Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard likes to hit. A lot. That's why it's no surprise Pollard took a shot at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the severity of the punishment handed out in the Saints' bounty scandal.
"From what I see we’re gonna be running around with helmets and flags on, and I guess in about seven years," Pollard told a Houston radio station last week, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "It’s getting out of hand. I don’t know what he’s trying to prove, I don’t know what the NFL office is trying to prove. Guys are getting hit all the time. We get hit. This is a freaking violent sport."
Pollard has no connection with the Saints and has never played for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. But he is one of the hardest hitters in the NFL, and he has voiced displeasure every time it seems like the league is making the game less violent.
The problem is, the extreme punishment wasn't solely based on bounties. That's what players like Pollard are missing. It was the result of the Saints ignoring the NFL warnings.
Still, Pollard couldn't believe the league suspended Saints coach Sean Payton for a year.
“This is a game, this is a violent game. You can’t take this away," he said. "You suspend a man for a whole year? You suspend a man for a whole year and now you’re looking for players to suspend? This is outrageous. You’ve gotta be kidding me. He said he was gonna take a dollar [during] the lockout, I guarantee you he didn’t take a dollar that year. I guarantee you he got every bit of that [inaudible] mill.”
Pollard was fined $10,000 by the league last October for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jaguars running back Deji Karim. He is also known for lunging at the left knee of Tom Brady in 2008, which ended the season for the Patriots quarterback and led to a rules change.
Asked if he condones bounties in football, Pollard said: "I don’t care if you do a bounty or not, because me -- the way I'm playing -- I'm going to hit you straight in the mouth. And if you have a concussion by me hitting you in the mouth ... you know what? I don't mean to. I'm not meaning to hurt you, but this is my game. It's my life or your life. It's my family or yours."