It was a historic day for Pittsburgh Steelers fans as they witnessed Troy Polamalu officially enter the Hall of Fame. It was also a historic day for Troy as he officially became the first Steeler to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Troy Polamalu was a Pro Bowl safety during his 11-year career with the Steelers. Troy was selected to the Pro Bowl four times and was named All-Pro four times. Troy also played in the 2006 Pro Bowl. Troy played a significant role in the Steelers defense from 2004-2010. Troy was the heart and soul of the Steelers franchise.
A few days ago, Troy Polamalu was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Pittsburgh Steelers tried to make the best of the moment. Their head coach, Mike Tomlin, gave a rousing speech and the team all lined up to join the celebration. But Polamalu was in another place—and time—as he gave an impromptu speech of his own. And he used those exact same words we’ll talk about below.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are an NFL powerhouse, the team we call the “Steel Curtain”, and they have a reputation for being an elite franchise that never seems to underachieve. They are one of the most dominant teams in all of sports and have been a champion many times over, winning five Super Bowls and eight AFC championships. Now, though, they are probably going to win their sixth NFL championship this year—and on top of that, they will be bringing home their sixth Super Bowl trophy. So, you might imagine the team is pretty happy right now.
Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the latest Hall of Fame inductee to wear the team’s signature black and gold. He is the latest in a long line of renowned players who spent their professional careers in the Steel City and then retired to Canton, Ohio.
Polamalu spent 12 seasons in Pittsburgh’s defensive backfield and went on to become an all-time great Steeler. He shared with current Steelers players the six things they should want to hear from past Steelers to know they’ve made it into the club in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
Troy Polamalu was one of the best safeties of a golden generation.
MSA/Icon Sportswire photo of Troy Polamalu
Cover cornerbacks became the glamor position in the defensive backfield as NFL passing games evolved throughout the 1990s. That began to change in the early 2000s, when a slew of game-changing safeties graduated from college at the same time. There was Bob Sanders of Iowa, Ed Reed of Miami, the late Sean Taylor, and, of course, Polamalu of USC.
Polamalu was selected No. 16 overall in the 2003 NFL Draft by Bill Cowher and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The safety with the instantly recognizable flowing black locks put up Hall of Fame-level numbers over the next 12 seasons. He had 783 tackles (56 for a loss), 12 sacks, and 32 interceptions in his career.
Polamalu, on the other hand, wasn’t just a stats guy. He was noted for working on his own time, identifying plays before they occurred, and then blowing them apart. Players who lined up against him recall having the perfect play called only to have Polamalu appear out of nowhere in a location they’d never seen him on video. And on the precise spot where the play was taking place.
Polamalu’s ticket to Canton was punched by his amazing ability to be in the right place at the right moment.
Polamalu revealed the six phrases that current Pittsburgh Steelers should hear from the team’s legends.
In his address, Polamalu spoke extensively about his admiration for the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. It’s the only team he’s ever played for, and he clearly cares about the franchise.
During his remarks, the former USC Trojan gave current Steelers some guidance on how to follow in his footsteps to the Hall of Fame. If you are actually doing things properly, Polamalu said, you should look for the greats who came before you to offer six words of appreciation in Pittsburgh. He stated, “
The only approval a Steeler should seek is that of prior Steeler legends who have worn the back and gold, who will say, “You could have played with us,” if you have truly earned their respect.
The Hall of Fame induction speech of Troy Polamalu
It is the highest honor anyone in the Steelers organization can receive if Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, “Mean” Joe Green, and Jack Lambert believe a current Steeler could have played with them.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a large number of members in the Hall of Fame.
In terms of NFL franchises with the most players enshrined in Canton, the Pittsburgh Steelers are towards the top of the list. The Pro Football Hall of Fame distinguishes between players, coaches, and executives who only played for one team and “Hall of Famers who made the major part of their primary contribution for any one club.” Additionally, if “a player contributed about equally and/or in a major way to two or more clubs – he is listed in bold under both clubs,” he is listed in bold under both clubs.
The Steelers are third on this list of main Hall of Famers with 26 enshrined players, behind only the Chicago Bears (30) and Green Bay Packers (27). In Canton, the Steelers are:
- Faneca, Alan (1998-2007)
- Rooney, Art (1933-1988)
- Cowher, Bill (1992-2006)
- Dudley, Bill (1942, 1945-1946)
- Nunn, Bill (1968-2013)
- Bobby Layne is a character in the film Bobby Layne (1958-1962)
- Chuck Noll is a character in the film Chuck Noll (1969-1991)
- Rooney, Dan (1955-2017)
- Dawson, Dermontti (1988-2000)
- Shell, Donnie (1974-1987)
- Stautner, Ernie (1950-1963)
- Franco Harris is a well-known figure in the (1972-1983)
- Butler, Jack (1951-59)
- Jack Ham is a fictional character created by Jack Ham (1971-1982)
- Lambert, Jack (1974-1984)
- Bettis, Jerome (1996-2005)
- Joe Greene (Joe Greene) is a (1969-1981)
- Johnson, John Henry (1960-1965)
- Stallworth, John (1974-1987)
- Swann, Lynn (1974-1982)
- Blount, Mel (1970-1983)
- Mike Webster is a writer who lives in New York City (1974-1988)
- Rod Woodson (Rod Woodson) is a (1987-1996)
- Terry Bradshaw is an American football player (1970-1983)
- Polamalu, Troy (2003-2014)
- Kiesling, Walt (1940-1942, 1954-1956)
This is a fantastic group of NFL legends, and any current player should be honored to be included among them. If someone in this group ever speaks the magic six words to them: You could have played with us, they should be even more proud.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
Terry Bradshaw Adapted Well to Life in the NFL by Playing for Don Shula RELATED: Terry Bradshaw Adapted Well to Life in the NFL by Playing for Don Shula
When Troy Polamalu was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, he reportedly mentioned in his speech the words that every Steelers player wants to hear when he’s about to enter the NFL Hall of Fame — they are: “It’s safe to say that I had my ups and downs, but my teammates have always made me feel welcome and welcomed. I’ll never forget the moment when the Steelers drafted me in the sixth round, and I had to wait for hours in the locker room, and be out of my comfort zone. I knew that I was going to be a Steeler for the rest of my life, and that’s what kept me going. And the Steelers fans, they have always been there for me. Read more about troy polamalu hall of fame induction ceremony and let us know what you think.
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