Pollard A Hit In Ravens Opener

The new Ravens safety logged two tackles and a big interception.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, August 12th, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Mike Duffy, Preseason 1 at Eagles

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard had been with the team for all of a week, but the hard-hitting defender showed well in his preseason debut.

Even though the Ravens fell 13-6 in Philadelphia, Pollard was a bright spot with two tackles and a key interception that shut down a potential Eagles scoring drive.

With quarterback Mike Kafka driving the Eagles to Baltimore’s 34-yard line, he attempted to laser a pass to Johnnie Lee Higgins in the right seam.  Pollard pounced on the ball and returned it 39 yards to midfield.

For a player who did not log a single interception last year, the preseason pick was a welcome gift.

“I was playing back, and you have to help out – do whatever you can to protect your corners and make a play,” said Pollard, who led the Houston Texans with 111 tackles in 2010.  “We did a great job on that drive, but as a whole, we need to tighten up on some things.”

Signed to compete with Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura for a starting spot next to Ed Reed, Pollard largely played alongside Nakamura with the second unit.

While he admits he is still getting comfortable with the playbook, the veteran said he was happy to be back on the field.

“It’s all about being a pro,” he said. “I’ve been in the league for six years, and it’s always good to get out here in the preseason and get things going again. I’m learning, and I’m excited to be a Raven for the upcoming season.”

Even though the Ravens’ defense allowed 320 total yards (232 through the air), Pollard acknowledged that his new team is still coming together – a task he believes will be facilitated by the veteran leadership in the locker room.

“As a defense, we flew around, but as far as having guys in the backfield, catching balls or missing tackles, whether it was the first team, whether it was the third team, it does not matter,” he said.  “I think as a team we see what we have to do. We understand we have a lot of veterans on this team.”

“That’s one of the reasons I made the decision to come here, because of the veteran leadership.  We have a lot of them, and that’s going to be one of the benefits for us.”

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