Two years ago, a low hit on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ended the future Hall of Famer’s season in Week One. Though legal at the time, the hit from Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard resulted in a narrowing of the quarterback strike zone.
Five days ago, Pollard (now of the Texans) hit Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez out of bounds, tearing his PCL and ending his season.
We’ve confirmed with the league office that Pollard has escaped a fine. He has expressed confidence regarding the legality of the play in question. “As long as I get my hands on him before he goes out of bounds, I’m
good,” Pollard said, per Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle. “And I did.”
Still, the incident has caused some to take a closer look at Pollard. Regarded by certain league insiders as an emotional player who can’t control his temper, one league source estimates that Pollard, a second-round pick of the Chiefs, was off roughly half of all draft boards when entering the league.
Despite his reputation, Pollard became a starter in his second NFL season, and he has remained a starter. Known for periodic big hits but his fair share of whiffs, the thinking is that the Texans keep him on the field because he’s the best option they currently have.
That could change come 2011, if the Texans take steps to beef up a defense that has not held up its end of the bargain as the team tries to get to the playoffs for the first time in its nine-year history.
If/when Pollard leaves Houston, one place he shouldn’t bother to look for work is his home state of Indiana. Given that the Colts went out of their way to point out that Gonzalez has been lost for the year due to an out-of-bounds tackle, the thinking is that team president Bill Polian will want no part of Pollard.
Also, now that Gonzalez has been lost for the year, don’t be surprised if Polian and the Colts try to press the league office into changing its mind regarding the decision not to fine Pollard.