Polamalu backs LeBeau for Hall of Fame

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu says defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau deserves to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as much as any successful head coach.

LeBeau, an NFL player and coach for 51 years, and former Broncos running back Floyd Little are the two senior finalists for the Hall of Fame. They will join 15 modern-era candidates on the ballot next year.

"As a football player, a special teams coach, a position coach, a coordinator, a head coach, nobody has done it all like he has," Polamalu said of LeBeau, who has spent most of his coaching career as an assistant. "He's done everything but own a team. He's more deserving than Vince Lombardi, if you're talking to me."

Lombardi won five NFL titles in nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers. The NFL championship trophy is named for him.

LeBeau is being considered only as a player for the Hall of Fame because he remains an active coach.

LeBeau had 62 interceptions while making 171 consecutive starts at cornerback for the Detroit Lions.