|NFL free agency update: Bernard Pollard headed to Titans||03.21.13 at 11:51 am ET|
Safety Bernard Pollard said Thursday that he moving from the Super Bowl champion Ravens to the rebuilding Titans.
“Oh wow, I can’t say enough about Baltimore,” Pollard told ESPN. “They were great to me and my family. I will cherish that experience and the relationships I built with the people there for the rest of my life.”
The hard-hitting Pollard, 28, started 15 regular-season games and all four playoff games for the Ravens last season, his second in Baltimore. He made a key play in the AFC championship game against the Patriots when he knocked out running back Stevan Ridley and caused a fumble.
The news of Pollard’s departure comes one day after a report that longtime Ravens safety Ed Reed will join the Texans.
|NFL free agency update: Ravens release Bernard Pollard||03.13.13 at 10:53 am ET|
Hard-hitting strong safety Bernard Pollard, who has tormented the Patriots over his career, surprisingly was released by the Ravens on Wednesday.
Tweeted Pollard: Well Raven Nation it’s been fun. My time in Baltimore is done… Thank you!
Pollard, 28, carried a $3.25 million cap hit in 2013. His release could be a sign that the Ravens will try to retain fellow safety Ed Reed.
Pollard had 98 tackles, two sacks and one interception in 13 games last season, despite playing much of the year with cracked ribs. In seven NFL seasons, Pollard has 450 tackles (316 solo), nine sacks and nine interceptions.
Pollard has played for the Chiefs (2006-08), Texans (2009-10) and Ravens (2011-12). In the opening game of the 2008 season, he dove into the knee of Tom Brady and knocked the Patriots quarterback out for the season with a torn ACL. In the final regular-season game of 2009, he was preparing to tackle Wes Welker when the receiver tore his ACL trying to make a cut. In the 2011 AFC championship game, his tackle on Rob Gronkowski left the tight end with a sprained ankle that severely limited Gronkowski’s mobility in the Super Bowl. And in the AFC title game this past season, he knocked out running back Stevan Ridley on a hard helmet-to-helmet hit that caused Ridley to fumble the ball away. Ridley left the game with a concussion and did not return.
• Cornerback Chris Houston has agreed to return to the Lions, according to multiple reports. Houston apparently has a five-year deal.
• The Lions also lost a free agent, as former Boston College offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus is moving on to the Colts. Cherilus, a first-round pick (17th overall) in 2008, started 68 of 75 games over the last five seasons in Detroit. Cherilus, 28, played his high school ball in Somerville.
|Bernard Pollard fined for hit on Wes Welker||01.25.13 at 4:32 pm ET|
According to the NFL, Ravens safety Bernard Pollard has been fined $15,250 for his third-quarter hit on Patriots’ wide receiver Wes Welker during Baltimore’s win over the Pats in the AFC Championship Game.
Earlier in the day, Pollard had told reporters he wasn’t fined for any of the hits he delivered in last Sunday’s AFC title game against the Patriots.
The controversial defensive back, who has been responsible for tackles that have injured quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski in the past, delivered a nasty shot to the head of New England running back Stevan Ridley in the fourth quarter, one that sidelined Ridley for the rest of the game.
After the game, Pollard explained the hit on Ridley, saying it was just part of the game.
“He got loose and for me as a safety, and for us as safeties, our job is to take down a guy,” he said. “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.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Ed Reed ‘all good’ with Tom Brady after he apologizes for slide||01.22.13 at 5:45 pm ET|
Ravens safety Ed Reed told a Baltimore radio station Tuesday that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has reached out to him to apologize for his slide late in the first half of Sunday’s AFC championship. Reed was spotted limping immediately after the play but walked it off and did not miss a snap. The NFL confirmed on Tuesday that the play was under ‘routine review’ for possible disciplinary action.
“We talked,” Reed told WJZ-FM. “We talked actually not too long ago, we talked on the phone. He actually reached out to me, texted me. I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him … and he’s just apologized and what not. But I told him, ‘You know, it’s good, man.’”
Brady scrambled inside the Ravens 10 and had his right leg raised off the ground and kicked Reed on the inside of his upper right leg.
“For the most part, I didn’t say anything to him when he said something to me at the game,” Reed said. “… He was going, ‘You want to play like that, let’s go.’ But no, Brady’s a great competitor and I love going against him and I know where his heart is at for this game. It was all good.”
The incident sent Bernard Pollard into a rage heading into the locker room, where he reportedly used the moment to fire up his teammates and inspire them to a hard-hitting second half. Pollard delivered huge blows to Wes Welker and Stevan Ridley.
The hit to Welker was followed three plays later by Welker’s key drop on third down. In the fourth quarter, Pollard drilled Ridley, causing a fumble that set up Baltimore fourth and clinching touchdown. Ridley did not return after the hit and left with a head injury.
As for Reed, the perennial Pro Bowl safety said he still has total respect for Brady.
“I know he’s a great player,” said Reed. “I respect Brady and his game for all it stands for, and I know he’s not a dirty player. And emotions get going in the game.”
The irony to the story is that Reed is a free agent after the Super Bowl appearance with the Ravens and could wind up in New England next season if the Ravens don’t sign him. Brady and Bill Belichick have long raved about the veteran safety’s leadership and ball-hawking skills.
|Report: NFL reviewing Tom Brady’s sliding kick||at 9:57 am ET|
According to a tweet from ESPN, the NFL is reviewing the play late in the first half of Sunday’s AFC championship game in which Tom Brady slid to avoid a tackle but lifted his foot and made contact with Ravens safety Ed Reed.
No penalty was called on the play, but Ravens defensive back Bernard Pollard has been outspoken in saying that Brady should be disciplined.
“You have to keep them legs down,” Pollard said after the game. “We 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.”
Added Pollard on Monday (via The Baltimore Sun): “When you slide, obviously quarterbacks know when they slide, everything is on the ground. 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. If they don’t, that’s fine. If they do, that’s fine.”
|Bernard Pollard: Brady should be fined for cleats-up slide||01.21.13 at 8:43 pm ET|
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard told reporters Monday that he believes Tom Brady should be fined for his cleats-up slide in the first half of Sunday’s AFC title game.
In the final minute of the second quarter, the New England quarterback was scrambling for extra yardage when he slid, and it appeared his upraised leg hit Baltimore defensive back Ed Reed.
“If you want to keep this going in the right direction, everyone should be penalized for their actions,” Pollard said, and added that Brady “knew what he was doing. It has to go both ways. Hopefully the NFL will do something about it. If they don’t, that’s fine. If they do, then that’s fine.”
Pollard has gained a large measure of infamy in New England for his hits on Brady (when he caved in the quarterback’s knee in the regular-season opener in 2008, leaving him sidelined for the rest of the year) and Rob Gronkowski (in last year’s AFC title game, a shot that left the tight end hobbled for the Super Bowl).
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Snap Judgments: Patriots thumped by Ravens in AFC title game||01.20.13 at 9:48 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots season came to a close Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, as New England suffered a 28-13 defeat to the Ravens in the AFC title game. New England took a 13-7 lead into the half, but a dominant second half by the Ravens on both sides of the ball sealed the Patriots’ fate, as New England turned the ball over twice in the second half (once on a Stevan Ridley fumble and another on a Tom Brady interception) and failed to score in the second half.
Brady finished 29-for-54 for 320 yards, with one touchdown and two picks. Ridley had 18 carries for 70 yards, while Wes Welker — who had a big second-half drop — ended up with eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Baltimore was led by Joe Flacco, who was 21-for-36 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. Bernard Pierce had nine carries for 52 yards, while Torrey Smith had four catches for 69 yards. Anquan Boldin had 60 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Baltimore will advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since the end of the 2000 season, when the Ravens beat the Giants.
The Patriots were unable to finish off drives — the New England offense was in the red zone four times on the night, and only came away with one touchdown. And after Aqib Talib went down in the first half, the Patriots were unable to do much to slow down the Baltimore passing game, as the Ravens had scoring drives of 90, 87, 63 and 47 yards. Baltimore made four trips to the red zone, and finished off all four trips with touchdowns.
Here are a few quick notes:
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