The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team that no one is too sure about in 2013. With a defense that is aging and an offense that has lost some weapons, Pittsburgh just isn’t the same team that we saw in the Super Bowl a few years back.
One of the biggest reasons the defense is still considered a solid unit by many is because of the play of safety Troy Polamalu over the years. Widely considered as a top safety in this league over the past decade or so, Polamalu is the heartbeat of that defense and in 2013 he will finally be healthy.
Back when Polamalu was younger, an NFL great gave him some excellent advice. Running back and former teammate Jerome Bettis told Polamalu that he needs to make sure the injuries he suffers in the regular season are completely taken care of in the offseason. If not, he’d be in trouble come the start of the next year.
In 2012, Polamalu admits that he never fully recovered from his calf injury, according to NFL.com. Polamalu said that he thought he had done enough to address the issue before camp last season, but he wound up finding out that was not the case.
“But when you start putting on the load of camp — the helmet, the pads, the continuous grind of camp — that’s when these injuries come back, and last year was a testament to that,” Polamalu said after a recent practice.
“You can’t avoid people falling on your legs and tearing ligaments in your knee, or tearing an Achilles, but last year was a tissue issue,” he said. “For sure, it was annoying. You look back, in retrospect, at things you could have done better, as far as offseason is concerned.”
Thankfully, Polamalu is healthy now and ready to get this unit back to where they belong — the top. With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, this team always has a chance to win. Having Polamalu at full strength greatly increases those odds.