The Latest: Steeler safety Troy Polamalu enters Hall of Fame | Buffalo Sports

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CANTON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions on Saturday:

The premise that Troy Polamalu was a freelance safety who ignored his assignments has some truth to it.

The bigger truth is that Polamalu made plays regardless of the scheme and defensive call, and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers defenders understood — and were thrilled he did so.

Polamalu has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a 12-season career filled with spectacular performances, leadership and, well, winning.

The 16th overall draft pick in 2003 from Southern California, he played in three Super Bowls, winning two, and made the NFL’s 2000s Team of the Decade.

Mentioning what drove him to such a great career, he talked about the “willingness to push beyond what the brain says is possible for the body. Football challenged me mentally, physically and spiritually. I had to succeed to quench this desire.”

Had Jimbo Covert remained a defensive lineman, which he played early in his college career at Pitt, he might never have reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But Covert, who has been inducted into the shrine as part of the centennial class, was switched to the offensive line while in school. He blossomed at tackle for Chicago and in his eight pro seasons was considered as good as any blocker in the NFL. Indeed, Covert pretty much manhandled Lawrence Taylor in their three meetings. Did anyone else manage that?

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