 tackles rank sixth on the Steelers despite missing the last two games due to injury. A perennial All-Pro selection, Polamalu was previously named to the 2005-09 AFC Pro Bowl squads.
Polamalu is the first Steelers safety to be named team MVP since Donnie Shell in 1980 and the first defensive back to win the award since Rod Woodson in 1993.