Current and former NFL players continue to voice their support for former Steelers safety Troy Polamalu as a first-ballot Hall of Fame football player. Here’s why he’s so deserving.
In his first year of eligibility into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, former Steelers star safety, Troy Polamalu, may be about to do something that most players can only dream of. During his time in Pittsburgh, Polamalu became a transcendent player who changed the game. There’s no question about whether or not he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame – that much is clear. However, it’s a matter of when will he get the chance to join the other all-time greats.
According to numerous current and former NFL players, that opportunity should come very soon for Polamalu. There has been continually growing support for Polamalu to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and it’s not hard to see why.
One of the players endorsing him is former long-time starting NFL quarterback, Carson Palmer. In an interview with Pat McAfee (who is also clearly a Polamalu supporter), Palmer expressed his reasoning behind why Polamalu deserves to get into the Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility:
Palmer, a former roommate of Polamalu’s at USC, described the star safety as “the epitome of a first-ballot Hall of Famer.” After facing him every day in practice at college, Palmer was tasked with matching up against Polamalu twice a year over his first seven seasons as the Bengals quarterback.
But Palmer is hardly the first to endorse the Hall of Fame finalist. Ray Lewis and Tom Brady have also publically supported Polamalu in recent weeks. In addition, former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and former teammate Jerome Bettis couldn’t say enough about why Polamalu is so deserving of the Hall of Fame on his first try.
Polamalu played his entire 12-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Though he was often banged up due to his reckless and violent play style, he made 7 Pro Bowl appearances and was a first-team All-Pro player 4 times.
Polamalu’s best individual season came in 2010, where the All-Pro safety earned 7 interceptions in just 14 games and was awarded the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year.
While his growing endorsements don’t automatically make Polamalu a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame in his first time around, it speaks volumes to the type of player and character he was during his time in the league.
The full Hall of Fame Class of 2020 will be introduced tonight at 9:00 PM Eastern Time on Fox. The list is full of talented players with storied NFL careers, but Polamalu’s legacy in the league perhaps tops them all.