Steelers’ Troy Polamalu calls retirement ‘educated’ phase of his life, forging new identity
Troy Polamalu is a future Hall of Fame safety who terrorized quarterbacks as one of the best pass defenders the Pittsburgh Steelers have ever seen. However, he’s led a different life ever since walking away from the game in 2014.
He hasn’t been a regular face at Steeler functions ever since walking away from the game. Many wondered why he suddenly gave the Steelers the cold shoulder, but the mystery is unraveled today.
In an interview with Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com, Polamalu revealed that his disassociation with the Steelers was a conscious effort on his part.
“One thing that I always felt the need to do because this game has a tendency to take players and players truly become dependent on the NFL, one of the things that was important to me was that I didn’t want to identify myself as a football player,” Polamalu told me Saturday night. “If I lost the game that I would lose my identity. Part of that was just letting go and moving on to the next phase of life. So, as soon as I was done with football, I was like, ‘I’ve got to go and get educated.’ But I knew I was going to have issues that I hear about with the transition. I got in a tech company, a startup football league, because it was all a good education.
“It was part of just a growing period for me, a maturity process for me that I really just had to draw a line. What I didn’t want to do was to always have to come back, and be like, ‘OK, I feel like myself again. Finally, I’m at home again.’ So, yeah. That was it.”
It’s probably sad for Steeler Nation that one of their best secondary players doesn’t want to return to the team anymore. After all, he notched an incredible 783 tackles, 12.0 sacks, and 32 interceptions during his time in the NFL. However, he will forever be immortalized as one of the best defenders in the game, and that is one thing that he cannot disown.