Over the offseason, thousands of fans voted in our "Team For the Ages" contest to construct the best imaginable 50-man roster from the NFL’s modern era, which began in 1967. The votes have been counted, and we’re unveiling one player each weekday between now and the kickoff of the 2018 NFL season.
The entire Team For the Ages roster will be unveiled at "Football Legends LIVE!" Sept. 8 in Crystal Lake, Ill. Tickets are on sale now: https://shawmediaevents.com/e/pfw50
Steelers S Troy Polamalu
Polamalu is a tad undersized for an NFL strong safety at just 5-10, 207 pounds. It didn’t prevent him from being named a four-time PFW/PFWA first-team All-Pro selection, second-team All Pro two more times, an eight-time Pro Bowler, a member of the NFL’s Team of the Decade of the 2000s, two-time Super Bowl champion and the NFL’s 2010 Defensive Player of the Year.
Perhaps because of his smallish stature, Polamalu was a bit fragile at times. He played all 16 games in just six of his 12 NFL seasons — all spent with the Pittsburgh Steelers— and missed three games in 2006, five in 2007, 11 in 2009, two in 2010, nine in 2012 and four in 2014, his final season in the league.
They said it
When he was on the field, though, Polamalu was a fierce competitor whom both Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin recognized as “the leader of our defense,” and whom Cowher called “one of the toughest and most focused players I’ve ever coached."
Polamalu racked up 12 sacks, 100 passes defensed and 32 interceptions — including three returned for touchdowns — over his career.
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Polamalu was always a very private and deeply religious individual who rarely did interviews and was often most recognized for his long flowing hair, which he claimed to have cut no more than half a dozen times during his entire career.
Though he rarely spoke off the field, Polamalu spoke loudly through his play on it and should be a lock for the Hall of Fame in a few more years.
Until the Steelers drafted Terrell Edmunds this year, Polamalu was the francise's only safety selected in Round One.
He was a big-game, big-play specialist, but arguably Polamalu’s greatest performance was in October of 2006, when he recorded nine solo tackles, broke up three passes and picked off another, which he returned 49 yards in a 45-7 rout of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Previous "Team for the Ages" player announcements