PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
Bernard Pollard hears the talk.
Baltimore’s defense will be tested by 11 Pro Bowlers, with a combined 38 appearances among them, in 2012.
But the Ravens’ safety isn’t shaking in his boots.
“You’ve got so many people saying what we can’t do, who we’re facing, how many quarterbacks can do this, what offenses do that,” he said Wednesday.
“It does not matter, because when the whistle blows and you’re between those white [lines], you can’t stop us.
Pollard signed a three-year contract extension on May 8, giving Baltimore’s secondary even more stability in the long-term. The unit could be one of the team’s strongest in 2012.
Ed Reed’s return is somewhat in question, but Head Coach John Harbaugh expects him to be back. Baltimore also signed cornerback Lardarius Webb, who is emerging as one of the AFC’s top cornerbacks, to a long-term extension. The Ravens return last year’s first-round pick Jimmy Smith and 16-game starter Cary Williams.
Behind them is free-agent addition Corey Graham, who notched three picks in three straight games when he saw more playing time last year with Chicago. There’s also Danny Gorrer, Chykie Brown and rookie fifth-round pick Asa Jackson competing for spots.
“This front office has done a great job as far as getting players in here to help this team win, and obviously, that’s what we’re about,” Pollard said.
Pollard has taken on a leadership role in the back end with Reed out during the first organized team activity. He was very vocal on the field, shouting back and forth with coaches – including new Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees – and relaying calls to the rest of the unit.
Pollard has been vocal since he first arrived in Baltimore last summer. But just because he got a contract extension doesn’t mean he’s looking to change his style.
“I’m not changing what I do or what I’ve done,” Pollard said when asked if he wants more of a leadership role. “I can’t change that about myself. I couldn’t care less what I’ve just got. I talked with Coach [John] Harbaugh, [and] I’ve got to be me. And I’m the type of player where I come up, I play.”