What they've said about Polamalu


During his career plenty have sung the praises of safety Troy Polamalu, including current and former teammates and coaches.

Steelers President Art Rooney II:
"Since we drafted him in 2003, Troy Polamalu has been an outstanding player and person. On behalf of the entire Steelers organization and the Steelers Nation, I am happy to be able to publicly celebrate and thank Troy for his many contributions to the Steelers. His unique style of play will be remembered among the all-time Steelers. His passion for the game of football on the field and his willingness to be a contributor to the community make him a very special person."


Chairman Dan Rooney:**
"Last night I received a very important call from Troy Polamalu. He had a lot of nice things to say about the organization, and it was very sincere. He is a good, family man, which meant a lot to him. I think that's part of what he is going to do [moving forward]. But he's been a tremendous leader, really a leader by example, not only as a great football player but as a great person. He has influenced many people both on and off the field, which was really an important part. We've been fortunate to have great players throughout the years, but he of course would be one of the top players. He did everything with dignity and responsibility, and it was special to have Troy be a Steeler his entire career."


Head Coach Mike Tomlin:**
"Troy is a shining example of a football man in the way he loved the game, the way he respected the game and the way he played the game. It's a shining example of the window into who he is. He is a legendary Steeler and a legendary man. I congratulate him and wish him nothing but the best moving forward."

General Manager Kevin Colbert:
"Troy Polamalu was as unique a person as he was a football player. His actions as a human being were just as impressive as any of the many inhuman plays he made on the football field. We were very fortunate to have him be a part of our organization for the past 12 years. We wish him and his family all the best as they move into the next phase of their lives."

Safety Shamarko Thomas:
"He taught me how to be a man. You come into this game at a young age. He taught me how to grow as a man, mature, get closer to my family, God and be focused. Troy is a humble man. A great man. I am humbled and blessed to have been in the situation where he could help me out."


Photos from Troy Polamalu's first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Safety Rob Golden:**
"Troy is the most humble man I ever met. He helped me learn the defense and all the different positions, the corner, safety, dime and nickel. That helped me in the long run being able to step in because of how he took me in as a rookie."

Former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher:
"He combines the athletic ability to cover, the explosion to be a great blitzer, he's an outstanding tackler and on top of that he's a very instinctive player."

Former Ravens Coach Brian Billick on accounting for Polamalu when coaching against him:
"You didn't. As a coach, you always like to give your quarterback a chance to focus on that one guy and say, 'OK, if he does this then it means that or he's going to be there.' I finally got to the point where you just had to tell the quarterback you're on your own; you better know where he is every snap or where he might be, what he might be doing by down or distance or formation. I have no clue and quite frankly the legendary coach Dick LeBeau who coached him all of those years, I'm not sure Dick knew where or what he was doing in that defense half the time. Just an absolute phenomenal slam dunk first ballot Hall of Famer."Former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau:

"Troy has the most versatility of any of the (defensive) backs that I've coached. He literally could do anything. You ask him to blitz, he's going to be a great blitzer. If you ask him to cover a wide receiver, he's probably going to do a good job there. If you ask him to play in the linebacker area and chase down the runner, he'll do that well, and he can coordinate the coverage from behind. He has a great knowledge of the defense. I couldn't find a weakness in Troy, and that's a true blessing from a defensive coordinator's standpoint. He just kind of opens the playbook to anything you want to do. It's just a matter of how far off the diving board you want to go."


Former Steelers running back and Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis:**
"Troy has been an incredible player; an incredible teammate. He cares about the game of football, but he cares about his teammates as men. That is very unique. You love a guy who plays with passion, but he is passionate about his teammates as well. He was a great teammate when I was there and has continued to be that. He has also been a great football player throughout the course of his career."

Former Steelers cornerback Brice McCain:
"Troy would tell you what is about to happen before the play. He would tell you during the play what is going to happen. I would think if I don't make this play I am going to let him down because he will tell what is going to happen and they will run exactly what he said they were going to run."

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, Polamalu's roommate at USC:
"Once he's on the football field and somebody is trying to take something away from him, his heart takes over. He's not going to let you complete a pass. He's going to smack you around, he's going to knock you out. His heart off the field is just to be the greatest guy that ever was. Nice to everybody—great guy, great human being, respectful, humble, everything you could ask."

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