Ed Reed isn’t the only Baltimore safety making eyebrow-raising comments on talk radio this week. Strong safety Bernard Pollard, a man of strong opinions who is certainly not shy about sharing them, appeared on KILT in Houston to talk about the New Orleans Saints and their recent bounty scandal.
Asked if he felt the league was marketing violence and condemning it at the same time, Pollard, the heaviest hitter in the Ravens secondary, said he understands that the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have a job to do, but he feels there are too many restrictions when it comes to physical play.
“It's getting out of hand,” Pollard said. “This is not powderpuff football, this is not flag football. This is a violent sport. And it's a fun sport. We all love playing this game. And we're blessed by God to even go out there and display our talent to the world, but at the same time you can't sit there and say, ‘We want guts, we want glory, we want heart.' You can't give a player heart but at the end of the day you tell him, "Well, hold on but be careful when you go to make that hit.' We wear helmets and shoulder pads. That means you're supposed to go knock somebody around. We ain't wearing flags."
Pollard spoke mostly about the physicality of the game and didn’t pass judgment on the Saints for the bounty scandal. He suggested that a bounty system wouldn’t change the way he played the game.
"I don't care if you do a bounty or not, because me -- the way I'm playing -- I'm going to hit you straight in the mouth,” he said. “And if you have a concussion by me hitting you in the mouth … You know what? I don't mean to. I'm not meaning to hurt you, but this is my game. It's my life or your life, it's my family or yours. Not saying we're trying to kill each other but we're playing for something.”
Pollard doesn’t think the increased emphasis on player safety is changing how the Ravens play. “No matter how many flags you throw, we're not changing the way we play the game of football,” he said.