PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Steelers’ fan favorite has made a decision about his future.
According to the Steelers, Troy Polamalu has decided to retire from the football field.
Jim Wexell, of the Herald-Standard, first reported the news Thursday night. The report said Polamalu called Steelers’ Chairman Dan Rooney Wednesday night to inform him of his decision.
“He talked and talked about what he has done and what he’s going to do, and he wasn’t looking for any big goodbye party, he was just going to try to do it quietly,” said Rooney. “And we talked about what a great player he was and what a great person he is.”
The report also said Polamalu did not seriously consider playing elsewhere.
“On behalf of the entire Steelers organization and the Steelers Nation, I am happy to be able to publicly celebrate and thank Troy for his many contributions to the Steelers. His unique style of play will be remembered among the all-time Steelers. His passion for the game of football on the field and his willingness to be a contributor to the community make him a very special person,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement.
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Polamalu was drafted 16th overall in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Steelers. He will turn 34 on April 19.
”Troy is a shining example of a football man in the way he loved the game, the way he respected the game and the way he played the game. It’s a shining example of the window into who he is. He is a legendary Steeler and a legendary man. I congratulate him and wish him nothing but the best moving forward,” head coach Mike Tomlin said.
During his 12-year career, he racked up 12 sacks, 32 interception, 13 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries.
Polamalu ranks second in franchise history with five regular season defensive touchdowns (five).
He also helped the Steelers win two Super Bowls and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times.
“Troy Polamalu was as unique a person as he was a football player. His actions as a human being were just as impressive as any of the many inhuman plays he made on the football field. We were very fortunate to have him be a part of our organization for the past 12 years. We wish him and his family all the best as they move into the next phase of their lives,” General Manager Kevin Colbert said.
The Polamalus have good reason why Troy says they plan to stay put in Pittsburgh. They quietly had a huge impact off the field through the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
“He has walked as a faith member of this community amongst a loving family, not as a star amongst adoring fans,” said Fr. John Touloumes.
Troy and his wife, Theodora, have helped raise money and helped establish Focus Pittsburgh, which reaches out to those in our community most in need.
“Not only do they come down and spend some time here and bring their whole family, but they also do so much more and bring a great spirit to this organization and have really been supportive of it since its inception,” said Kristina Elias, of Focus Pittsburgh.
Work that they plan to continue quietly.
Listen to The Fan’s full interview with Jim Wexell here:
The Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette joined Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about Polamalu’s retirement.
He says he isn’t surprised by the decision.
“This is the way (the Steelers) hoped it would end,” Bouchette said.
Bouchette also said that the Steelers are ”fortunate” they have had players like Polamalu, Jerome Bettis, and Hines Ward as the face of the franchise.
When asked about what he thinks Polamalu will do in retirement Bouchette said, “I think you’ll see him working for his church and I think you might also see him stay in Pittsburgh.”
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.