Baltimore Ravens safety Benard Pollard knows how to record plenty of tackles and find the ball on the field, but he’s also known as a big hitter. With the NFL‘s focus being on intentional hits on opposing players, Pollard has issued a warning to A.J. Green before the opening game of their season on Monday.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is a huge part of the team’s offense and is no stranger to making huge receptions when his team needs him to do so. Should he cross the middle of the field on Monday night though, he could be in for a rude awakening.
“When we see receivers come across the middle, if we are in the right defense, we are going to smack you, and we are going to let you know that you came across the middle on the wrong team,” he told reporters, according to The Baltimore Sun.
It may be all in the good fun of trash-talking or could have a little something more serious behind it, but Pollard really needs to be careful.
The New Orleans Saints suffered severe penalties during the offseason due to what is being called the “Bountygate scandal.” Players allegedly took part in a “pay-for-hits” system which gave monetary rewards for big hits, take-outs, and even eliminating potential important player threats.
After a lengthy investigation by the league and the NFLPA, two current and two former Saints players were handed down suspensions.
Pollard backtracked a little on his comments to Green in which they didn’t seem to appear so serious. He knows that if he and the rest of the Ravens secondary loses sight of Green, then it could be a long evening come Monday.
“Having said that, if you miss him, he can hit a home run.”
Green, the young star receiver of the Bengals, had 65 receptions in 2011, but amassed 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns. One problem is that Green’s production was almost invisible during the two times that Cincinnati faced Baltimore. He missed the first meeting of the season due to an injured hand. Green’s help for the Bengals in their second meeting was a mere two receptions for 26 yards.
Pollard is new to Baltimore as he has only one season with the team under his belt, but he knows that the rivalry between the two AFC North squads is intense. Coming from Kansas City and Houston first, Pollard recorded 75 tackles, one interception, and three forced fumbles in his first season as a Raven.
Two immense talents will be going head-to-head on Monday, and Pollard knows it, too. He isn’t blind to the fact that Green holds very “special” abilities and that the high-powered offense of the Bengals would stretch the Ravens’ defense to their limits.
“We know that anytime a team steps in here, we are going to get their best shot. I don’t care who it is. They can have no wins, we are going to get their best shot,” he said, according to the Sun.
Pollard’s comments will likely have an extra NFL official or two keeping a close eye on him anytime the Bengals run a big play into the middle of the field. Then again, the league is starting the new season with replacement officials so a few big hits or extra jabs may slip under the radar.
Either way, the Monday night opener between the Bengals and Ravens is shaping up to be one not to miss.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.