Q&A: Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu talked to a small group of reporters Thursday morning about his return from his MCL injury.

Troy Polamalu, strong safety, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Your coach said on Tuesday that Thursday morning would be the best time to gauge your injury. How does it feel?

A: If feels good. I think it feels really good. I don't think I took any step back yesterday.

Q: Did you go all out, 100 percent yesterday?

A: No.

Q: Do you ever go all out, 100 percent in practice?

A: No.

Q: When people say ‘It's only Cleveland. Let him rest another week,' how would you respond?

A: I don't know. It's a rivalry game. Regardless of records, it's always going to be a good game and you would anticipate another one. Out of respect for the rivalry you should bring your all.

Q: Would one more week make a difference?

A: Yeah, of course. I think another month would make a huge difference. The season is long when you're healthy but it's short when you're injured because you don't have as much rest time.

Q: How much has the brace helped?

A: I think, one, mentally it helps because you have that security. It does limit your movement a little bit. It also helps that if I had worn it, I wouldn't have the knee injury.

Q: Really?

A: Yeah. No question.

Q: Will you wear it Sunday?

A: Yes. Definitely.

Q: Will you consider wearing it all the time?

A: I had this injury three or four years ago, and I got to the point where I didn't even wear it in the game.

Q: Is there something in-between that wouldn't limit you but would protect you?

A: Not really. There are several different kinds of braces. Some constrict you a lot more than others. This is the most freedom, I believe, that I'm most comfortable with.

Q: How would it have helped you? By the manner in which you were hit from the side?

A: Yeah. I honestly think it's probably impossible to hurt your knee while wearing one of these braces.

Q: Why don't you see more people wearing them?

A: Offensive linemen do in college a lot. Quarterbacks do on their front leg. If Tom Brady would've been wearing one, I doubt that would've happened to him as well. At USC, the quarterbacks always wear them on their front leg.

Q: But guys who depend on their speed and quickness don't?

A: It's funny, in college you were always putting pads on for protection. In the NFL you're taking everything off for speed. So, anything that limits your movement and you can get that extra inch means a lot.

Q: Jerome Bettis initially worried this could curtail your lateral movement, which would be critical for you. How is your lateral movement?

A: I don't know. I don't see it as a problem really. I think all movements always limited, but at this point I haven't used explosive speed.

Q: So you don't know because you haven't tested your full explosiveness yet?

A: That's right.

Q: You won't know until you get in the game, so is there an element of doubt?

A: I know my body well enough to know whether or not I'll be able to take whatever I may face on game day, so I don't see it as a problem.

Q: Is your body telling you now that you'll be able to go Sunday?

A: Um, (presses palm to ear and listens) ... yeah, I think so.

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