It took Bernard Pollard only five minutes into the preseason to get his first personal foul as a Tennessee Titan.
Early in the first quarter of Thursday night’s game, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins hit receiver Aldrick Robinson for 15 yards along the sideline. Pollard ran up to Robinson, lowered his head, and drilled him in the back just as he was stepping out of bounds. He was flagged for unnecessary roughness and the Titans were penalized 15 yards.
The hit was, indeed, unnecessary: Pollard didn’t need to hit Robinson at all, as Robinson’s momentum was already taking him out of bounds. And even if Pollard felt that he needed to make absolutely certain that Robinson was going out of bounds, Pollard could have done that by shoving Robinson with his hands, rather than lowering his head.
The bad news for Pollard is that even though the paychecks are a lot smaller in the preseason, the fines are the same. And Pollard, an outspoken opponent of many of the NFL’s efforts to make the game safer, will be fined.