Shortly after the Steelers won the kind of game they have lost entirely too often this season, chairman Dan Rooney approached safety Troy Polamalu at his locker and inquired about his health.
"You all right?" Rooney asked.
Polamalu nodded yes. If Troy's OK, the Steelers are OK.
One week after suffering a concussion, Polamalu reminded everyone again Sunday why there's so much about him to like.
"It was my mindset the whole time to be able to play," said Polamalu, who received medical clearance early last week after suffering a concussion against New Orleans. "It's got to be that way, or else you'll never be prepared to play by the end of the week."
Any ill effects, Troy?
"I feel great. Thank you."
No one played a bigger role than Polamalu in the Steelers' 24-20 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Not even quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the gunslinger who passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns and guided the Steelers to a pair of clutch scores in the game's final 4 minutes, 14 seconds.
Polamalu was magnificent and magnaminous in victory.
"I can only line up where coach (Dick) LeBeau tells me to," said Polamalu, who was officially credited with seven tackles, one sack, one quarterback pressure and one pass defensed, along with a bunch of big plays that didn't appear on the stat sheet. "I think it's a testament to the calls of the defense, the way everybody plays and the trust we have back there."
Yeah, and if the little Dutch boy didn't stick his finger in the dike, someone else would have done it for him.
"We knew Troy was playing, and we knew we were going to get the great plays that Troy makes," linebacker Joey Porter said.
Modest to a fault, Polamalu was literally all over the field. He was a difference-maker in a game the 4-6 Steelers absolutely, positively, couldn't afford to lose.
There was the tackle in the second quarter, when Polamalu chased down Cleveland speed merchant Braylon Edwards from behind and prevented a long touchdown after Edwards made a catch to beat cornerback Ike Taylor along the sideline.
In a 40-yard sprint, Edwards would probably beat Polamalu nine out of 10 times, if not 10 out of 10. But when Polamalu, and the Steelers, needed it most, he shaved a fraction off his 40 time to make the touchdown-saving tackle at the Steelers' 19.
"Troy's got the fastest 10 yards in football," linebacker Larry Foote said. "I don't think Michael Johnson, one of the great sprinters, has a faster 10-yard sprint."