Q&A: Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu showed up at minicamp in a full beard that not only fits his spiritual presence but his role as emerging team leader. Here's what he had to say the first day of the spring season:

TROY POLAMALU, Pittsburgh Steelers

SCI: How do you explain the beard?

Troy Polamalu: I'm just letting it go.

SCI: Will it last into the season?

TP: Oh, no. It's just laziness pretty much.

SCI: I heard you bought a house way up north in Franklin. Is that true?

TP: I live in Wexford. It seems like everybody knows where I live because people drop by, drive by and come by for autographs and crazy things like that.

SCI: Is that a bit much?

TP: Yeah, when it's at your house definitely.

SCI: Do you get angry?

TP: No. I don't get angry.

SCI: Have you noticed any changes since the Super Bowl?

TP: No. It's easy for me to separate myself from that stuff. It's a shame that people have to define themselves in something like that. It's a blessing, for sure, for me, but you know what I mean.

SCI: Are you worried the team will be able to gear it up in time mentally?

TP: I think from the outside looking in, from the fans' perspective, there's always a championship mentality and championship expectations outside looking in. The inside is no different. I think the pressure we put on ourselves to be successful is always going to be there no matter if we won a championship last year or not.

SCI: Won't the character and chemistry carry over?

TP: Yeah, but we lost a very, very important block of leadership in Jerome and Chris and Kimo and Antwaan. Those guys are big locker room guys. It will be tough to replace that.

SCI: Do you feel the need to step up personally in that regard?

TP: Not as far as their role on this team. Their roles are very important and it comes from their personalities and the family that we created. It's pretty much a death in the family because they'll never be back here and it's just somebody you'll miss.

SCI: New personalities do emerge in those situations.

TP: Definitely.

SCI: Do you feel the need to step up more personality-wise?

TP: No. Personality-wise, you are who you are. I don't expect the new people that come in to be funny like Chris is, or loud like Antwaan and charismatic and caring like Antwaan was, but new people do come through.

SCI: How will the loss of Chris Hope affect you on the field?

TP: It'll be tough to tell. We practiced together every day since I was here, and we enjoyed each other's company on and off the field, so it'll be tough to rekindle a relationship the same as that. But will there be a relationship as good as that? Time will only tell.

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