Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard has a strong opinion about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his actions Sunday night in the AFC championship game.
He believes the star quarterback should be punished by the NFL for lifting his right leg and striking Ravens free safety Ed Reed in the leg while sliding as the veteran defensive back slowed down to avoid hitting Brady. Quarterbacks are protected from being hit under the NFL rule book in those situations when they go to the ground and slide.
"When you slide, obviously quarterbacks know when they slide, everything is on the ground," Pollard said Monday at Ravens team headquarters the day after a 28-13 AFC title game victory over the Patriots. "He knew what he was doing. So, I'm the type of player it has to go both ways. It really does. It has to go both ways. Hopefully, the NFL will do something about it. If they don't, that's fine. If they do, that's fine.
"I think for me as a player we all know emotions are on the field. We're going to say things. We're going to do things, but, when it's all said and done, if you want to keep the game clean, if you want to keep this thing going in the right direction, everybody needs to be penalized for their actions."
An intimidating hitter who operates as an enforcer in the AFC champions' secondary, Pollard knocked Patriots running back Stevan Ridley out of the game and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter for a turnover that set up the Ravens' final touchdown, a Joe Flacco pass to Anquan Boldin.
Pollard unleashed a huge blow that separated Ridley from the football and for, several minutes, his senses as he was prone on the ground and obviously trying to regain his faculties.
"I could care less about what people have to say," Pollard said. "This is a violent sport. We run fast. We hit hard. Guys are big, and they're getting bigger and quicker year in and year out. For me, I love to play this game. I love to tackle.
"That's what I do. When you got two guys running full speed at each other and you got helmets and shoulder pads on, somebody is going to go down. It's not something I'm proud of. I hope he's all right."