Troy Polamalu’s retirement means the end of a storied career that will be considered part of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ pantheon of all-time greats.
Sure, he wasn’t quite the same player in his last season or two as the injuries piled up, and the Steelers may be relieved that they don’t have to make a tough roster decision this spring, but that doesn’t change the fact that for most of his career, Polamalu was not just one of the best safeties in the NFL, but a unique player who made reality-bending plays his trademark.
No one was better at timing a snap than Polamalu. Perhaps the type of play he’ll be remembered for most is the flying tackle through an offensive line that hadn’t even started moving.
Like this play from 2013, which surely contributed to Jake Locker’s decision to retire:
Maybe there was something about the Titans because Troy was punking Kerry Collins when Jake Locker was still in high school:
Of course, Polamalu’s freakiness extended beyond snap count Jedi mind tricks. He also had some sticky hands: