Troy Polamalu Press Conference Transcript Wednesday Super Bowl XLV

Troy Polamalu Press Conference Transcript Wednesday February 2nd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

SAFETY TROY POLAMALU

(on starting to practice today) “Yeah it will be nice to get out on the practice field. We had a few days off. It’s always nice to get the team together and focus on football.”

(on the veterans enforcing a work attitude on the younger players) “Yeah, that’s kind of been ingrained in us kind of from camp. Coach [Mike] Tomlin has always had that sort of disposition that we’re always about work when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play, we play.”

(on the secret to the game on Sunday) “It’s to carry out our game plan. It doesn’t change from week to week. It hasn’t changed for almost a decade since I’ve been here, and that’s to always apply pressure to the quarterback. It’s about holding up on the back end and not trying to give up big plays, trying to tackle the catch, control the ball on offense. Our game plan never changes.”

(on doing anything special against Aaron Rodgers) “I wouldn’t say anything special, but it’s a tremendous challenge. We’ve played against a lot of great quarterbacks this year and he’s definitely one of the best that we faced all year and he’s on fire. He’s seeing things very well. He’s got a great report with his receivers. He has such a good chemistry. Sometimes when the play breaks down, they do a lot of things that are feel things.”

(on Clay Matthews) “[He’s] an awesome football player. He’s deserving of the Defensive Player of the Year.”

(on how he plays) “I don’t know. I try to keep up with the other guys on our defense – guys like Lawrence Timmons,

James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior, Ike [Taylor]. All these guys play with such a tremendous tenacity, with a great energy, a great motor. That’s kind of been ingrained in us and instilled in the tradition of the defense that we have. I just try to keep up with them.”

(on what goes through his mind the Saturday night before the Super Bowl) “I don’t know. I’ll have to tell you on Sunday or Monday. I don’t really recall the previous Saturdays that we’ve been through this. I would think you would want to just treat it like any other Saturday. It’s still a football game against the Green Bay Packers, whether or not there are the festivities of the Super Bowl or what’s at stake. I think if you start to get enamored with those things you start to lose sight of what’s really at hand which is the football game.”

(on DB coach Ray Horton calling Polamalu the greatest safety ever to play) “I definitely don’t agree with it, but I respect Coach Horton’s opinions. He’s been around the game a lot and he’s won a Super Bowl as a coach and as a player. He’s had so much to do with the success that we’ve had as a secondary – my own, personally, as well as the guy on the other side of the ball who’s coaching the safeties for the Green Bay Packers [Darren Perry]. He was here my rookie and second year and had so much to do with helping me understand the game.”

(on why the Steelers have a losing record without Polamalu the last few years) “I don’t know, quite honestly. There are a lot of great safeties that have played behind me that I’ve learned more from. I’m not a very good coach, by any means. I’ve learned a lot from rookies, from a safety on their team, Anthony Smith, who’s on IR. From Tyrone Carter who plays for the San Diego Chargers now. Chris Hope who plays for the Tennessee Titans and the stuff he brought. I’ve learned a lot from all of these other guys.”

(on Aaron Rodgers) “He’s been off the charts. He’s incredibly accurate. He’s got a great chemistry with his receivers. He’s got a really good feel for what the defenses are doing. He gets rid of the ball quickly.”

(on if he dreamed about making big plays in the Super Bowl as a kid) “I don’t know. I think we have a great saying as a secondary that when one guy makes a play, we all make a play. So when James Harrison ran the interception for the touchdown in the Super Bowl two years ago, we all did. Hopefully we can experience that a few times.”

(on the Rooney family and the Steelers way of doing things) “We get a tremendous amount of support from our owners. We call the owner ‘Papa Rooney.’ People have his cell phone [number]. He came out in support of the players and the players’ union saying that 18 games shouldn’t be within the next CBA. He’s got a really unique view on how a successful franchise should be run and how the team should be run and how the atmosphere in the locker room and within the building should be. I think other owners could learn from that.”

(on how he developed his style of play) “I learned a lot from other guys. I’ve broken a lot of film down of Ed Reed, of Rodney Harrison, of Brian Dawkins, of Sean Taylor, Bob Sanders, Adrian Wilson. I’ve watched almost every play of most of their careers. I try to incorporate their style of what they do well into my game. And some of it I’m not capable of doing because they’re more athletic. Some of it I was able to do, and then you can form that into your own game.”

(on if the attention he brings to the safety position might lead to more safeties in the Hall of Fame) “I wouldn’t say my position. I would say Ed [Reed] was kind of the guy that broke down the barriers of taking the top off defenses and Rodney Harrison being able to be the most universal safety in the sense of being able to play man-to-man in the slot when he was in New England, of playing the deep halves, with freeing up and playing the run as well. If there is any safety that I really admired the most, it would have been probably Rodney Harrison.”

(on whether Aaron Rodgers presents a special challenge to the safeties) “Definitely. They’ve got so many talented wide receivers that can create mismatches. Getting the ball down field would be really tough for our team to recover from. It’s important that we stay on top and hopefully keep everything in front of us.”

(on if this game will be a defensive struggle, unlike the last game between the two teams that was a shootout) “Every game is different. I’ve learned that really quickly playing this football game. You could almost see it ending up that way. You could almost see it ending up the other way the way both defenses have played. Who knows. I would say the New England Patriots-Jets series that they had going on this year is a great example of that. You kind of don’t know how the game is dictated and how the flow of the game is going to go.”

(on if Steelers Secondary/Safeties Coach Darren Perry would be a good defensive coordinator) “He’s like a father to me. Absolutely. We were together for almost four years here with Pittsburgh. He taught me so much. We’ve been through a lot together because my rookie year wasn’t very good, so I had to lean on him a lot emotionally as well as, obviously, learning the defense. I don’t know much about this game, but I would think that Ray Horton and Darren Perry would be great candidates for defensive coordinator jobs. I think most importantly is that they know Coach [Dick] LeBeau’s system very well because they’ve played in it and they’ve coached in it a long time.”

(on how easy Dick LeBeau makes it for them to prepare for a game) “I don’t know. I don’t know any other way. He’s pretty much been our only defensive coordinator since I’ve been here. But anything he says as far as what a defensive back is required to do or a coaching point, you take everything he says to heart because you respect him as a father figure and as a coach. The amount of years that he’s put in and he’s the architect of this defense. You don’t sit there and tell Albert Einstein how to write out his equations.”

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.