Steelers Great Troy Polamalu Discusses Patrick Mahomes and More in B/R Exclusive

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2020

Hall of Fame class of 2020 Troy Polamalu speaks at the NFL Honors football award show Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Nobody in today's game can seemingly stop Patrick Mahomes, but an in-his-prime Troy Polamalu may have been the ideal candidate. 

After all, the Pittsburgh Steelers legend is a Hall of Fame safety who won two Super Bowls and was an eight-time Pro Bowler during a career that lasted from 2003 through 2014. He is someone who could pressure the quarterback, deliver big hits across the middle and stick with pass-catchers downfield.

However, not even Polamalu himself thinks his Steelers defenses could have stopped the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback.

"When you're defending an Andy Reid style of offense, what Coach [Dick] LeBeau would say is 'quarterbacks can't throw the ball off their back,'" Polamalu told Bleacher Report. "So blitzing would have been a huge thing for our defense. But to be honest, I don't think we could have really done anything to stop his incredible talent."

Polamalu may not have been able to stop Mahomes, but he can take it up to 100 with the reigning Super Bowl MVP when it comes to his shampoo.

The pair filmed a new commercial as part of Head & Shoulders' Take It Up To 100 campaign that encourages fans to be 100 percent invested in everything they do, whether it is protecting their hair, eating 100 percent of their green beans or saving 100 percent of children who fall off their bikes:

"When we filmed that last commercial, I told Pat 'I'm just riding your coattails, man,'" Polamalu said. "'Keep bringing me along.'"

While the idea of the campaign is for Head & Shoulders to create 100 percent flake-free scalps and hair, Polamalu saw a deeper meaning. 

"I think taking it to 100 is something that everybody nowadays really can attach to their lives given the uncertain circumstances that we're under," he said. "It's really just giving 100 percent and taking advantage of every day and really trying to be your best self every day … To me, that's what taking it to 100 means."

Polamalu even had the opportunity to take it to 100 as a Madden ratings adjustor, and he gave Mahomes the top-rated hair in the game:

Troy Polamalu @tpolamalu

.@EAMaddenNFL Why isn't "Hair" a Madden skill? You're looking at your newest #ratingsadjustor so lets make this happen and get my boy @PatrickMahomes to a 💯rating.  #MahomesTo100 #TakeItUpTo100 #Mahomies #HeadShouldersPartner https://t.co/2WQJ52O5O1

The safety thinks Mahomes would do the same for him.

"I would hope 100, judging from everything that I know about Pat," Polamalu said when asked what Mahomes would rate his hair. "He's an amazing person. Just really authentic, really humble. … To be able to talk to him on a level that didn't have any sort of fandom surrounded by it, I was really awestruck by his humility."

Polamalu believes the 25-year-old is already beyond compare and well on his way to becoming an all-time great on the field too:

"There's a lot of idiosyncrasies that really take somebody from being OK to a Pro Bowl player to being an MVP to being an all-time great, and he really has all of those all-time great attributes. I couldn't really compare him to the style of a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady or a Joe Montana. The truth is, he's Patrick Mahomes. And he has set precedents for other people to follow. … It will be interesting to see other quarterbacks follow in his footsteps."

Mahomes' Chiefs aren't the only ones who have caught Polamalu's eyes this season.

The Steelers are 3-0 with former teammate Ben Roethlisberger back and healthy after only playing two games last year and a defense that is second in the league in yards allowed per game and fifth in points allowed per game.

He believes his former team is right where it wants to be early in the season.

"What's really great about the position the team is in right now is they're really flying under the radar," Polamalu said. "It's always been interesting to me being part of that organization for 12 years that whenever the Steelers have flown under the radar, it's always been a really good sign for how the season progresses for them. And it's by preference."

He may get a chance to see his former team go up against his Head & Shoulders teammate in the AFC Championship Game.


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