Polamalu says the challenge of his rookie season made him

Sports

FOXBORO, MA – NOVEMBER 3: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Troy Polamalu #43 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after their game at Gillette Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ)–Troy Polamalu came to the NFL as a first-round pick by the Steelers with high expectations, but as a rookie he didn’t start a single game.

“My rookie season was not enjoyable, nor was it very successful at all,” he recalled Wednesday speaking with the media ahead of his Hall of Fame enshrinement.

That rookie year was nothing but a blip on the radar. Polamalu would play 12-years in the NFL, was a 4-time All-Pro winning two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh. But without that rookie year, it may have not happened.

“As humiliating as it was, I would have to say, had I not gone through the process, that sort of molding of being put through the furnace, adversity and doubt… That paid off and set motion to the rest of my career. This is the template for me to work off it,” he said.

“That post-rookie season is where I kind of had a real conversation with myself. It was like, ‘Listen, man, you’re going to go all in on this or all out, because if you’re not in on this there may not be a career,'” he said. “So, for me, that rookie season was extremely humbling, humiliating, but yet much needed in my life, not only as a football player but as a person, as a husband, as a father. I’m appreciative of that adversity.”

Polamalu is one of five Steelers being honored in Canton joining Alan Faneca, Donnie Shell, and scout Bill Nunn will be enshrined. Bill Cowher renters Canton as part of the NFL’s Centennial Class.

Hall of Fame week begins August 5th in Canton with the annual Hall of Fame game. This year three classes will be enshrined, the 2020 & 2021 modern era classes, and the 2020 centennial class.  

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