It’s a sad day for Steelers fans. At least, this Steelers fan. It seems “The Hair” or Troy Polamalu, #43, is not in the plans for the Steelers Defense in 2015. The backbone and powerhouses super man of the vaunted Steelers “D” has lost a few steps and it’s apparent that he’s not the work mule that he used to be.
He’s not very old, 33 (34 in April) to be exact, but in the NFL, that’s actually a lot of age. He’s been through several surgeries, especially on his knees and that wears you down and without healthy knees your whole frame isn’t as sturdy as it once was. It seems that he’s winded more often after big or long plays. His overall production hasn’t been what we’ve known him to be and I’ll be honest, every time he’s on the field, I wince if he’s involved in the play; I can just see him going down, clutching something. He’s going to cost the team around $6M for this coming season and I don’t think he’s a $6M player. He was, but now, sadly that’s just not the case any more.
He’s a great leader who has always been the soul of the team since he showed up as a first round draft choice, 16th overall in the 2003 NFL draft. He’s always been a Steeler and I’m thinking he always will be. I suppose this week will tell a lot. There has to be a resolution in the next week or so, I believe.
But, the question now is, will the Steelers have to cut him? He hinted about toying with the idea of retiring after the horrific (not really, but it is the Ratbirds) loss to the Ravens in the playoffs. What I’m reading, however, is that the Steelers are hoping against hope that he actually retires. That would let them off the hook in trying to cover it in the press and such, but I don’t know why they should worry about that. It’s not like any of us don’t know it’s coming sooner or later, anyways.
With Dick LeBeau “leaving” at the end of the season, I was really wondering how many of the “veteran D” guys would be secure. As I said earlier, I cringed when I saw him out there. He hasn’t the speed anymore and pass coverage, I’d say he’s really more of a liability. But, also like I said, he’s a leader and that means something. I’ll just reiterate that I think it’s sad, but I can’t blame Tomlin, the Rooneys or Kevin Colbert and the team for the decisions that they make on this. They have always done what’s best for business and the betterment of the team, just sad to see it go down like this. They’ll definitely be looking at a few DBs, either in the draft or in free agency as they have some holes to fill. I hate seeing holes on that defense.
Perhaps just like with Sir Paul McCartney at the SNL 40th Anniversary show, the sadness is just that we don’t have that Troy anymore. The Troy that was respected and feared. He’s still respected but he isn’t so much feared any longer. I’m supposing that in this situation my hope is, also, that he retires. I think he should retire a Steeler and if he plays further, he’ll be on another team and I don’t want to see that. Either way, it’s still sad, but I’d rather him go a Steeler than be a watered down version of himself elsewhere. Those usually don’t go so well, and although there are exceptions, it is a rarity. So Troy, please, retire.
*sigh… Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“There are times I am happy. There are times I am sad. But I always try to separate emotion from the need to reach for something stronger, deeper. And then no matter the emotion, I can reach for a stability that helps me accomplish what is the goal.” – Troy Polamalu