PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – With the announcement of Troy Polamalu‘s retirement from the NFL, there’s nobody better to hear from on Troy’s career than his former defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
LeBeau joined the Starkey and Mueller show to talk about his former player and told us why he thinks Troy’s the best safety to play the game.
“He had great acceleration, he could go from point A to point B like no one I’ve ever seen and he was over 200-pounds so that’s a very rare combination,” LeBeau said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anybody from the safety position that could close on the ball as fast as Troy Polamalu. When he got there, he had enough power to make something happen. He was a rare, rare player. The best safety I’ve ever seen.”
LeBeau went on to add that “he’s been a great player and he’ll be in the Hall of Fame in five years,” when he’s first eligible.
Having a player like that on his defenses, LeBeau shared with us what it was like coaching a player with that unique ability and what he allowed them to do on defense.
“We tried to design defenses that gave him the freedom to create. Great players create…He had parameters, but we tried to give him areas to create because he was so creative.”
Part of what made Polamalu different than other elite players in the NFL was the man he was off the field. LeBeau told us some of the things that Polamalu did that made him so special.
“That’s why I say I don’t think there’s ever been one like him and it will be a long time before there’s another,” LeBeau said in regards to Polamalu’s off the field life. “The things that he did over there at Children’s Hospital that literally you’d have to go over and talk to those people at Children’s Hospital. There wasn’t a week that went past that Troy didn’t stop over there and see those kids. He was truly a role model for what professional is and I’ve never seen anybody like him. With all the greatness that he was on the field, he was probably greater off the field.”
Click the audio link below to hear more from LeBeau on Polamalu including whether or not he reached out to him to see if he’d be interested in joining him in Tennessee with the Titans.