(Photo by John Biever/Getty Images)
Former Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu will be formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer as a part of the Class of 2020, and his longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will be his presenter. The Pro Football Hall of Fame officially announced the news this morning after Polamalu hinted on Tuesday on social media that LeBeau would be his Hall of Fame presenter.
Polamalu always had a close relationship with LeBeau, who was the defensive coordinator for all but one of Polamalu's 12 seasons with the Steelers. Like Polamalu, LeBeau is also a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player. LeBeau was a cornerback for the Lions in the 1960s and recorded 62 career interceptions, which is 10th all-time.
“Yeah, I guided him, all right," LeBeau said of Polamalu in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio's Late Hits in 2020. "I stayed the hell out of his way … Troy had the ability to go from point A to point B probably as quickly as any man I’ve ever seen … he confused offenses. He had great anticipation. I think he’s the best safety that’s ever played, that’s my opinion. Of course, it is biased. Troy is one in a million – as a player, as a person.”
In addition to winning two Super Bowls with the Steelers, Polamalu was an eight-time Pro Bowler and was named first-team All-Pro four times in his Hall of Fame career, along with being named Defensive Player of the Year in 2010. Polamalu was also named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and is a member of the Steelers All-Time Team. In his 12 seasons in Pittsburgh, Polamalu started 142 of 158 games and recorded 783 total tackles, 583 of those being solos, 32 interceptions, three of which were turned for touchdowns, 107 passes defended, 12 sacks, 56 tackles for losses, 12 quarterback hits, 14 forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries, two of which were returned for touchdowns.
Polamalu also had three career interceptions in the playoffs, none of which was bigger than his pick-six off Joe Flacco in the 2008 AFC Championship Game to send the Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII, which they won.
Polamalu will be enshrined into football immortality in Canton on Saturday, Aug. 7, along with the rest of the Class of 2020, which includes his former head coach in Bill Cowher and Donnie Shell, who played strong safety for the Steelers in the 1970s and won four Super Bowls. Last year's ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cowher announced in March that Steelers president Art Rooney II will be his presenter and former Steelers guard Alan Faneca, who is a part of the Class of 2021, announced last month that Hines Ward will be his presenter. Steelers "super scout" Bill Nunn is also a part of the Class of 2021, so in total five members of the Steelers organization will be honored in August at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Class of 2021 will have its ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 8.