The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

December 12, 2010

Polamalu issues apologies after game

PITTSBURGH — On the field, Troy Polamalu was his usual self with two interceptions, one of which he returned for a game-changing touchdown.

In the locker room, Polamalu was also his usual self, bemoaning his mistakes, in particular a wild lateral while returning his second interception.

“First and foremost,” Polamalu started, “I want to apologize for that play at the end of the game. It was incredibly arrogant and selfish. I represent something bigger than myself – my faith, my family, and this team. I’ll try to never let that happen again. It was just a very arrogant play.”

But, he was asked, what about the touchdown?

“I don’t know,” he said in such a hushed tone that one would’ve thought the Steelers had lost to the Cincinnati Bengals instead of won 23-7.

“Let’s just focus on the negative,” he said before finally smiling.

As for the touchdown, well, ho hum.

“I know you guys can’t be surprised at what he does every week, because he does it every week,” said James Farrior. “We’ve come to expect it from him.”

It may not happen every week, but Polamalu’s on quite a roll. In the past four games, Polamalu has returned an interception 38 yards to snuff out an Oakland rally, recovered a fumble and later intercepted a pass at his goal line to hold off Buffalo, and in Baltimore his sack/forced fumble late in the fourth quarter turned the game around against the Ravens. Throw in his game-changing play Sunday against the Bengals and Polamalu is the common thread in the Steelers’ four-game win streak.

“I’m glad Troy is on my team,” said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. “No one is playing as good as Troy Polamalu in football right now.”

Polamalu’s first interception Sunday came out of a cover-2 shell. Bengals receiver Terrell Owens ran a skinny post that Polamalu jumped at the Cincinnati 45.

“In cover-2, it’s really hard for the safety to get underneath that play,” explained safety Will Allen. “A skinny post is designed to hit in between the linebacker and the safety. It’s designed to hit right behind the linebacker, so he just jumped it. And if you decide to go get the pick, you’d better get the pick.”

Polamalu got the pick off his old college roommate, Carson Palmer, and, as he had in 2004, Polamalu took aim at Palmer near the goal line.

“I wanted to see Troy bowl him over again,” said Farrior.

Palmer clipped Polamalu near the Cincinnati

5 and he needed to dive over the pylon for the tying touchdown.

Polamalu aggravated an ankle injury on the play but stayed in the game, albeit hobbled.

He wasn’t too hobbled, though, to read Palmer for the interception in the fourth quarter, his sixth of the season. Polamalu recklessly lateraled the ball, but it was recovered by teammate Bryant McFadden at the Pittsburgh 12.

“Troy was just trying to share the love a little bit,” said Brett Keisel. “He’s so used to having the spotlight I think he was trying to let someone else take it to the crib.”

A bit earlier in the fourth quarter, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was telling linebacker Larry Foote that Polamalu should win a second consecutive AFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Foote argued that the award should go to LaMarr Woodley.

“Then he got that second pick,” said Roethlisberger. “I looked at Foote and he said, “Co-Defensive Players of the Week.”

Polamalu would prefer the award go to the entire unit.

“I think our defense is playing good as a whole,” he said. “Whenever you get a good pass rush and whenever the D-line is stopping the run, we’re able to make a lot of plays on the back end.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014