Dick LeBeau Thinks Troy Polamalu Might Have Several More Years Left In Him

If you are one of the people that thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers should move on from safety Troy Polamalu you should know that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau still thinks that the defensive playmaker has some good football left in him.

LeBeau told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in a recent interview that Polamalu might have “several more years” left in him if he can stay healthy.

“He has a lot of tremendous football talent still in him,” LeBeau said, via the Robinson story. “Once he got back on the field, I couldn\’t see any difference in his play than when he was winning the Defensive Player of the Year award. … I know Troy will do everything he can to get himself physically ready to compete for a 16-game season. And we\’ll have to wait and see (if he can).”

Polamalu, who is under contract through the 2014 season, missed nine games last season due to a serious calf injury, but played well once he returned and knocked the rust off. Moving forward, the Steelers always need to be prepared for their former Defensive Player of the Year to miss playing time as he has only started in all 16 games just four times during his 10 year career. Not counting his rookie season Polamalu has started 98 of 144 regular season games. That means he has missed 32% of them over a 9 year span.

The Steelers will almost certainly draft a safety at some point during the upcoming 2013 NFL draft, but that player, no matter how high or low he is drafted, will be lucky to see the field outside of special teams during his rookie season.

Having Polamalu, who I am told is already training like a madman this offseason, on the field for the entire 2013 season is a must. If they can get two more productive seasons out of him that would be even better as that would give the young safety drafted this year plenty of time to get up to speed and learn from one of the best that has ever played the position.

Like LeBeau said, “we\’ll have to wait and see (if he can).”

  • reg38

    Could you be more specific about Polamalu’s training regimen. Where? With Who? Is he doing something different then previous offseasons?

  • steeltown

    Of course if healthy he could have several good years left in him.. he’s only 31yrs old… look at Ed Reed and Charles Woodson, some injuries have slowed them a bit over the last few yrs, but they are still playing at a high level and both 3-4yrs older than Troy.

    The word is ‘IF’… If he can stay healthy he will definitely play well through 2014

  • Garrett Hunt

    It will be a sad day when the troy era comes to an end…. hopefully no time soon.

  • Exactly why I don’t understand people expecting to draft a safety with our top picks. Unless an injury occurs a young safety won’t see the field, and our draft picks need to contribute on more than just special teams this year.

  • Jollyrob68

    Because Troy can’t stay healthy. He missed 9 games. They need quality young backup.

  • Jollyrob68

    Of course LeBeau is going to say that. It’s one of the problems I have with the Steelers. They’re blinded by past success at the detriment of young players & a coach. It’s Keith Butlers time to run this Defense.
    I’m so tired of hearing a young player can’t do this or that in a Dick LeBeau Defense. Then fix the defense to get your young studs on the field.

  • Jollyrob68

    It will be a sad day. Bettis & Troy always were my favorites. But if he doesn’t stay healthy this season then its time to move on.

  • Jollyrob68

    He always stays in California. He said at the end of the season that he’s going to do the same training.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Let’s hope he goes out like Bettis

  • Mike Carroll

    I don’t think that many fans want Troy to be cut. I think fans, such as myself, have pointed out that the team must at least look at his contract and be concerned that these lingering calf injuries have become a serious issue that affects his value to the team. I want the Steelers to bring Troy back and I would say there is 95% chance that happens. It’d be great if the team were able to negotiate a small paycut in light of the games he’s missed the last few years and the numerous times his effectiveness was limited even though he started the game. Still, I doubt a paycut happens with two years left on his deal.

  • Maurice_hill_district

    No choice but to re-sign Will Allen. Troy is not likely to ever play more than 10-11 games. Clark’s going to miss a cuple games, & a rookie wont play in LeBeau’s defense. So there is no choice but to sign Will.

  • steeltown


  • Ahmad

    I seriously hope he can stay healthy and play all 16 games. The Steelers are a much better defense with him on the field.

  • Clint Martin

    If Troy would learn correct tackling he wouldn’t hurt himself all the time.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I would rarely disagree with a legend like LeBeau but over the last several years I have seen a considerable drop off in Troy. Age,injuries begin to catch up to you. He may be able to play at a decent level but nothing like we are use to seeing.

  • I hear ya, but personally I don’t think drafting a player based on an expected injury is the way to go. Too many holes to fill, and when healthy we have a pretty good safety combo.