Bernard Pollard: “The Rules are Gonna Really Get Somebody Hurt”
Bernard Pollard is moving on, along with a slew of fellow defending champions from the Baltimore Ravens. He and Ed Reed will bring their fierce mentalities to the AFC South (Pollard in Tennessee, Reed in Houston) after a controversial yet successful final season in Baltimore. The Tennessee media had better be thankful, because as Pollard exhibited in a recent interview with KILT in Houston, he doesn’t pull punches off the field, either.Bernard Pollard joined Josh Innes and Rich Lord on KILT in Houston to discuss his departure from Baltimore in light of reports that he spoke out in the Ravens’ locker room, the attitude and personality that Baltimore team had with him, the new rule prohibiting ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to initiate contact with defenders in the open field and his killer mentality on the field.
On reports that he and Ed Reed staged somewhat of a mutiny in the Baltimore locker room:
“There’s no truth to that at all. I think for all of us as players and for the people that have no idea what happened, the same story I told so many people I’ve talked to as far as with teams and everything else, that whole situation was: Coach Harbaugh opened up the floor, he asked us our opinion on things that were going good and things that wasn’t going good and things that we needed to change. And we as humans, we tend to want to know or ask people things, but do we really want to know the truth? And so I spoke up, Ed spoke up, and if it was something that Coach Harbaugh didn’t like, we didn’t know that until now. And obviously we would have to say as players that somebody took it personal, because for them not to come back and say that wasn’t a problem, there was no mutiny or anything else, I’m offended by that, because we walked away from that situation thinking, ‘OK, everybody’s on the same page. We’re all good.’ Like I said, I’m just a little offended that the coach never stepped up and said anything.”
On the attitude in the Ravens’ locker room:
“Everybody had that ‘I want to kill’ mentality as far as going out on the field. Everybody has it. And I’m not trying to discredit or belittle anybody or any coach, but we walked out on the field with a personality, and we walked out on the field looking to bully — on the field — another team. Did we play perfect all the time? No we didn’t, but I think just our personality, the thing that allowed us just to be players — Mr. Bisciotti, they wanted guys to be yourself. Don’t come here and try to be somebody you’re not. We don’t need choir boys. That’s not what we want. We want a dude that’s gonna go out here and put it all on the line for us. And you look at our team and you look at the things that we’ve done, that’s what happened. We did that.”
On the new rule that will penalize ball carriers for using the crown of their helmets to initiate contact with defensive players in the open field:
“It’s another rule that has a lot of gray area. That’s what this game is about. You look at the rules that they’ve passed. You’re putting these refs in positions to where they don’t know when to make the call and when not to make the call, so they’re just making a call every single time whether they’re right, wrong or indifferent. They’re just making a call because that’s what they were told to do. This is a rule where you don’t understand. … How’s a running back gonna fight for extra yardage? You expect him to just run straight up? You can’t do that. I’m gonna ask Roger Goodell: ‘Hey, go play Limbo, but you can’t bend your body.’ You can’t do that. You just cannot do that at all. So I think for all of us as football players, this is annoying because we play the game. I don’t understand why we don’t have players on the board that help out with the rule changes and everything else. I don’t know if we do or we don’t. But I think our NFLPA, I don’t understand what’s going on, but at the same time we’re dealing with something where the rules are going to cause a lot of problems with player safety instead of the players. Football is what it is. Players are gonna get bigger, stronger, faster year in and year out. The rules are gonna really get somebody hurt. And like I said before, I stand by what I said, and I will not back off my statement, my comments. I won’t do it, because as we continue to see, they’re trying to do everything else to keep this game going in the right direction and it’s going to backfire on them.”