Look Out NFL – From The Mouth Of Troy Polamalu: ‘I am light years ahead of where I was last year when I didn’t practice at all during camp.’

August 12, 2009 – 6:30 am by Michael Bean

Steelers free safety Troy Polamalu had a monster year in 2008. For starters, and perhaps most importantly, Polamalu played in all 16 regular season games plus all three of the Steelers playoff victories in route to winning Super Bowl XLIII. Polamalu had a team-high 7 interceptions last year and helped anchor the NFL’s best pass defense. He also had several jaw-dropping plays, including the interception (photograph below) against the San Diego Chargers. For his outstanding season was named to his fifth straight Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro honors for the first time since 2005, which incidentally was also a Super Bowl year for the Steelers. Now, however, Polamalu is on the cover of Madden ’10 and you know what that means. The Jinx! If he can stay healthy though, it’s hard to imagine any scenario where he doesn’t play exceptional once again.

Polamalu  joined ESPN Radio Pittsburgh to talk about the start of the Steelers training camp, what the team can do to improve itself and a bit on his thoughts about retirement and how long he might like to play.

On how the Steelers can improve this coming season after winning their record sixth Lombardi Trophy:

What can we do to be successful? We can draw upon the past – learning how to take care of our bodies; changing our scheme up a little bit to keep offenses off guard and vice versa for the offense.”

On how he’s feeling and how he thinks the team’s looking one and a half weeks in to training camp:

“Yeah, I’m very happy with the way things are progressing. Coach Tomlin’s happy with the way our team’s been progressing. And that’s most important. I am light years ahead of where I was last year when I didn’t practice at all during camp.”

On if he has thought about how long he might want to play in the NFL:

“Yeah, I mean definitely. I think everybody comes in with an idea of how many years they want to play. But when you’re in the midst of it, you’re kind of just rolling along. It’s not like a teaching job, you know, where you say I’m going to do this for 30 years. And it’s kind of dangerous to say I want to play 10 years, you know what I mean? Or 15 years. Just because if you’re lucky to even make it that far, who knows if you want to go even farther. So you have to have a certain amount of respect for the game, you know, so you don’t sell yourself short. Just because there’s so many injuries and other factors that are involved of not being able to last as long as you may want to.

Listen here to Polamalu on ESPN Radio Pittsburgh

(interview begins at 54:45 mark)

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