Troy Polamalu beat out Clay Matthews for the Associated Press 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. A panel of 50 media members vote for the award. Polamalu received the most votes with 17. Clay Matthews came in a close second with 15.
Troy missed two games due to injury but still finished the year with 63 tackles, seven interceptions and ton of game changing plays. Teammate James Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, finished third in voting with 8 votes. Harrison said of Polamalu:
“Troy brings this defense from a ‘C’ defense to an ‘A’ defense. He’s someone that you have to account for in the secondary.”
Former teammate Santonio Holmes had even more praise for Polamalu:
“With all due respect, I honestly think Troy Polamalu is probably the greatest player I’ve ever played with or even seen play in person. Everybody has their one person they think is the greatest player. In my eyes, I think he’s the greatest player I’ve ever played with.”
Polamalu is the sixth Pittsburgh Steeler and the first ever USC Trojan to win the award.