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Troy Polamalu earns first-ballot Hall of Fame honor

Steelers, Troy Polamalu

The Pittsburgh Steelers had two players named among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and one of them was able to get inducted. With the league announcing the inductees, Troy Polamalu earned a first-ballot Hall of Fame honor, per Adam Schefter.

After retiring from the NFL in 2014, this was the first season that Polamalu could be named to the Hall of Fame. Unlike some players, Polamalu didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called for the prestigious honor.

Back in 2003, Polamalu was selected with the 16th overall pick in the draft by the Steelers. Coming out of USC, Polamalu was expected to make an immediate impact on Pittsburgh’s defense. Looking back on his career, it’s safe to say he exceeded expectations.

The tenacious safety would spend his entire 12-year career in the NFL with the Steelers. During his time in Pittsburgh, Polamalu accumulated 783 tackles, 107 deflections, 14 forced fumbles, and 32 interceptions.

Before Polamalu was announced into the Hall of Fame, Tom Brady actually endorsed him as someone who should make it into Canton. Brady knew that Polamalu was a player that you needed to keep an eye on at all times.

This wasn’t an easy year to get into the Hall of Fame as a safety. The other safeties that were named finalists were Steve Atwater, John Lynch, and LeRoy Butler. Besides Polamalu,  Atwater was the only other safety named to the 2020 class.

While Troy Polamalu was soft-spoken, he’d let his hitting do the talking for him. Even though Alan Faneca wasn’t inducted into the Hall of Fame, Polamalu made it in his first year of eligibility—and deservedly so.