On Sunday, I passed along the news that Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu would be in attendance for the first OTA session of the 2013 season that gets underway on Tuesday and now there is a report on Twitter from Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that states the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year is in the best shape that he has been in since his playing days at USC.
Polamalu missed nine games last season after suffering a calf injury early on in the season and as a result the seven-time Pro Bowler registered just 34 total tackles and one interception.
This will make the second year in a row that Polamalu has been present for the start of OTA\’s as he general likes to stay in California to train during the off-season. In the past, Polamalu has trained with Marv Maronivich, father of former NFL quarterback Todd Maronivich.
I was told a few weeks ago that Polamalu has been training like a “madman” this off-season and that he is not even close to thinking about retirement at the age of 32, so all of this certainly great news for Steelers fans.
The Steelers addressed the safety position in the draft last month when the traded into the fourth-round to select Shamarko Thomas out of Syracuse, but like all young Steelers draft picks that play defense, he is not expected to contribute much during his rookie season unless injuries should strike.
Polamalu is under contract with the Steelers through the 2014 season and the hope is that he can remain healthy and play in all 16 games again like he did in 2011.
Heading into 2013, Polamalu has several Steelers milestones within his reach. For starters, he needs just one interception to become the ninth Steelers player to record 30 career interceptions. With one more fumble return for a touchdown, Polamalu will tie former Steelers linebacker Jason Gildon (3) for the most fumbles returned for touchdowns in franchise history.
In addition to those records, Polamalu is currently just one defensive touchdown shy of tying Carnell Lake, Dwayne Woodruff and Jack Butler (5) for the second-most defensive touchdowns in Steelers history behind Rod Woodson (6) and he needs only one interception return for a touchdown to tie Lake, Woodruff, Deshea Townsend and Tony Campagno (3) for the fourth-most in franchise history.