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Bernard Pollard rips NFL after $42,000 fine for hit on Andre Johnson

Bernard-Pollard-Andre-Johnson-hitTennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard has been one of the most fierce hitters in the game for the past several seasons. On Sunday, he threw a shot to the head of Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson that forced Johnson to leave the game with concussion-like symptoms. However, the officials felt it was a clean hit and no flag was thrown.

As many expected, the league disagreed with the no-call. Pollard has been fined $42,000 for the hit. On Wednesday morning, he ripped the NFL on Twitter for fining him for a hit that was deemed legal at the time.

Pollard led with his shoulder. Johnson was on his way to the ground at the time the two collided, so it’s tough to say if Pollard targeted his head or not. An official was standing right next to the play and felt there was no penalty. Texans tight end Owen Daniels thought that was outrageous.

“I’ve never seen a more blatant blow to the head,” Daniels said after the game, per the Houston Chronicle. “A big miss by the officials, especially for a guy like Andre. I know you have to protect every player, especially someone like him.”

Officials miss calls all the time. In fact, one of the more recent ones that they blew may have contributed to a Houston win over the San Diego Chargers. Personally, I thought Pollard’s hit was a good football play as he was trying to jar the ball loose. The NFL disagreed, which is hardly a surprise. Here is a video of the play:

Bernard Pollard: Mike Munchak works us like Hebrew slaves

Bernard Pollard RavensTennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard says he has been so busy with football that he hasn’t had much free time to follow other things, but he used a questionable comparison to make his point.

Pollard, who used to play for the Houston Texans, joined Sports Radio 610 in Houston’s Josh Innes and Rich Lord on Friday and was asked whether he’s had a chance to keep up on TV show “Teen Mom” they know he watches. Pollard said he hasn’t because Titans coach Mike Munchak is working them like “Hebrew slaves.”

“You know what? I watched an episode a week or two ago. I’ve been slacking. Coach Munchak has been working us like Hebrew slaves. It’s been crazy out here. I didn’t realize it was as hot as it was in Nashville. With Coach Munchak pouring it on us, and you gotta get back to the family, I feel dead when I get home.”

Pollard was joking around the entire interview, so the line was said in somewhat of a comedic fashion. I didn’t think it was too funny.

Slavery is a crime against humanity. Slaves are forced to work against their will, unlike professional football players who give their consent and are well compensated to practice. It’s a sensitive subject to ever bring up. Maybe Pollard needs to read the story of Passover to familiarize himself with the history of the matter before using it as a comparison in the future.

via John McClain

Bernard Pollard keeps Baltimore Ravens termination notice taped to his locker

Bernard Pollard RavensBernard Pollard spent two quality seasons with the Baltimore Ravens in 2011 and 2012, but what’s that phrase we hear 13 times a day after the NFL season ends? Oh yeah, “football is a business.”

The Ravens cut Pollard in March in order to clear cap space so they could afford players like Joe Flacco. Baltimore fans were surprised to see their team release him after Pollard laid a massive hit on New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley that sealed the AFC Championship. Pollard is using the move as motivation now that he has begun a new chapter with the Tennessee Titans.

As Shutdown Corner pointed out, the notice informed Pollard he had been cut due to “skill or performance” reasons. The 28-year-old shouldn’t be offended given the way the Ravens cleaned house after winning the Super Bowl, but there’s nothing wrong with using it as motivation. If it helps him play with more energy, I’m sure his Titans teammates will embrace it.

Bernard Pollard missing Ravens’ White House visit, holds grudge

Bernard Pollard RavensBernard Pollard was one of the key members of the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl-winning defense last season. Despite his great season last year, the team released him in March. He signed with the Tennessee Titans, and it sounds like there are some hard feelings between him and some people associated with the team.

During an interview with Norris & Davis Show on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, Pollard said he was “stunned a little bit” over his release. He said he would not be joining the team in DC for its celebratory visit to the White House, explaining that he already had a family vacation scheduled. But he says he would not have made the trip anyway even if he didn’t have a conflict.

“I’m not gonna be there,” Pollard told the hosts, via Pro Football Talk. “I’m either going to have someone get my ring or have them ship it to me. I gotta sit this one out, man. I actually have a vacation with my family and then I’m coming back to get [my ring]. If I didn’t have a vacation, I wouldn’t come anyway.”

“If I didn’t have a vacation, I still wouldn’t want to go. I’m not sour,” said Pollard.

“It’s not my teammates. It’s not my teammates at all. I would celebrate with them any time, any day of the week I would celebrate with them. But at the end of the day, I know what happened, I know what took place. . . . I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to be in the room with certain people.”

Pollard was going to count for $3.5 million against the salary cap this season, which doesn’t seem like a ton for what he would do. He said he believes the story GM Ozzie Newsome told him regarding his release.

Pollard led the Ravens in tackles last season, but he isn’t great in pass coverage. The big reason that seems to account for his release is what appears to be a rocky relationship with coach John Harbaugh. The team reportedly had a near mutiny situation in October, and Pollard along with Ed Reed were said to have been the strongest opponents to Harbaugh. Reed signed with another team while Pollard was released. That likely explains his release and bitter comments.

Writer predicted Bernard Pollard would take out Stevan Ridley days in advance

Bernard-Pollard-RavensBaltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard is known to many as “The Patriot Killer.” When he was with the Kansas City Chiefs, Pollard was the guy who hit Brady’s knee and tore his ACL in 2008. In 2010, when he was with the Houston Texans, Pollard was in the general area of where Wes Welker ripped up his knee at the end of the season. Last year, he made the tackle on Rob Gronkowski that injured his ankle and made him close to a non-factor in the Super Bowl.

On Sunday, Pollard took out yet another Patriot with his helmet-to-helmet hit on running back Stevan Ridley. The hit was perfectly legal since Ridley was a ball carrier and not a receiver, but the whole “Patriot Killer” thing is starting to get kind of eery. What’s even more eery is that a writer named Steve Roney from Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic called the injury.

Coincidence or not, that is some pretty crazy stuff. Pollard has now taken out arguably the best Patriots player at every skill position on offense. He certainly took out their best quarterback in 2008 and tight end in 2012, and Welker and Ridley were probably the best at their position at the time of their injuries.

Whether you believe in curses and jinxes or not, I’m sure there are very few New England fans out there who get excited about the Patriots taking on a team that Pollard is on.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Bernard Pollard rips replacement refs: ‘These guys are star struck’

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard had plenty to say about the replacement officials on Thursday morning, and very little of it was kind. During an interview with the “Toucher and Rich Show” on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston, Pollard ranted about how the officials are in way over their heads and blasted Roger Goodell for compromising the integrity of the game.

“These guys need to be out,” Pollard said. “I respect them as men — they were put in a position they can’t handle. But who is going to turn down an NFL officiating gig when you probably get paid more than you got paid in the lingerie league or whatever. Who is going to turn that down? But when it’s all said and done, the commissioner needs to do something about it.

“This is way out of their league. It’s too fast, guys are too crafty, and they cannot control the game. My issue is we have a commissioner that is jumping on board to hammer every other issue down in the NFL. He is jumping on board to get meetings with players when things are happening, but we have something on hand that is messing up the integrity of the league and nothing is being done about it.”

[Read more...]

Bernard Pollard blasts Roger Goodell for Saints bounty punishments

There are many schools of thought surrounding the Saints bounty program and the way in which Roger Goodell has handled it. On one side, you have people like Eli Manning who believe there is no place in football for rewarding a player for injuring an opponent. On the other, you have someone like LaDainian Tomlinson who doesn’t even think the Saints should have been punished. Bernard Pollard is one of those Tomlinson people. In fact, he may even be one of those James Harrison people.

“It really has gotten way out of hand,” Pollard said during an interview with KILT in Houston. “You’re penalizing a coach for coming out of his pocket to say, ‘If somebody hits this guy — not hit him illegally, hit him — and take him out’ … First game we played the Houston Texans they (played) without Andre Johnson. We were happy. You know what I’m saying? It’s just one of those things where nobody’s trying to be mean, but at the end of the day if you don’t have a good player, that is a edge you have to win, or to help your offense. So it’s gotten way out of hand.”

It isn’t just the bounty punishment that Pollard takes issue with. He did add that he doesn’t want “to say anything against Roger Goodell” — so he’s saying “with all due respect” — but Bernard also believes flags for illegal hits have reached a ridiculous point as well.

“Well, when a receiver catches the ball, he’s trying to get to the ground,” he said. “But we were already in that position first — now … helmet-to-helmet, but now you’re penalizing the defender and give them 15 yards plus the reception. It’s getting out of hand. This is not powderpuff football, this is not flag football. This is a violent sport.”

Guys like Pollard and Harrison can complain all they want, but the rules aren’t going to change. If anything, the league will continue to do more to protect its players. Those who can’t learn to adjust will continue to cost their teams.

Photo credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE