Pollard, Ravens had concerns with hard turf at Tulane practice field

January 31, 2013 | WNST Staff


(on if he believes that the more physical team will win on Sunday) “I think so. I think with what we’re doing and with how we’re built, just with the characters that we have on both teams, that’s how it is. It’s going to be a war, and it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be fun for all of us. We’re at a moment right now where this experience is really a blessing for all of us. I know we can’t say it enough, we thank God for the position we’re in and I’m pretty sure they’re saying the same thing. But, on Sunday it’s going down.”


(on if he believes the team that delivers the first big hit will set the tone for the game) “You know what, it’s football. You’re going to have your ups and your downs all game long. It’s about who can outlast the other. It’s going to be so much fun. I just truly believe that the preparation this week, whoever prepares the best and whoever gets it done on Sunday, whoever is hitting on all cylinders, is going to win the game.”


(on if the game is going to be a ‘15-rounder’ as opposed to a quick knockout) “Yeah it’s going to be a long battle.  It’s the Super Bowl, and you don’t usually see many blowouts — not that often. It’s going to be fun.”


(on how the outdoor practice elements will affect the Ravens preparation and how it differs from the 49ers practicing indoors)  “No, it really doesn’t matter. We were running, we were cutting and we were getting our plays. It was beautiful; it actually cleared up. Tulane has been amazing. They’ve opened things up, and they’ve bent over backwards for us. We’re really appreciative. We had a great time. It’s the first time that I’ve ever seen a baseball diamond made of full turf. So that was a little awkward — for me at least. The preparation yesterday was outstanding; we’ve got to stack it again today.”


(on how he feels about the NFL possibly expanding the season to 18 games) “You’re dealing with some men who have never played football. Of course it’s a money making business. They’ve never played the game before. So obviously they can do some things and make some things happen if they want to, but it’s not their bodies that are taking a pounding and beating. Sixteen games are enough. I think all of us as players understand that we don’t want this thing to get any bigger. You go through things a lot in the 16 games, plus four preseason games, which is 20, and then you’ve got three or four playoff games. So you’re taking a pounding no matter what. Now you want to add onto that pounding—you talk about injuries now, it’s going to get worse.”


(on if the financial aspect of an 18-game schedule could persuade him to change his mind) “I really couldn’t care less about the money. We’re already going through it right now anyway. Like I said before, we as players know what we signed up for already, but at the same time, the whole expanded schedule would be very tough on our bodies. This is a physical game and a violent game already, and to expand it, to me and a lot of other players in this league, it doesn’t make any sense.”


(on if the Ravens can take anything from their 2011 game against the 49ers) “Last year’s game, that’s what it was – it was last year’s game on Thanksgiving. This team is more experienced. The coaches are seasoned, the players are seasoned, and to be honest with you, both teams were in the championship games last year and some things didn’t go our way and we lost. But you’re dealing with a team that’s trained, and they’re ready to go. They understand, and they’ve been in this position before. Right now we look at this situation, and we can’t look at the past and what we did against them last year. We have to understand that they’re ready to go. Like I said before, this is going to be a war and nobody has an advantage. I’m just being honest with you, nobody has an advantage. We’re going to go out there and we’re going to fight.”


(on O.J. Brigance) “O.J. has taught all of us not to take anything for granted. Just the little stuff that we complain about, whether it’s walking up the stairs, whether it’s having to come in early or whether it’s having to practice longer. You look at the little stuff that you complain about and O.J. has been fighting. He fights every day. I think for all of us, we’ve come to understand and appreciate the people that are in our lives. We’ve come to appreciate the things that are going on in our lives because in a split second it could be taken away from you. O.J. is the kind of guy who continues to show up at work every single day smiling, ready to go and always has a message. We’ve learned so much from him. I’ve been blessed to be around him and so are the other players. We’re so appreciative to be a part of this whole thing.”
(on how some of the setbacks and adversity have helped the Ravens grow as a team) “I think with anything that you go through, you always look at trials and tribulations to make you stronger. For us, we went through a lot of them. For players, period, you have to look at it as football is kind of like life that everybody else lives: you’re going to have your ups and downs and you’re going to have to put things behind you to make things work. You have to look at 53 men coming together — with 11 on offense, 11 on defense and 11 on special teams — to make one play happen and to continue to do that for 60 minutes.  The situations I think brought us closer together. Just the camaraderie with all of us has been a lot of fun. A lot of humbling experiences for the players and our coaches.  We were actually talking about this yesterday. One thing that I can do, I tip my hat to Coach (John) Harbaugh. He’s a great man and he’s a great coach. We’ve all been through it, we’ve seen it, we understand it and we’ve experienced it. Now it’s time to go make this thing happen on Sunday.”


(on if he was one of the members of the secondary who raised an issue about the turf during yesterday’s practice)  “I didn’t raise an issue. Coach Harbs (John Harbaugh) came to me about it and he asked me. It’s just kind of different as far as playing on that turf on the baseball diamond. Like we’ve said before, Tulane has been amazing, and they’ve bent over backwards for us. We can’t change what we’ve been doing. We had a great practice, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time, guys with knee problems, ankle problems and all the other stuff, after practice and after the fact you don’t want to have to deal with that for the rest of the week and then try to have to clear all of that out of your system to have to go play on Sunday.”


(on some of the things that guys were feeling after yesterday’s practice on the turf) “Well a lot of guys actually iced up last night, got in the cold tub and everything else. Just so you don’t get the swelling or the fluid in the knees from pounding on the hard turf. Like I said, we are so appreciative of what Tulane has done for us, but at the same time, we have to get on surfaces that can (help us) continue to be successful all week long and (help) our preparation to be able to go and play full speed on Sunday.”