BOSTON (CBS) — It’s not often that a Patriots player would help out a Steelers player. But when it comes to possible Hall of Fame enshrinement, Tom Brady is willing to assist a former foe.
The longtime Patriots quarterback spoke highly of Troy Polamalu, in an effort to help sway voters this week when they make their call for the 2020 class for Canton.
In a statement shared by the Steelers’ public relations department, Brady praised Polamalu as a game-changing player.
“One key to success for a quarterback is to study a lot of film in order to understand defensive tendencies and know how the defense will try to defend everything you are trying to do as an offense. But that never worked against Troy. He was one of the most instinctive and disruptive players I have ever played against,” Brady said. “Outside of his incredible athleticism, his greatest skill was his unpredictability. You could never quite get a bead on what he was doing, yet he was always around the ball. Troy was just a playmaker who you had to account for on every play. It was amazing to watch film on him and to try to understand how we knew where to be and when. If you wanted to find Troy, you just looked for where the ball was going and you would always find him.”
Former #Steelers S Troy Polamalu is a finalist in his 1st year for potential induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (voting in one week from tonight). #Patriots QB Tom Brady offered this powerful statement re: playing against Troy: pic.twitter.com/wwUt9yqOcl
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) January 25, 2020
Brady played against Polamalu six times, with the Patriots winning four of those games. Still, much like with Hall of Famer Ed Reed, Brady always made it a point to locate Polamalu before every snap to try to get a read on where the unpredictable safety might end up on every play.
Polamalu, in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, is one of 15 finalists who will be considered by voters this week in Miami. The complete list of 15 finalists is as follows:
Steve Atwater, S — 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
Tony Boselli, T — 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaac Bruce, WR — 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
LeRoy Butler, S — 1990-2001 Green Bay Packers
Alan Faneca, G — 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
Torry Holt, WR — 1999-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Jacksonville Jaguars
Steve Hutchinson, G — 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
Edgerrin James, RB — 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
John Lynch, FS — 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
Sam Mills, LB — 1986-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-97 Carolina Panthers
Troy Polamalu, S — 2003-2014 Pittsburgh Steelers
Richard Seymour, DE/DT — 2001-08 New England Patriots, 2009-2012 Oakland Raiders
Zach Thomas, LB — 1996-2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Dallas Cowboys
Reggie Wayne, WR — 2001-2014 Indianapolis Colts
Bryant Young, DT — 1994-2007 San Francisco 49ers
It’s not uncommon for players to write letters of support for various players’ Hall of Fame worthiness. Last year, both Peyton Manning and Brady wrote letters to boost Ty Law’s candidacy, and the cornerback ended up finally earning his spot in Canton.