Pollard not backing off comments about future of football

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff



(on the feeling of preparing for the Super Bowl) “I feel pretty good, you know, a chance to wake up in New Orleans and be able to experience something like (Media Day), this is a good problem to have. You know, we’re all blessed. We’re all so thankful to be able to participate in this week, so for me and my teammates, we’re kind of enjoying everything right now. We’re excited to get back to practice tomorrow, so it feels good.”


(on if it is important for him to deal with distractions this week) “I just think for us all. We’ve got to be pros, we’ve got to be pros. All this stuff, you can have fun after the game. Until then, enjoy the situation and soak it in a little bit, but I think for the most part, we’re here to win the game. We’re playing against a team that’s going to give us their best shot on the biggest stage. I think for all of us, we’ve got to be tuned in. Preparation this week has to be outstanding, and we’ve got to be ready to play on Sunday.”


(on his comments during Monday’s media session regarding the future of football) “I stand by what I said. For me, I play this game so I understand the game. For me, growing up, you know, to see where the game has gone from then to now, this is a very special game, you know. We’re talking about so many different things, you know. They’re talking about taking kickoffs (out) and just playing offense and defense. Well, when that happens, you have guys losing their jobs: punters, long snappers, kickers, so how is that fair to them? We can’t change something that’s been built, because this is a business. Well, then you want to say tone down on the hits, but guys are getting bigger, stronger, faster year-in and year-out, and it’s not the equipment. It’s really not the equipment at all, because it doesn’t matter if you put a bigger helmet on me, it’s still going to be the same contact, so you keep playing football, you’re going to have the injuries. Nobody is exempt from that; you’re going to have the injuries. Things are going to happen: you’re going to have your concussions, you’re going to have your broken bones, everything else, but I think for the most part, we as football players know what we signed up for, and everybody’s saying, ‘Well, we’ve got to come up with these rules to ensure the league.’ You’ve got to understand what’s going on when people come back and sue the league, you know, it was some kind of breakdown in the medical system. That’s why these guys are coming back and doing what they do, and for the most part, you know, the insurance and everything else, the insurance is not picking up everybody. I don’t know, I’m just speaking, but a lot of times, these guys are just coming in when things weren’t handled properly.”


(on whether he will let his son play football) “My whole stance right now, this is my outlay, I would let him play the game. For us as fathers and mothers, we want our kids to have better than what we had, so that comes down to us setting up things later on in life and kind of prepping them as they grow. If he’s going to want to play, then I would let him play. I don’t want him to, but I would let him play, so he’s starting to see that he can kick the ball and everything else. It’s just hard; my son’s 4 years old. He’s seeing now, he wants to throw the ball around, he wants to be tackled, he wants to do all those things, so I see that. I see it in him. That’s one of the things that’s kind of hard to watch, and we talk about it all the time, but you know, it sucks because um, I don’t ever want to see my son (get hurt), and I know concussions happen, but just to see him go through it, the daily grind and the aches and the pains of the body and young injuries, I don’t want to see my son go through that.”


(on trying to reduce injuries) “I think, you know, it’s a car accident every play. From the linemen, you know, dealing with the offensive linemen and defensive linemen, that process is physical, you know, taking on the lead block and having to tackle down the field, those helmets and pads are popping. You can’t take away the intensity, and that’s part (of it). You’ve got grown men, this is a grown man’s game, and it’s one of those things where you’re going to feel it after the game. I think the emotions and everything else are high during the game, but after the game, you know, the next day, that’s (when you feel it).”


(on what the defense needs to do to have success against San Francisco and a mobile quarterback) “That goes to our defense playing sound. We have to, you know, approach this game, everybody has to play their area and their A-game, especially dealing with a quarterback like this who can kill you with his arm and with his legs. We have to be sound, we have to play great ball, and we cannot have mental mistakes. We can’t, you know, because I think watching film on this offense, whether it’s with Frank Gore, whether it’s with (LaMichael) James, whether it’s with (Colin) Kaepernick, these guys can kill you, and their offensive line is blocking their tail off. So, we just have to be sound, and if they run, we’ve got to tackle them.






Super Bowl XLVII – Tuesday, January 29, 2013






(on the intensity of Baltimore’s defense) “I enjoy this game. Me and my teammates enjoy it, so we’re the Baltimore Ravens and we’re going to give you our best shot. We know, we understand we’re going to get everybody’s best shot, but I think for us, we play with a certain edge, and that’s something that everybody knows about Baltimore: the defense is going to play with an edge and that’s something that we continue to do.”


(on what football has meant to him besides financial gain) “Well, I think it’s one of those things where it teaches you discipline, it teaches you responsibility, because you’re not, it’s no longer about you. It’s about high school, college, however many guys are on the team, and it’s about all of them. You have to think about them before you want to make certain decisions, coaches that you come across in pee wee, metro, middle school, high school, college, you know it’s just about those relationships, and for me, it’s about me, you know, that I have to be more responsible. I have to be disciplined as a man, as a father and as a husband, you know, and I think so many people, the game of football, you get a small window to play this game. Life is so much bigger than this, and we as players and coaches and media, we make this game harder than what it is. It’s still a game. It really is. It’s still a game, you know. We are men, and life is so much greater than this.”


(on how Baltimore bounced back after its loss to Houston to make a run to the Super Bowl) “Well, I know (the loss) was hard for our team. As far as going through everything that we’ve gone through this year, with every individual man, we know when you step in the locker room, everybody has their own agenda, everybody has problems, and it comes to checking it at the door. We’ve gone through some things with players and everything else, but I think it’s coming together as a team and understanding that, you know, you’re going to lose some games, but you’ve got to come together as a team. If you want to go where we say we want to go, and that was New Orleans (for the Super Bowl), we have to pull together, you’ve got to put everything else behind you. You’ve got to get through it; we had injuries, we’ve got to get everybody back, and I think the loss to Houston, the three or four losses, you know, the streak we went on to (end the regular season). Like I’ve told so many people, some of our players, everyone, it wasn’t just getting to the Super Bowl, (it is) winning it.”


(on the way coach John Harbaugh handled comments from players) “I think that tells you a lot about Coach Harbaugh, you know, to stand there in front of 60-plus guys and listen to things and what we had to say. That wouldn’t have happened in a lot of other organizations, so for Coach Harbaugh to stand there and do that, it just said a lot about his character, and like I continue to say, it was a humbling experience for all of us. We all were humbled, and sometimes it takes you to be knocked down to be in the position that we’re in right now, and we got knocked down, but we came together and we’re sitting here today.”


(on how special it is for receiver Jacoby Jones to play in his hometown of New Orleans and if he had some of the food cooked by Jones’ mother) “That’s the first thing, you know, we’re blessed to have this experience, and to be in the hometown of one of our players, you know, ‘Momma Jones’ has been great, you know, she hooked us up, and that just tells you the love that she has for players, for her son. The food was amazing.”


(on trying to make this week as normal as any during the regular season) “It’s a good problem to have. You look at so many teams that would love to be where we’re at. It’s just going to be a blessing, and if we have to deal with this every year, I’m OK with that. This has been an experience for all of us. It really is, and we’re blessed to play in a Super Bowl game, but we have to, we can’t lose sight of (our goals from) just being here. We have to prepare, as far as practice. Our practice has to be great, and we have to get ready to win a game on Sunday. We can’t just be excited for being here.”


(on overcoming adversity) “It’s been crazy. It honestly has. It’s been crazy, battling injury, battling you know, individual problems, and I think we all had to eat some humble pie, and we ate it. It sucked, but we ate it, and that kind of put everything back into perspective for us all as a team, and we’re sitting here now.”