Will Steelers Polamalu End Up Like Another Bradshaw?


The Steelers and Troy Polamalu parted ways just over a month ago.

As Dejan Kovacevic (DK) points out in his Friday Insider, we know the when and why surrounding Polamalu’s retirement. What we don’t know is why he retired the way he did.

Much like DK, I don’t care much about speculating why. The locker room culture is a tough nut to crack open, and reporters and journalists that have access are smart enough to never leak any substantial info.

There’s no question that Polamalu had ‘problems’ with the Steelers brass – from Rooney II to Kevin Colbert to Mike Tomlin. You can go back and look at any pile of locker room tapes of Polamalu over the last four years and at least easily pick up an underlying disdain.

Something changed for Troy, and it became irreparable. Perhaps within the early onset of the 2015 things happened that cemented his feelings.

The question at large now becomes, how long will Polamalu stay away from the Steelers organization? How irreparable is the situation?

It’s a painful thing to look at. Much in the way it pains someone who’s had a bad falling out with a family member and is leafing through an old family photo album. The heart is warmed with distant memories yet at the same time feels a sharp pain that has become all too familiar.

DK reminds us of other iconic players such as Jack Lambert and Terry Bradshaw and just how far they were and are willing to go and how deeply that ‘family’ fallout really resides. Missing a man’s funeral on purpose ranks right up there, don’t you think?

What separates Polamalu from the others, however, is his demeanor. His soft-spoken personality. The mountain of respect he had from teammates, fans, the NFL, and the general community. This wasn’t some mouth flapping hot headed stubborn athlete.

The wound is deep for Polamalu for it to effect him as such, which makes it even more painful for Steeler Nation to cope.

Ten years from now when the Steelers celebrate the 20 year anniversary of Super Bowl XL, will Polamalu be present? What about the 20 year anniversary of Super Bowl XLIII? How bad will it sting to see those iconic players return, only to be Polamalu’less?

For my sake and yours, I hope that this rift can be mended between the two sides, and Polamalu will be an ever present figure for the Steelers in the years to come.

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