One of the game’s greats is set to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio. And Steelers’ safety Troy Polamalu’s presenter already has his own Hall of Fame bust.
Perhaps he is better known by the modern NFL fan as one of the best defensive minds in recent annals. He certainly made his mark in the Steel City as a teacher and coordinator. Dick LeBeau’s coaching resume included two stints in Pittsburgh. He was the Steelers’ defensive coordinator for two years under Bill Cowher in 1995 and ’96. The team reached Super Bowl XXX only to lose to the Dallas Cowboys.
He rejoined the organization and owned the same title for the next 11 years. There would be appearances on Super Sunday three more times. Cowher’s club captured Super Bowl XL in Detroit. The Steelers made two more Super Bowl appearances in three years under current head coach Mike Tomlin, rallying to beat the Cardinals in Tampa (XLIII) and falling to the Packers in Arlington (XLV).
LeBeau’s final season with the franchise came in 2014. That was also the final season for star safety Troy Polamalu. The eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro played for the coach for 11 campaigns from 2004-14. There were 32 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, a dozen sacks and five turnovers returned for scores.
Steelers: Dick LeBeau and Troy Polamalu share special bond
Of course, LeBeau knows a little something about picking off passes (62) and scooping up fumbles (9), impressive numbers during his 14-year stay with the Detroit Lions. And the three-time Pro Bowler will be Polamalu’s presenter in Canton, Ohio, this August (via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).
“Troy was a dream come true to coach and it’s a tremendous honor and a dream come true to call him a fellow Hall of Famer,” said LeBeau after learning of Polamalu’s election in 2020.
The men were part of something special in the Steel City for just over a decade. Now Polamalu and LeBeau have one more thing in common as well.