Troy Polamalu’s style of play led to some of the craziest and most clutch plays in Pittsburgh Steelers’ history, but the two-time Super Bowl-winning safety said that some of his favorite plays came in situations where he helped a teammate make a play.
Polamalu joined Bryant McFadden and Patrick Peterson on the All Things Covered podcast and the trio discussed many topics that ranged from the moment that Polamalu knew it was time to retire to what he considers the top plays of his football career.
“For me, it wasn’t necessarily the plays that I made but the plays that I wasn’t supposed to make, and also it’s the plays that I helped create for other people,” said Polamalu.
While Polamalu did not list the plays in any specific order, the Hall of Famer humbly talked about five different plays throughout his Steelers career that he remembers fondly.
The first play that Polamalu discussed was against the San Diego Chargers in which he identified that James Harrison was rushing against a “nub” tight end. On the play, Polamalu engaged with the offensive tackle so that Harrison could get a one-on-one with the tight end. That play ended in a sack fumble and a safety.
The next play that Polamalu listed was a play that occurred in the infamous 2005 Divisional Round game against the Indianapolis Colts in which he blitzed and created enough penetration that led to a Joey Porter sack. He claimed that he looked at the play clock and it showed one second so he took off and hoped for the best.
The third top play on Polamalu’s list was the fan-favorite game-sealing interception against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 AFC Championship.
“What’s funny about that [play,] is that I had a real conversation with God at that moment,” explained Polamalu. “I was like ‘God, I know we are supposed to win the Super Bowl this year but if the Ravens score right now, we’re not going to win it. I am literally looking at the sky thinking this to myself and that is what ended up happening.”
The fourth play occurred by accident because Polamalu was out of position on the field. On that play, the Steelers called a coverage that designated Polamalu to be in the deeper third of the field, but somehow he ended up in the opponent’s backfield where he recovered and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
The final top play on Polamalu’s top-five was an interception that happened against the Cincinnati Bengals. On the interception, Polamalu pitched the ball to Chris Hoke but did not make the block that would have allowed him to score.
“The funniest thing about that was Joey [Porter] came to the sideline like ‘What the hell are you doing, man?'” Polamalu said laughing.
While not all of Polamalu’s top plays matched what Steelers fans probably expected, the Steelers legend kept it light-hearted and shared memories of the plays that he held on to and cherishes.
“Those plays I would think, just from the top of my head, are great memories.”