Blocking Out The Noise with Redskins’ Tyler Polumbus

In football, good offensive linemen go mostly unnoticed.  If an average NFL fan knows the name of an offensive lineman it is probably because they keep giving up sacks or they are constantly whistled for penalties. That may be one of the reasons you may have not heard of Tyler Polumbus.  He’s an Offensive Tackle for the Washington Redskins and has started 31 games in the last two years.  You’d think that a guy who is 6’8” and 305 pounds would be hard to miss but many casual NFL fans couldn’t pick Tyler out of a huddle.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t had his share of memorable NFL moments. His first NFL start came on Monday Night Football as a member of his hometown Denver Broncos. He blocked for Marshawn Lynch on a play that became known as the “Beast Quake” in a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. When I asked Tyler about that play he said, “Marshawn broke about 100 tackles to go take the game winning touchdown in for us. That was an extremely memorable play. One you’ll never forget.” That play is also famous for the fact that Seahawk fans got so worked up, the noise and activity in the stadium that it registered as a small tremor at a nearby seismic monitoring station located nearby Qwest Field. Polumbus played in the Redskins’ 7 game winning streak in 2012, which led them into the playoffs and to their first division title since 1999.

Last year’s Redskin team struggled to a 3-13 record, but 2014 holds new promise for the Redskins. Mike Shannahan was released as head coach and the team brought in former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to be their head coach. The team also signed WR Desean Jackson who finished in the top 10 in receiving yards last season as a member of the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. “It’s a new coach, new aura, new offense. It is an exciting time to be a Redskin. We’re ready to see what Coach Gruden brings to the table and how the team clicks,” Polumbus says.

Success on the football field is secondary to faith and family for Tyler. He sees the opportunity of playing in the NFL as a platform to point others to God. “One of my greatest fears is to play 8 or 9 years in the NFL and to look back and wonder what I did for God,” he says. Tyler lives his faith out in front of his teammates on a day to day basis, he tries to take every speaking engagement he can to tell others about his faith and he tries to give back to the community through his foundation Tyler’s Kids Outreach. Through Tyler’s Kids Outreach (TKO), Tyler and his wife strive to enrich the lives of children through family, faith and personal growth.

Tyler even runs an active wear apparel company called Claimed. He wanted to point others to Christ even when he works out or when he’s in the locker room after the game. “The game brings a lot of attention to the names on the front and the back of my jersey,” he says. “I wanted to deflect the attention off of me and on to God. He deserves claim to anything I do on the field.” His hope is through Claimed apparel, others can point people toward Christ simply through what they wear on the field or in the gym.

Everything in Tyler’s life is something he sees as an opportunity to glorify God. From loving his wife and kids to play NFL football, everything is centered on having a life that is teeming with purpose. A key verse for him is Romans 6:17, “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.”  Life is bigger than just playing for the Redskins for Him.  “I am a claimed human being,” he says.  “I’ve been claimed by Christ in what He did on the cross.”  Even in the hectic life on an NFL football player, Tyler has found a way to block out all the meaningless noise in life and to pursue what really matters.