Whenever there’s been a debilitating Patriots injury the last few years, it seems Bernard Pollard is always nearby.
As a Chief, his hit on Tom Brady yielded a torn ACL. With the Texans, he was in the area when Wes Welker suffered an ACL tear. And after joining the Ravens, his bringing down Rob Gronkowski resulted in a high ankle sprain.
But in advance of Sunday’s Ravens-Patriots game, Pollard said he takes no pride in being labeled a Patriot missile.
“Anything that I’ve done, I don’t celebrate with that,” Pollard told Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. “I don’t laugh when people come up to me and call me ‘The Brady Killer.’ I don’t laugh at that. I’m looking at a man that I respect. I respect Tom Brady with everything that I have. I know his story, I respect him, first of all, because he’s a man. I respect him because he’s a player.
“Honestly, I don’t get excited because of that. When it’s all said and done, that man had to do the treatment, he had to do everything else to come back. Nothing is done maliciously.”
That doesn’t mean he’s worried about being the bad guy.
“Uh, they can think I’m a villain all they want to,” Pollard said. “I think the fans have to understand that we as players, we don’t come out and look to hurt anybody. That’s not our intention by any means.
“But I think fans have to understand that this is a very violent game. And at any snap of the ball, anybody can get hurt.”
Of course, there’s no guarantee Pollard’s even going to play Sunday, as the Ravens aren’t as confident as they were earlier in the week that he’ll be back from bruised ribs.
But if he’s there, the Patriots will be watching.