Troy Polamalu signed a five-year, $33 million contract extension that will keep him with the Pittsburgh Steelers through the 2011 season. His signing and roster bonuses total $15.375 million and he'll make $2.85 million in salary this season. Following is the transcript of Polamalu's talk with reporters following the conditioning test:
TROY POLAMALU, strong safety
What are your feelings on the contract?
Very excited. Very excited.
Did you want to get it done before camp?
It was something I wanted to get done before the offseason started. I guess it was kind of hanging over my head throughout the offseason but I had confidence that it would be done before camp.
You ran anyway?
Yeah. This is a good thing. It wasnít very challenging so it was good to get your legs under you.
How different was the run compared to previous years?
It was a lot different. I donít want to say too many bad things because I want them to keep doing this run. It wasnít too challenging.
What does this new contract mean to you?
It means that I have to work harder and go out and earn it. Itís very exciting for my wife and I. Weíve felt very welcome in this city and I think this contract really puts our roots down here.
Does it matter to you that youíre the highest paid safety in the league?
First and foremost I wanted it to be a fair contract. A lot of people are making a lot of money out there, so I wanted it to be very fair and I wanted it to be here and those are the most important things. I have no control over what other people make.
Because itís so much money does it put more pressure on you?
No, youíve got to earn the money. Itís not for what I did in the past, itís for what Iíve got to go out and earn now.
What accomplishments do you envision now?
Four Super Bowls in a row. Who knows.
Do you have an upside that you thought of realistically?
Just go out and play hard. Thatís all I can do as an individual.
Are those socks?
They are. Theyíre Jim Brownís old socks.
You can finally afford them, huh?
There goes my whole check.
Are there any plans for the money?
Not at all. My wife and I are just going to really live the same lifestyle weíve been living.
Was going back to the west coast ever an issue?
Oh, no, never. What I really wanted is the west coast weather to come here. That was what I wanted.
What is the hook? Why did you want to be here?
This is home. I didnít want to be a player that was jumping from team to team. Iíve always felt comfortable here. I think this organization and its tradition, what they have here is very legendary in that sense and I always wanted to be a part of that.
Troy, I missed your initial comments. Whatís your overall reaction to getting this done?
Very happy that itís done. The Rooneys were very fair and I think both sides were very happy to get this done very peacefully, without any feelings hurt.
Did you get involved? Or did you just say donít talk to me till itís done?
That was kind of the position I took.
Do you look at what Alan Fanecaís gone through and say thatís something I donít want to feel?
Definitely. Definitely. I feel for Alan. Itís a shame because heís got a wife and kids and heís got his lifestyle to uphold. You hope he can get something done thatís fair.
How does it feel to be back in camp?
Iíll tell you away from the camera.
Youíre not a big fan of camp?
I donít know. Itís like going through boot camp every year. The army only does it once. We have to do it every year.
How do you feel about all the two-a-days?
I donít know. Heís not a dumb coach. Heís not going to go out and kill us. He knows we have 16 games to play and an extra preseason game. Heíll be fine with us.
Did you set any goals for the season?
Can this team be better than last year?
Definitely. We didnít make the playoffs. I think we have an opportunity to do that. We definitely have a strong foundation and I think we kept some strong elements around.
Troy, are you picking up a sports franchise in Johnstown?
It was reported that you were buying an Arena football team?
Oh, no. I have no idea about that. Itíd be pretty fun though.
23 July 2007