After the Ravens cut safety Bernard Pollard, we traced the move back to his involvement in the near “mutiny” that was reported by Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports during the 2012 season.
After signing a new contract with the Titans, Pollard chafed at the idea that his termination represented payback for stirring up trouble in the locker room.
Because he believes he didn’t stir up trouble in the locker room.
“Coach Harbaugh opened up the floor. He asked us our opinion on things that were going good and things that wasn’t going good and things that we needed to change,” Pollard told 610 SportsRadio in Houston, via Bo Smolka of CSNBaltimore.com. “We as humans, we tend to want to know or ask people things, but do we really want to know the truth? And so I spoke up, Ed [Reed] spoke up, and if it was something that Coach Harbaugh didn’t like, we didn’t know that until now.
“And obviously we would have to say as players that somebody took it personal, because for them not to come back and say, ‘OK that wasn’t a problem, there was no mutiny or anything else, I’m offended by that, because we walked away from that situation thinking, ‘OK, everybody’s on the same page, we’re all good.’ Like I said, I’m a little offended that the coach never stepped up and said anything.”
In fairness, Harbaugh did say something, a few days before Pollard spoke on the issue. And while Harbaugh didn’t specifically deny the notion that he was settling a score with Pollard, Harbaugh claimed that decision to cut Pollad was “a cap move, pure and simple.”
It’s surely not that simple, for either side. Pollard, for example, glossed over whatever it was that prompted Harbaugh to “open the floor.” How many coaches press pause on a busy season to “open the floor” unless there’s a compelling reason to do it?
As Silver initially reported it, the discourse began after Pollard and Reed loudly objected to practicing in pads following a blowout loss to the Texans. Harbaugh adroitly transformed the situation into an opportunity to allow players to speak their minds. And it worked out well, given that the team won, you know, the Super Bowl.
But something prompted the inmates to try to take over the asylum after getting blasted in Houston, and Harbaugh apparently has tried after the confetti settled to get that element out of the locker room. Along the way, he’s been wise not to publicly point fingers at Pollard or Reed.
Harbaugh also is wise enough to realize that any player who doesn’t understand the notion that coaches coach and players play should be playing for someone else.