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Bernard Pollard calls entering into Patriots history once again ‘just a coincidence’

01.21.13 at 12:06 am ET

Bernard Pollard managed to add to his already-lengthy history with the Patriots in his Ravens’€™ 28-13 AFC championship win over the Patriots on Sunday night in Foxboro.

Pollard was first introduced into Patriots lore when his tackle of Tom Brady in the 2008 season-opener ended the quarterback’€™s season due to a torn knee ligament.

Then, in ‘€™10, the safety was credited with the tackle when Wes Welker tore up his knee in the final game of that season.

Last year it was a tackle of Rob Gronkowski in the AFC title game, hampering the tight end heading into the Super Bowl with a high ankle sprain.

This time, Pollard left his mark via a fourth-quarter hit of Pats running back Stevan Ridley with 12:55 in the game and hosts trailing by eight. The head-to-head tackle forced a game-changing fumble, while driving Ridley from the game with a head injury.

‘€œIt’€™s just a coincidence, I guess,’€ said Pollard when asked how he keeps finding himself involved in these Patriots’€™ injuries.

Talking about the specific hit to Ridley, which ultimately resulted in another Baltimore touchdown four plays later, Pollard said, ‘€œHe got loose and for me as a safety, and for us as safeties, our job is to take down a guy. If you get to our level we have to hit you and I got a chance to kind of unload. In the moment we’€™re competitive, but right now we have to hope he’€™s OK.’€

The Ridley fumble would be reviewed, but referee Bill Leavy upheld the decision, handing the Ravens the ball at New England’€™s 39 yard-line.

‘€œWhat I saw was the receiver was going to the ground, had both legs off the ground, no body part was on the ground,’€ said Leavy in a pool report. ‘€œThe ball hit his knee and dislodged from his hand before the rest of his body hit the ground, therefore it was a fumble and we confirmed it.’€

‘€œThis is what it’€™s about, playing football, going out there hitting hard,’€ Pollard added. ‘€œWe know what we signed up for. Anybody can drop on any play. It’€™s just about going and executing. When it’€™s all said and done, we want those guys to be OK and I hope [Ridley] is good.’€

While Pollard was fairly diplomatic when it came to discussing the latest of his controversial plays against the Patriots, he was a bit more pointed when asked about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’€™s slide at the end of the second quarter.

Brady finished off a three-yard run by sliding down the Baltimore 7 yard-line in front of Baltimore safety Ed Reed. At the conclusion of the play, the QB lifted his leg, allowing for Brady’€™s foot to hit Reed in the upper-leg.

‘€œYou have to keep them legs down,’€ Pollard said. ‘€œWe all know and understand what’€™s going on. As a quarterback when you go to slide we’€™re taught we can’€™t do anything. We kind of run it off. But when you come sliding, with your leg up in the air trying to kick somebody, that’€™s bullcrap. We talked to the ref. They saw it. You can’€™t deny it.’€



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