Aug 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu (43) is greeted by area youth football players during player introductions against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field. The Kansas City Chiefs won 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Does Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu Deserve To Be In the Hall of Fame?

The topic of Troy Polamalu‘s Hall of Fame candidacy has been coming up over the past few days.  Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette gave his breakdown of the battle Polamalu will have to get into the doors at Canton.  Nice Pick, Cowher’s very own Kim Myers also mentioned this same topic in todays Steelers Morning Huddle.  So with not much else going on in the NFL these days, I figured I’d put in my own two cents.  First off, Troy Polamalu has always been one of my favorite Steelers player to watch over the past decade.  So clearly I’m a little bit biased and think he’s a Hall of Fame player but I’ll try to reasonably explain why he is actually an HOF’er.

Fittipaldo brought up good points about the safety position in the Hall of Fame.  Ronnie Lott was the last safety inducted to Canton and that happened in 2000.  Lott played five years at cornerback however, so the last true safety to be inducted into the Hall was Paul Krause in 1998.  It took voters 14 years to vote Krause in.  The fact that safeties aren’t inducted often may be seen as in issue for Troy Polamalu but you could look at it another way and ask who has been playing the position since 2000 or so, and who hasn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame?  After looking at the All-Pro teams since 2000 you get a lot of names like, Roy Williams, Darren Sharper, Rodney Harrison, Bob Sanders, John Lynch and Brain Dawkins. Outside of Lynch and Dawkins the rest probably aren’t Hall of Famers nor were considered to be future HOF’ers while they were playing.  Dawkins will not be eligible to for the HOF until 2017 and Lynch was a finalist in his second year of eligibility and will likely be inducted soon.  Therefore I think the “no safeties get into the Hall of Fame” could be a little overstated.

The second argument against Polamalu is that he played in the same era as Ed Reed, who is considered one of the best safeties in NFL history.  The issue for Troy would be that head-to-head Reed would likely enter the Hall over him.  If you look at the stats that could be true.  Reed has double the interceptions to Polamalu (64 to 32) and Reed has 13 total touchdowns compared to Polamalu’s five.  Even if you look at awards the numbers a skewed slightly in favor of Reed.  Polamalu has made eight Pro Bowls to Reed’s nine.  Polamalu has been named to the All-Pro Team five times, Reed has done that eight times.  They do both have one Defensive Player of the Year award though and Polamalu has one more Super Bowl title than Reed but we aren’t talking about quarterbacks where rings determine your legacy.

With all that being said about Reed having the advantage over Troy, I still don’t think it should hurt Polamalu’s chances of making the Hall of Fame.  Those two guys are different players plain and simple.  Reed was much more of a ball hawk than Polamalu, who affected the run game more and got after quarterbacks more often.  Polamalu has 12 career sacks compared to Reed’s six.  Troy Polamalu has played the position of safety unlike anyone else in the history of the league.  The Tasmanian Devil has made plays throughout his career that hardly seemed possible.  The interception against the Chargers in 2008 when he scooped the ball centimeters off the turf immediately comes to mind.  Or the pick six in the 2008 AFC Championship game against the Ravens that secured a spot in Super Bowl XLIII.  Personally I just believe that somebody who had the ability to change the game in numerous ways for a decade deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.  I’m only 24 years old so I never saw the likes of Willie Wood, or Paul Krause, or even Ronnie Lott but I know for sure that I’ve been witness to one of the best safeties to ever play the game over the past 11 years and he wears number 43 and has wicked long hair.

What do you think Steelers Nation? Troy Polamalu is Hall of Famer am I right?


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Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu

  • Joshua Giovannone

    Agreed. Looking at it without bias, he played completely different than Ed Reed. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Polamalu has attempted to play the way Reed did, he could produce the same stats.

  • trinity

    Reed is the better of the two, but i think troy will get in. His greatness can’t be questioned.

  • Scott Phipps

    I find it hard to believe there are doubters. Anyone who has watched 43 knows how special he is and the HOF is reserved for special players. Numbers aren’t everything.

  • John Beckwith

    I think he is in without a doubt. Eye ball test is all you need with Polamalu.

  • Lucero

    They’re both Hall of Fame calibre players. Different styles, but both deserving. It would be beyond ridiculing TP doesn’t make it.

  • Melissa saise

    You are so right,Troy is one of a kind and plays the game like no one else.He is special and totally deserves to be in the HOF.If he never gets in then some things very wrong!!Seriously!!!

  • norm

    Your crazy if you do not think he is not going into the Hall of Fame. If any Steeler deserves it! It’s him!

  • Shawn Faloney Garber

    Yes yes and yes. No one deserves it more. He is a play maker in every aspect. I have never seen some one be able to time the the snap count and sack the qb be4 he even has the ball. Troy has done so much outside to for the community. HOF FOR 43!!

  • Craig

    Brenden, you hit it right on the head when you started to talk about Polamalu being a ‘game changing’ player. During Polamalu’s prime as the X Factor in this Pittsburgh Steelers defense, offensive coordinators would shape game plans AROUND #43. Has there ever been a defensive player that has cause so much headache and turmoil for another team’s defense and coaches? No way. That in of itself is HOF worthy.

  • lflm

    He is beyond awesome – he definitely deserves to be inducted into the HOF

  • brent

    Stop comparing Reed and Troy they play different positions. Also the safety position requires you to tackle amd Troy kills Reed in that category. There will never be another Troy which is huge when it comes to the hall.

  • Dean Danforth

    He changed the way the game/position is played.
    When a player makes his mark on the game like that you’re forced to look beyond
    stats. My opinion – HOF voters should anyway. Any geek can manipulate stats
    blah, blah snore… that all the game is anymore. I think some get the idea
    that these players live only in Xbox where they are stat controlled and
    manipulated. Sorry they’re real and when they rise to the occasion it’s truly
    spectacular to watch it unfold. It takes special brain function to create an
    emotive visionary big picture argument for or against players that obviously
    stand out above grey. So get it right the first time HOF voters!