Troy Polamalu is back for a 12th season in the Steelers secondary, but both he and the team know he isn’t going to be able to play forever.
The team addressed that by drafting Shamarko Thomas in the fourth round of the 2013 season and Polamalu is addressing it by helping Thomas prepare for the 2014 season. Cornerback Ike Taylor says that the two safeties will be working out in California before training camp and Taylor let Thomas know that it wasn’t an invitation to be taken lightly.
“I was telling Shamarko before he went out there, ‘Shamarko, that’s something huge because the dude don’t ever do that. As far as learning tendencies and the defense, just the way of life, or just learning how to be a good person, you’re walking with Jesus on earth right there,'” Taylor said, via ESPN.com.
Thomas played a bit in the first half of the season as a third safety, but gave way to veteran Will Allen after an ankle injury and saw no defensive snaps over the final seven weeks. Allen was running with the first team this spring during OTAs while Polamalu was working out on his own, but Thomas could work his way back into the lineup if Polamalu’s lessons rub off on him.