SB46 Intel: Pollard's tune has changed since 2008


SB46 Intel: Pollard's tune has changed since 2008

Bernard Pollard's turned into a hardass since going to Baltimore.

The guy who wants to see the Patriots get a "thrashing" from the Giants, the guy who called Tom Brady a "pretty boy" last week, the guy who got exposed as a coverage liability then complained that the Patriots were "dinking and dunking" -- as if there's some kind of bonus for throwing the ball into tighter coverage against better players -- wasn't always such a richard.

Here's what Pollard said days after blowing out Tom Brady's ACL and MCL with a hit in the 2008 season opener when Pollard was with the Chiefs:

"As soon as he went down, I started saying, 'I'm sorry, my bad, I'm sorry. That right there, that's not going to bring him back, it's not going to heal that injury any quicker than what it is -- that's just the type of person I am.

"It was not a dirty play, I'm not a dirty player. It's football. I can't do anything but pray for him and hope he comes back. As soon as he went down -- if I was a dirty player, I wouldn't have apologized, I'd have got up and went my way. I immediately started apologizing. I went to my coach later and let my coach know (it was not an intentional play). For the people who said it was a dirty play, that's their opinion."

Yet last week, when the current Raven was asked about Brady, he said, "Ive not spoke to him directly, indirectly weve spoken through other people. If you are asking me if I apologized? No. And Im not going to apologize for it. Its football."

A little more than a year after the hit on Brady, it was Pollard's bad luck to be on the scene when Wes Welker's ACL blew out in Houston with Pollard closing in for a tackle.

"I heard Wes yell out, the same way I heard Tom yell out,'' Pollard told Sports Illustrated's Peter King. "It was the same yell. It was terrible. He went down right in front of me. I saw his knee buckle, then I fell on him, and when he went down, I said, 'Just my luck.' ''

Nothing Pollard did on either play was particularly villainous. Nor was the tackle he made on Rob Gronkowski on Sunday that twisted Gronk's ankle in a grotesque fashion. It was all just football.

But it seems Pollard wants to change his image from a solid, hard-hitting competitor with respect for opponents to a black-hat wearing, stuff-talking renegade.

That's fine. Although Terrell Suggs does it much more effectively, entertainingly, and with more talent to back it up, maybe Pollard can work that angle.

It would just help if he was a little more consistent so everyone knew which Bernard Pollard was which.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Reaction to weekend protests


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Reaction to weekend protests

0:41 - Tom Giles, Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss the National Anthem protests across the NFL over the weekend and the reactions to players kneeling.

10:07 - Michael Hurley joins the BST crew to talk about the Patriots' thrilling last-minute victory over the Texans and how concerning the Patriots' issues on defense are.

18:13 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving and LeBron James' comments about one another during Media Day, including LeBron referring to Kyrie as "The Kid" instead of his name.

22:30 - Evan Drellich joins BST to talk about Mookie Betts and Eduardo Nunez both leaving with injuries during the Red Sox's Monday night loss to the Blue Jays, and other concerns surrounding the team heading into the postseason.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Prescott, Cowboys pull away to beat Cardinals, 28-17


MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Prescott, Cowboys pull away to beat Cardinals, 28-17

GLENDALE, Ariz. , Dak Prescott kneeled with his teammates and team owner before the game, flipped head over heels for a touchdown in the first half and capped his night with a 37-yard TD pass that proved to be the game winner.

The Dallas Cowboys erased last week's ugly memory on Monday night, with their young quarterback leading the way.

"He just kept battling," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said.

"He kept making good decisions. Obviously he made some good plays, big-time throws, but as much as anything else he's got an amazing spirit and our players follow him."

The Cowboys (2-1), bouncing back from a 42-17 pummeling in Denver, began the game kneeling at midfield with owner Jerry Jones in a show of unity that followed widespread protests across the NFL of critical comments by President Donald Trump over the weekend.

After they kneeled, they stood and walked to the sideline and stood for the anthem.

"We planned and it was executed that we would go out and kneel," Jones said, "and basically make the statement regarding the need for unity and the need for equality."

Prescott, 13 of 18 for 183 yards, broke a 14-14 tie with a 37-yard scoring pass to Brice Butler with 11:52 to play.

"I immediately scrambled and when I scrambled Brice took the right angle and the right initiative going to the back of the end zone," Prescott said.

Arizona, with a spectacular catch by Larry Fitzgerald for 24 yards on a third-and-18 play, moved downfield but the drive stalled. Phil Dawson's 37-yard field goal cut the lead to 21-17 with 6:35 left.

Ezekiel Elliott, who gained 8 yards on nine carries against Denver and drew criticism for not hustling after a couple of late interceptions, was bottled up much of the game, but still gained 80 yards on 22 attempts, 30 on one play. He ran 8 yards for the final Cowboys touchdown.

The Cardinals (1-2), in their home opener, got a big game from Fitzgerald, who caught 13 passes for 149 yards, in the process moving ahead of Marvin Harrison into eighth in career receiving yards. The 13 receptions tied a career high.

"That's Fitz. It's Monday night," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. "He's a money player. It was a great performance by him. It's a shame we couldn't play better around him."

Carson Palmer had a big first half, completed 15 of 18 for 145 yards and finished 29 of 48 for 325 yards and two scores. He was sacked six times, a career-high three by DeMarcus Lawrence.

The Cardinals dominated the first half statistically, but were deadlocked with the Cowboys at 7-7. Arizona had a 152-57 advantage in yards and dominated time of possession 19:34 to 9:41.

Arizona took the opening kickoff and went 82 yards in eight plays. Palmer was 5-for-5 on the drive, capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown.

Before Dallas even had a first down, Arizona mounted a nearly nine-minute drive but a touchdown pass to Brown was negated by a holding penalty and Phil Dawson's 36-yard field goal try was wide right. It was the third mid-range miss for the 41-year-old kicker this season.

And the miss left the door open for the Cowboys to get back in it.

Prescott scored on a 10-yard run, flipping head-first over the goal line to tie it at 7-7 with 3:33 left in the half.