Strong safety Bernard Pollard
Tom Zbikowski started the first two defensive series, but it didn't take Pollard long to make an impact. On his first play, in the second quarter, he knocked down Eagles quarterback Vince Young on a safety blitz and drew a grounding penalty in the process. On the next series, Pollard picked off an underthrown pass from rookie Mike Kafka deep in his own territory and scooted down the sideline for 39 yards. He was aggressive, physical and a finisher in his Ravens' debut. He looked like the real deal.
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Taylor suffered an inauspicious launch when he was sacked and intercepted on two of his first three plays in the second quarter. He led Torrey Smith too much on the interception and threw right into the hands of safety Jaiquawn Jarrett, who had a 20-yard return. Under pressure on the next series, he showed play-making feet, scrambling for 16 yards. He was quick to run, however, and did not get a lot of help from the offensive line. He also threw a third-quarter interception at the goal line trying to force a pass to Tandon Doss, who was covered, and a fourth-quarter interception when he overthrew LaQuan Williams. Taylor had success finding receivers, too, when given time. While he is not ready to be the backup yet, he showed the possibility he could become that.
His long-awaited NFL debut was just that — a start. Kindle played hard and was usually around the ball, although he missed a few opportunities to make plays. He was faked out by Vince Young in the second quarter on an improvisational, 32-yard pass play after fighting off a double-team block. He showed great pursuit later in the period when he lined up on the left side and sprinted across to his right to help finish off a 6-yard run. He pressured the quarterback without getting close enough for a sack. But perhaps more importantly, he had no reluctance about being physical and tackling.