Steelers Safeties Troy Polamalu, Shamarko Thomas Training Together In California

While he might not ever start a game in 2014, Pittsburgh Steelers second-year safety Shamarko Thomas is expected to make a ton of progress this season. The Syracuse product knows it and he’s trying to absorb as much as he can from starter Troy Polamalu, the player he will likely succeed as early as 2015.

Since he was drafted last year, Thomas has reportedly always been good about trying to pick the brain of Polamalu. On Tuesday, veteran cornerback Ike Taylor revealed during his weekly radio show that Thomas is currently out in California picking Polamalu’s brain first-hand.

“Shamarko, our safety, is in California working out with Troy,” said Taylor on Trib Live Radio. “That’s something that I’ve never experienced or heard of Troy doing with a particular player. But now Troy’s taking on that fatherly role with his kids and with Shamarko, so that’s a good sign.

“I was telling Shamarko before he went out there, ‘Shamarko, that’s something huge, because this dude don’t ever do that. Troy’s all about himself and family and whenever he plays football, he knows it’s about business. But heck, man, you’re out there training with Troy. As far as like learning tendencies and defense, just the way of life, or just learning how to be a good ¬†person, man, your walking with Jesus on earth right there.'”

Taylor went on to say that he’s not sure if Polamalu knows what he means to the team.

“There’s a lot of people who look up to Troy, including myself,” said Taylor. “Just as a person. As a football player, we all know we’re playing with a Hall-of-Famer hands down. But just as a person and what he brings to the table, in this world in general, it’s a lot.”

Taylor was then asked to update what he’s seen so far out of Thomas during the Steelers offseason practices.

“Shamarko, he’s been handling his business quietly with the helmets and shorts,” said Taylor. “But Shamarko is known for knocking people out and the only way your going to get to see him knock someone out is in training camp, preseason games, regular season games. So that’s what Shamarko excels at.”

If the news of Thomas training out in California with Polamalu doesn’t get you charged up, I’m not sure that anything will. Thomas may have only played 193 snaps as a rookie, but those were very valuable snaps even though most of them came as a slot defender. By now, he should have a pretty good understanding of both safety positions in addition to the nickelback spot and that in turn should enable to play much faster and with a lot more confidence.

As for Polamalu, he has never been a real vocal leader during his career as he prefers to lead by example instead. However, him taking Thomas out to California with him to train speaks volumes when it comes to leadership. I, for one,¬† can’t wait to see if it pays off during training camp and the preseason. There’s no reason to think that it won’t.

  • Kurt Williams

    Great move by Troy P. as this helps Shark and the team.

  • steeltown

    This is great news. Definitely a feel good report. I sort of wish Mitchell was out there too, but im sure he has his own offseason routine at this point in his career. I’ll take what I can get in that regard and just be happy that the young Shark is training with one of the Greats.

  • srdan

    This is awesome. It’s teh one position on the defense that you could say “the torch is being passed” as it used to be at almost all other positions. A vet teaching a youngin.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Troy must really see something in Shamarko because he’s pretty reclusive about this time of year. I don’t think i can remember Troy ever taking the time to train with someone else since he been a Steeler. Should pay big dividends for Shark when he gets his opportunity to play.

  • 2443scott

    is it just me when troys name pops up you just got to read about him …this is a good sign not just because hes training with troy but this will help a young guy learn how to prepare him self as a player ….if troy can do just one thing for thomas i hope its to read what the def is doing and get to that spot on field troy has done over his career….

  • James Kling

    Troy’s never done this before, because we’ve never drafted a safety with the physical skill set and personal dedication that Shamarko has.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Off the field Troy is a soft spoken family man, and he’s done a great job of separating his pro football job from his family life. If I’m not mistaken Shark has limited family and Troy probably sees this kid working his butt off for so many years and greatly deserving the opportunity to succeed. It looks like Troy has made an exception to take Shark under his wing. Just spending a little time with Troy should help him learn about life and football. Excellent!

  • JohnB

    Wish he would’ve taken Mitchell too haha

  • srdan

    I’d like to think that SHamarko was handpicked, but I think there are other influences as well. Remember that Troy signed a deal not long ago. There was probably some unwritten understanding. Plus Shamarko is the highest drafted safety since Troy which would make him the heir apparent. I think the three influences are: Sharks a 3rd rd safety, during Troy’s negotiations an expectations was mentioned, and Troy wanting to see a smooth transition.

    I admire Troys ability to stay in shape away from teh team with his own methods. I also admire his attitude towards his family and don’t have an issue with him being away from the team. Shamarko or anyone else would take that time away from him. I don’t mind players being selfish about their families. I fully understand placing them ahead of football.

    Witha ll that said, no matter the reason(s), this should do wonders for Shamarko.

  • Rosco

    I agree. Hes also making sure he leaves the Steeler Organization and Steeler Nation in good hands!! This is why we are Steeler Fans!!!!!

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m really hoping Shark and Blake shine this year! They could solidify our secondary! (When Troy/Ike are gone)

  • Steelers@2010

    If that’s the case, Ike Taylor should have his replacement with him down in Orlando, FL.

  • Ike Evans

    Cortez was down there the previous 2 years….not sure about this year

  • Lizard72

    Troy was working with him a lot after the other guys left the field during last seasons training camp as well. Looks like he really likes the kid and wants to see him succeed.

  • Chris Ranieri

    Great words of praise on TP by Ike. TP is a true leader on and off the field!

  • Douglas Andrews

    It can only help Shark to sponge up all the knowledge that Troy has. I think it’s great and with Troy doing this I think were in good hands at the Safety position.

  • Hp B

    Ike too. Really smart,introspective and a all around class act.