View Full Version : Q&A with Steelers safety Troy Polamalu

08-25-2010, 11:50 PM
Q&A with Steelers safety Troy Polamalu
http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... y-polamalu (http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2010-08-25/qa-with-steelers-safety-troy-polamalu)

Sporting News

Five-time Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu is as famous for his flowing locks of hair as he is for punishing hits on the field. He has partnered with head & shoulders for The Mane Event, a bracket-style contest at troyshair.com. Polamalu spoke recently with Sporting News' Clifton Brown about his unique hair — at its longest, it can reach 3 feet — the health of his knee, his beloved USC Trojans and whether he's a future Hall of Famer.

Q: What's the story behind you hairstyle?

A: Honestly, I just wear my hair natural. I've never had it braided or corn-rowed. It was kind of a grunge faze I was going through in college. I decided not to cut my hair. If people visit troyshair.com, they will see that if somebody just wears their hair natural it can be a good thing. And they can win a whole bunch of prizes if they vote for me.

Q: Have any coaches ever given you a hard time about your hair?

A: No. I get more questions about how they can take better care of their own hair.

Q: Has your long hair ever caused you any problems on the field?

A: I got it pulled four or five years ago. If it wasn't strong, I would've gotten some of it pulled out.

Q: How is your knee injury, which forced you to miss much last season?

A: I had to focus more on my rehabbing my knee during the past year, but I had a lot more time to rest physically and mentally. I feel really rejuvenated and excited.

Q: There is a lot going on at your alma mater, Southern Cal. Your uncle, Kennedy Pola, was hired away from the Titans to be USC's offensive coordinator just before camp, angering Titans coach Jeff Fisher. The USC program has been placed on probation. What are your thoughts about those situations?

A: Obviously he's my uncle so I'm going to say great things about him. He did so much for that program when Pete Carroll was there. Then you look at the success running backs have had under him in Tennessee and Jacksonville. I love my uncle, but I think he's one of the best coaches I've ever been around. I think he'll do a great job for 'SC, especially considering the situation they're in now. He's passionate about football, and that will be conveyed to the players.

Q: How disappointed are you to see the USC program on probation?

A: It's disappointing because the guys now are being punished for what happened previously. I think the sanctions were pretty hash, although there were some poor decisions made.

Q: You're 29 now. Do you think about how much longer you want to play?

A: I've thought about that for a long time. Even after my rookie season I'd have thoughts like, 'I don't know if I can play another year.' I honestly go into every year counting my blessings. I can't believe I've already played seven years. Football is a sport unlike basketball or baseball, where if you have the talent you can play a long time. Football is so tough on the human body, you really can't take anything for granted.

Q: What has made your current the Steelers' Mike Tomlin, 38, a successful NFL head coach at a young age?

A: I've been fortunate to play for some great coaches—Pete Carroll, Bill Cowher and now coach Tomlin. I think coach Tomlin is just as good—or better—than those guys. I think what makes coach Tomlin so good is that he's very in tune with what young players go through. He's able to adjust his personality, and to adjust to different circumstances. When he first came to us, he was very harsh, very much a disciplinarian. We bought in because we're a very obedient team in general, and we know what it takes to win. But the following year coach flipped the script and became more outgoing and flexible, and that was the year we won the Super Bowl. Because he's able to adjust, that's what makes him so special.

Q: Do you feel you are on your way to the Hall of Fame?

A: That's a sacrilegious question to ask an athlete. I don't think I'm worthy of any of that, especially when you talk about our defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau, who is a true Hall of Famer. He epitomizes what a Hall of Famer is. He has given more time to the game than just about anyone. That's a Hall of Famer. I just try to work hard and help this team win. If I can do that, then I'm doing something positive.

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