Pollard Recalls Season-Ending Hit On Brady

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard talked about the hit he put on Brady that tore the QB’s ACL.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Categories: Garrett Downing

One distinction that Ravens safety Bernard Pollard hasn’t been able to escape – and likely never will – is being known as the player who tore up Tom Brady’s knee.


In 2008, Pollard was on the Kansas City Chiefs when he lunged at Brady’s feet in the first game of the season. It wasn’t a dirty play, but Pollard collapsed Brady’s knee, tearing his ACL and ending the star quarterback’s season before the first game was over. 

Since then, the unfortunate connection between the two men has stuck, and Pollard isn’t surprised by it.

“You got to look at it, that’s the pretty boy, that’s the man of the NFL, that’s ‘Mr. Do It All,’ so everybody just wants to hold that against me, but I don’t care,” Pollard said.

The Patriots won that game 17-10, but to an extent, the play changed the NFL game. 

Pollard’s hit on Brady wasn’t penalized, but the league instituted a rule the following season making it a penalty for a defender to lunge or make contact with a quarterback’s knee.

It’s best known as the “Brady Rule.”

“We’re conscious of what they’re trying to do,” Pollard said about how the game has changed since the play. “We’re conscious of the rules that they’re putting in, but at the end of the day, we’re going to play football.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got a second to think about how you’re going to tackle somebody. A lot of people don’t understand that. You have a second.”

As the Ravens prepare to head to New England Sunday for the AFC championship, Pollard was asked several questions about the incident and he hasn’t shied away from talking about the play.

Injuries happen in football, he emphasized, and that was just one example of it.

“You can’t control what happens out on that field,” Pollard said. “At any time, at any second, something bad could happen. And you guys saw a couple years ago, that’s what happened.”

The injury cost Brady nearly the entire 2008 season, but it didn’t keep him from returning to form.  Brady was the league’s MVP last season and threw for 5,235 passing yards this year, the most of his career.

Pollard and Brady have faced off just once since the 2008 season opener, in the 2009 regular-season finale when Pollard was with the Houston Texans. Pollard picked Brady off once in that game, which the Texans won 34-27.

As he prepares to face Brady and the Patriots again this week, Pollard said the memory of that play won’t change the way he approaches the game. 

“We’re dogs with no leashes, that’s how it is,” Pollard said. “We’re not trying to be malicious. We’re not malicious. We’re not trying to be dirty players, but this is the game. We tackle guys for a living. We know and understand that at any time you can go down, and that’s what happened.”

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