After a year of avoiding Steelers, Troy Polamalu taking a step toward team

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The Steelers are often held up as one of the model franchises in the NFL, in part for their willingness to do business the smart way.

But when pragmatic becomes unfeeling, it can lead to some frost with even their best players.

Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that might begin to thaw tonight, when Troy Polamalu is scheduled to appear at a charity dinner honoring Steelers wideout Antonio Brown.

Polamalu still lives in Pittsburgh, but hasn’t been around the team since they forced him into retirement last offseason. The eight-time Pro Bowler and member of the team’s 75th anniversary team even skipped an event honoring the Super Bowl XL team last fall.

“I don’t think that there’s any bad feelings on his part,” longtime agent Marvin Demoff said. “I really don’t. I think that in his own way he just had to step away from football — ESPN, the NFL Network, anything involved in football. . . .

“I think that’s true, that he was disappointed. But he didn’t want to pursue anything else other than the Steelers. He had other opportunities in broadcasting and playing. The answer was always no.”

The Titans had an open door for him, and he and former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau would have had plenty of common ground to talk about being pushed aside for younger models.

Steelers team president Art Rooney II is expected to be in attendance at the event tonight, along with other members of the organization. And if Demoff is right that there’s no hard feelings, it could be that the year away was the time Polamalu needed after an exit that wasn’t as graceful as his career was.

33 responses to “After a year of avoiding Steelers, Troy Polamalu taking a step toward team

  1. I wouldn’t say the Steelers forced him out, nor do I think there is any bad blood. I think Troy was mostly upset by how his career ended–his body just couldn’t keep pace with his football instincts.

    He was, more often than not, still in the right spot, just a step behind the play in his final year.

    I think Troy’s avoidance of the NFL was purely based on the fact that he couldn’t believe that his body betrayed him, not the Steelers. It was simply time, and it took him a year to come to grips with it.

    One thing we can never take away is the fact that he was and will always be one of the best safeties to ever play the game.

  2. “model franchise”?
    I would hardly call them “model” when their qb is a rapist and their owner founded a rule that mandated that a man be judged by his skin color rather than simply his resume’ or ability.

  3. The Steelers, like the Packers, know when it’s time to say goodbye to even the all time greats. It hurts, but when its time its time.

    If only the franchise from Minniesoda could say the same. Their history is littered with other teams sloppy seconds.


  4. .
    and Troy jumps over the line again…
    crickets from the announcers… like others did it on a weekly basis or something

  5. So miss seeing Troy. Love the Steelers. I really don’t understand why Packer trolls INSIST on bringing up their jealous hatred of the Minnesota Vikings into every issue when it has NOTHING to do with either team??? Anyway, I was wondering what was going on with Troy and was hoping we would be seeing him in some capacity around the NFL. He is a charmer, no doubt, and was always the perfect player and gentleman.

  6. I hated seeing Troy nudged out the door, just like I hated seeing Ward, nudged out the door. But when it is time, it is time. Swallowing your pride and accepting that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak can be a hard thing to do, especially for one so talented. I’m glad to see that he’s gotten past it and is coming back around the team. Having him back to consult on defense would be great, I’m sure the safeties would benefit from continuing to be taught by a legend and all-time great Steeler.

  7. Dear Brownsare… and wernsthink, Now those are appropriate comments! Thank you! You made my day by showing there are actually people out there who think before they post.

  8. Cup1981…sorry, that’s revisionist history. And Steelerben is right.

    Troy and Hines both got the door.

    Things don’t always end the way of Elway…riding into the sunset. Or The Bus.

    Franco ended up a sad Seahawk. LC Greenwood was cut. Webster a Chief. Unitas a Colt. Broadway Joe a Ram.

    But they all came back to their roots after decompressing with the facts that no one goes on forever………except Jaromir Jagr.

  9. Basically, nearly ALL of you will disagree with this — but Troy played through injury in all three of his last years with the Steelers, starting with a nasty calf injury in 2012.

    But when healthy, he was still a mega-playmaker. All he needed was his health. But he still had it, even after 2014 — another year he stayed on the field for his brothers, coaches and Steeler Nation, despite playing observably hobbled.

    Though injuries do count against player production /performance — it is unfair to say Troy couldn’t play after the ’14 season. When healthy, he was still flying around the field like a demonic missile making plays – until his health compromised his game early in that last season.

    And to my next point: I really wish the Steelers had handled his release one whole heck of a lot better than they did. Troy deserved a LOT better than the old “lose my number” routine he got. That still sits wrong. Troy poured his heart and soul into that team, and the handling of his release was shameful.

    Just one man’s opinion(s).

  10. He has been busy raising funds to get Samoan football teams better equipment and field conditions. He and his wife are All-Stars in the world of charity.

  11. NFL franchises treat players like guys treat girlfriends. When they find a younger exciting one, they treat the old one like dirt.

  12. Troy is not one for hanging around. He realized he needed to move on and his way of doing so was avoiding football altogether. Its like a bad break up with an ex girlfriend, you don’t continue to talk to her, you separate entirely and do your own thing.

  13. Should have known he’d be doing something so great with his time since leaving the Steelers. Always knew he was a good guy. Kudos to him and his wife. Those stories really need to get mentioned more often (if ever). We hear way too many negative and not enough positive. There are good guys out there.

  14. Love Troy but if he thinks, or others think, that the Steelers forced him into retirement then their not very bright. His play forced him into retirement

  15. yeah, but like always, that step he’s taking is a half second too early but the league won’t call him on it cause it just looks so darn cool.

  16. It was great when he and Reed were out there ballhawking and the rivalry was at its peak. Class act, first ballot HOF, you always had to worry about him.
    – Ravens fan

  17. Steelers wanted to move in another direction so Troy had to go. Now the team concentrates on getting its coaches out there to pick fights with opposing players, yank their hair when they run out of bounds, and trip them up.

  18. Ah yes, model franchise…

    What team doesn’t strive to have a serial rapist as their QB? And I sure do wish my team’s head coach would intentionally jump onto the field in front of a returner to prevent touchdowns. Imagine if m team’s defense had steroids coming out of their ears for a decade! I’ll bet they could win 4 SBs too!

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