Steelers defensive great Polamalu among five named to Pro Football Hall of Fame
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Troy Polamalu, the two-time Super Bowl-winning safety known for his freewheeling style and free-flowing mane of hair, was among five NFL players elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Former Pittsburgh star Polamalu was elected in his first year of eligibility and was joined Saturday by Edgerrin James, Isaac Bruce, Steve Atwater and Steve Hutchinson in the class of 2020 to be inducted in August in Canton, Ohio.
Polamalu, the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, became the ninth former Steelers player to be a first-ballot selection.
"He was as close to a machine as you're going to get," former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said of Polamalu, whose pick-six in the 2008 AFC championship game propelled Pittsburgh to Super Bowl 18, where they won a sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Atwater, a hard-hitting safety who helped the Denver Broncos to Super Bowl titles in 1997 and 1998, was elected in his 16th year of eligibility.
Running back James, quarterback Peyton Manning's backfield mate for seven seasons in Indianapolis, earned rushing titles in his first two seasons, winning Rookie of the Year honors in 1999.
He topped 1,000 yards seven times and 1,500 on four occasions over his 11-year career.
Wide receiver Bruce ranks fifth in NFL history in receiving yards (15,208), 13th in receptions (1,024) and 12th in touchdown catches (91). He notched eight 1,000-yard receiving seasons and was part of the "Greatest Show on Turf" St. Louis Rams teams of the late 1990s -- with his game-winning 73-yard touchdown giving the Rams a Super Bowl 34 title.
Hutchinson, a standout in Seattle, Minnesota and Tennessee, was one of the most reliable offensive linemen of his era before retiring after the 2012 season.
© 2020 AFP