Bernard Pollard

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Bernard Pollard
Bernard Pollard 2014.jpg
Pollard in August 2014.
No. 31     Tennessee Titans
Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-12-23) December 23, 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school: Fort Wayne (IN) South Side
College: Purdue
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 54
Debuted in 2006 for the Kansas City Chiefs
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Tackles 710
Sacks 10.5
Interceptions 12
Forced fumbles 13
Touchdowns 1
Stats at NFL.com

Bernard Karmell Pollard (born December 23, 1984) is an American football safety for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens. He played college football at Purdue University.

Early years[edit]

Pollard attended South Side High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was a letterman in football, basketball and track & field. In football, as a senior, he was selected as The News-Sentinel Area Player of the Year, and was a first team All-State honoree. In track, he competed in the long jump (PR of 6.60m) and as a member of the 4x100m (42.83s) relay squad.[1]

College career[edit]

Pollard played three years at Purdue University. As a Freshman, he was named a First Team Freshman All-American by Collegefootballnews.com, a second team by The Sporting News and was selected to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by The Sporting News in 2003. He compiled 66 tackles (42 solo), one pass break-up and one fumble recovery.

In 2004, he was named as a second team All-Big Ten by coaches and honorable mention by the media. He led the team with 96 tackles (58 solo), 2 forced fumbles, 1 sack, five pass break-ups and one interception He also blocked four kicks (two punts, one extra point and one field goal).

Pollard's final year at Purdue was marred by altercations with coaches, the height of which occurred in the beginning of the season when he asked head coach Joe Tiller to "Give me my papers", indicating the preference to transfer. Tiller did not grant the transfer request, but the incident proved a precursor to a tumultuous final year. Despite this Pollard still compiled 92 tackles (64 solo), 3 interceptions, 3 pass break-ups, 1 fumble recovery and 1 blocked punt. His 5 blocked punts are a Purdue record.

Pollard was dubbed "The Bonecrusher" while at Purdue for his hard hits and tackles.[2]

Pollard practicing with the Chiefs in 2007

Professional career[edit]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Pollard was selected in the second round, 54th overall of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Pollard played the majority of his rookie season on special teams and ended the year with 10 tackles, 1 pass break-up, 1 forced fumble and 3 blocked punts, one against Arizona, one against San Diego, and one against Jacksonville (recovered in the end zone for a touchdown). Pollard was a starter in the 2007 NFL season. Those three blocked punts rank second in Chiefs history, trailing only Chiefs Hall of Fame CB Albert Lewis (1983–1993) who recorded 10.[3]

Pollard's blocked punt against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he blocked a Chris Hanson punt and recovered for a touchdown, he helped propel the Kansas City Chiefs to a 35-30 win and an eventual playoff berth. He earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.[3]

He also blocked a punt against the Denver Broncos, in week ten of the 2007 season, that went out of the end zone for a safety. The Chiefs eventually lost, 27 to 11. In the 2007 season, he intercepted his first NFL pass off Carson Palmer against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 14. Pollard also intercepted Jon Kitna in the game against Detroit Lions on December 23.[3]

On September 7, 2008, Pollard was involved in a play that ended with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady being taken off the field with a knee injury and not returning for the rest of the game. It was later revealed that Pollard's hit on Brady had ended the quarterback's season.[4] Pollard later apologized for the hit, saying, "It was really an accident, I can't change what happened. I can't do anything but pray for him and hope he has a speedy recovery." The Brady hit, along with other cases where quarterbacks had suffered serious injuries on similar helmet-to-knee hits, resulted in a rules change in the NFL beginning with the 2009 season: a defensive player on the ground may no longer lunge or dive at the quarterback's lower legs.[5]

Pollard was Kansas City’s leading tackler with a career-high 98 tackles in 2008 (84 solo) with one for loss, an interception, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.[3]

On September 5, 2009 the Chiefs released Pollard.[6]

Cary Williams (29), Ed Reed (20) and Pollard (31) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in August, 2012

Houston Texans[edit]

Pollard signed with the Houston Texans on September 24, 2009. In his first year with Houston, Pollard had a career year, racking up 102 tackles (81 solo), 1.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, as well as two defensive touchdowns. He had 111 tackles and four forced fumbles the next year.

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

On August 3, 2011, Pollard signed a two-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. While playing on the Ravens defense in 2011, Pollard recorded 75 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles, and an interception. On May 8, 2012, the Ravens signed Pollard to a three-year contract extension.[7] On October 26, Pollard was fined $7,875 for an unnecessary roughness penalty in Week 7 against the Houston Texans.[8]

Pollard proved to be more effective and successful for the following season, recording 98 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 13 starts.[9] Despite missing the last three weeks due to a chest injury sustained against the Washington Redskins,[10] Pollard ended the regular season as the team's leading tackler. He would return for the postseason, forcing a key fumble against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game and then winning his first Super Bowl ring with the team. He revealed after the season that he had been playing with a rib injury for nearly the entire season, as he sustained the injury during the Week 2 meeting against the Philadelphia Eagles.[11]

In an interview with CBSSports.com's Clark Judge, Pollard claimed that unless significant changes are made, the NFL will cease to exist in 30 years. He said that while the league was making great strides toward making the game safer, players were becoming so big and so strong that concussions and other serious injuries would still continue to escalate. Eventually, Pollard said, "there's going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it" and stop watching.[12] On March 13, 2013, Pollard was released by the Ravens.[13]

Tennessee Titans[edit]

On March 21, 2013, Pollard signed a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans.[14] On August 17, 2013, Pollard was fined $10,000 for a late hit on Aldrick Robinson during Preseason Week 2 against the Washington Redskins. On September 18, 2013, Pollard was fined $42,000 for a hit on Andre Johnson that led to Johnson getting a concussion. In 16 games of the 2013 year, Pollard made 99 combined tackles with 0.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 5 passes defended.

On March 3, 2014, Pollard and the Titans had agreed on a new two year contract, keeping him in Tennessee through the 2015 NFL season.[15] During Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns, Pollard suffered an achilles injury following a Browns' go-ahead touchdown. The next day, an MRI revealed that his achilles was considered ruptured, prematurely ending his 2014 season. In 5 games, Pollard made 27 tackles with a sack and a pass defended. He was officially placed on injured reserve on October 8.[16]

The Pollard Connection[edit]

Beginning in 2008, while Pollard was with the Kansas City Chiefs, a series of events began to take place that would alter the course of four Patriots' seasons.

In 2008, Pollard got knocked down to the ground while trying to sack Tom Brady. On the ground, Pollard lunged at Brady’s legs, connecting his red Chiefs helmet to Brady’s left knee and tearing the quarterback’s anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments. Brady’s season was prematurely over.[17]

In 2009, while Pollard was with the Houston Texans, Brady threw a pass to Wes Welker to the short left side of the field, which he then took up the field. Pollard closed in on Welker fast, forcing the diminutive receiver to cut to his right, possibly faster than he anticipated. His left plant foot slipped and he tore his ACL and MCL, missing the playoffs that year.[17]

In the 2011-2012 AFC Championship, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski caught a pass of about 20 yards with Pollard in coverage. Pollard wrapped Gronkowski up to take him to the ground. As Gronkowski hit the turf, Pollard’s right thigh forcefully landed on Gronkowski’s left ankle. Gronkowski suffered a high ankle sprain. Gronkowski played in the Super Bowl two weeks later, but the injury helped limit him to just two catches for 26 yards.[17]

In the 2012-2013 AFC Championship, Pollard made a helmet-to-helmet collision with Stevan Ridley that forced a fumble and the Ravens recovered it. Ridley eventually left the game due to a concussion and the eventual Super Bowl champ Ravens won the game 28-13.

Personal[edit]

Pollard is married to his wife Meghan with a son Jaylen and daughter Alonna.[3] He established "Pollard’s Helping Hands Foundation", which focuses on feeding hungry urban children. He also served as a spokesperson for the annual "Hooked on Books" campaign, sponsored by the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.trackingfootball.com/players/bernard-pollard-1086/
  2. ^ Pollard Bio
  3. ^ a b c d e Kansas City Chiefs bio
  4. ^ Tomase, John (2008-09-08). "Injury to Tom Brady deals Super quest fatal blow". The Boston Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  5. ^ D, MJ (2009-03-26). "The NFL Continues the Re-Writing of the rule book". Yahoo. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 
  6. ^ "Chiefs announce roster moves". Kansas City Chiefs. 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2009-09-05. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Ravens give S Pollard three-year extension". CBS Sports. 
  8. ^ "Fines roundup: Alphonso Smith docked for horse-collar tackle". National Football League. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  9. ^ "2012 Baltimore Ravens season". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  10. ^ "Terrell Suggs Active, Bernard Pollard Out vs. Broncos". BaltimoreRavens.com. 2012-12-16. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  11. ^ "Bernard Pollard played with six cracked ribs". Pro Football Talk. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  12. ^ Judge, Clark. Ravens' Pollard: NFL really does stand for Not For Long. CBSSports.com, 2013-01-28.
  13. ^ https://twitter.com/Crushboy31/status/311844036031946753
  14. ^ Titans, Pollard (2013-03-21). "Bernard Pollard, Titans agree on 1-year contract". SBNATION. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  15. ^ Wesseling, Chris. "Bernard Pollard agrees to terms with Tennessee Titans". NFL.com. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Alper, Josh (October 8, 2014). "Titans place Bernard Pollard on IR, sign Brandon Ghee". NBCSports.com. Retrieved 2014-10-20. 
  17. ^ a b c http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/19/bernard-pollard-vs-pats-seek-and-destroy/?page=all

External links[edit]