Bernard Pollard: People making us wear leg pads never played


The NFL will start requiring players to wear leg pads this season. Titans safety Bernard Pollard thinks that shows the people who make the decisions in the NFL never actually played football.

It’s not going to stop no injuries,” Pollard told the Associated Press. “It’s not. You can put pads on all you want to. If you get hit in the knee the wrong way you’re going to tear an ACL. You’re going to sprain something. You’re going to get a contusion. You’re still going to get a contusion with a pad on.”

Pollard, who has previously said Commissioner Roger Goodell would like to change the NFL into a flag football league, believes that the requirement of leg pads stems from a disconnect between the players and the owners and executives who make the rules that the players have to play under.

“I don’t know what their thinking was behind it,” Pollard said. “But at the end of the day, we play the game. You got a lot of guys voting on something that never played this game before that they think is going to help. But it’s not going to help.”

Pollard may not like leg pads, but he will wear them this year. And given the direction the NFL is going on player safety issues, it’s safe to say that leg pads are here to say.

78 responses to “Bernard Pollard: People making us wear leg pads never played

  1. The guy has turned blowing out opposing players’ knees into a cottage industry, so it’s no surprise that added protection is bad for business.

  2. Such a stupid thing to complain about. He might have a point about those who aren’t playing voting on something that affects those actually playing the game but that’s it. These players wore leg and hip pads their entire football lives. I played Pop Warner and high school football and the only complaint about pads were they were poor quality. The quality and comfort of modern equipment is exceptional. These complaints about leg pads are ridiculous in my opinion.

  3. He is probably right. Wearing leg pads in football is probably similar to wearing a water-resistant watch in the pool. It sounds good, but it likely won’t help a ton.

  4. The NFL truly cares about player safety. It’s just a total coincidence that Nike makes the uniforms and Nike is trying to push their new pro combat uniforms which include leg pads as part of the design.

    Thinking they’re only forcing leg pads because of Nike is crazy. That’s as crazy as thinking all this concern over concussions came about just as they started getting sued and at the same time trying to get an 18 game schedule.

    Roger just cares about your safety, that’s all.

  5. AP is a pretty prominant player and he is in support of pads. Pollard wears a helmet and shoulder pads. Leg pads are no big deal. I worry more about changing rules, like the runner not being able to use their helmet.

  6. “It’s not going to stop no injuries”


    1) If you can’t speak proper English, what makes you qualified in orthopedic’s?

    2) Your bro’s in the NFLPA (who did play the game) signed off on this 2 years ago.

  7. Did your agent ever play? Yet your agent gives you all the advice whether to play, hold out, go to an autograph signing. Don’t see how NFL trying to make you guys wear pads (so you don’t come back in 15 years and sue) is such a bad thing.

  8. The same guys that never played the game are the ones paying when injuries happen. And while injuries will still happen, I seriously doubt the pads will do ‘nothing,’ or no one would wear them. This guy needs to stop whining.

  9. Pollard is old school, and we need more like him. Don’t like his mouth on the field but he’s surprisingly accurate and refreshing off the field. Love how he broke down the common sense of the word “killing” and how it applies to FB. Front offices need to pass a “are you smarter than a 5th grader” test, and based on their seemingly low level of intelligence Jeff Foxworthy would be an ideal candidate to be the interviewer for the exam.

  10. AP said it best. If a pad that weighs a couple of ounces is going to slow you down, you don’t belong in the league.

  11. I’m honestly surprised players care what they look like so much on the field. I’ve never watched a football game and thought, “Wow, those thigh pads or elbow brace is ugly”. If they cared that much, the Steelers wouldn’t keep rolling out those god-awful striped uni’s.

  12. Bernard Pollard sounds like a damn fool. Everyone who has played knows that you take the pads out because your speed increases without them. However in the interest of player safety Goodell is making a good decision. Pollard does have an excellent point that injuries will still happen. He also has to realize that players are commodities and the more they are on the field and not in the training room the owners are gonna do what it takes. If it means bubblewrapping them so be it.

  13. Matt Ryan is shocked…

    Remember folks, if you get hit in the knee the wrong way, you may end up with a concussion.

    The more you know…
    -Mr. Pollard

  14. Stop suing the NFL then.
    The NFL is merely trying to minimize its liability, I have no problem with that because players demand huge salaries/bonuses, then when they’re done they sue for injuries that they knew could happen.

  15. Leg pads are a constant in football up until the NFL. My Highschool coach won’t let anyone play or practice without knee or thigh pads. This is nothing new and players shouldn’t be making such a bug deal outta this

  16. Once again the NFL is way off base with this. If they want to prevent injuries the best way, and this is total common sense, is to require all players to wear mouthpieces. Tailbone, hip, thigh and knee pads prevent bruises, but wearing a mouthpiece is one of the best ways to prevent or help minimize concussions. I guarantee if mouthpieces were required equipment we’d see far fewer concussions. For the life of me I don’t see why they don’t make all players wear them, they are not that intrusive I always played with a mouthpiece, wearing one is no big deal.

  17. Next rule should be all offensive AND defensive linemen wearing knee braces (like the Big 10 mandates). If neither are at a disadvantage it’ll save numerous knee injuries each year. Rule change after that should be ALL players wear the bigger helmets to reduce concussions… if ALL wear them then it’s not a disadvantage.

    If a thigh pad keeps one more player on the field it’ll be a win, so be quiet and wear the equipment that your coaches, owners and governing body tell you to.

  18. Bernard Pollard can sure put a hit on somebody but when it comes to pass coverage he looks like somebody who doesn’t play the game very well.

  19. I think the problem facing the NFL is that they have to come up with more safety rules because too many of the same current players complaining about the what the league is doing about injuries will be suing the league in 15 or 20 years for not doing enough…

    And it wouldn’t surprise me if Pollard is one of them…

  20. Is Pollard really this dense? The “guys that never played this game” are only making these rules because the “guys that PLAYED this game” are starting to sue them back to the stone age.

    If there were no lawsuits by former players there would be no new safety rules. No new shots to the head rules, pad rules, nothing. Is evrybody clear on this now?

  21. “You got a lot of guys voting on something that never played this game before that they think is going to help.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t the rule drawn up by the competition committee before it was handed to the owners to vote on?
    Jeff Fisher played for the Bears
    Mark Murphy has a Super Bowl ring as a player (and also played in another)
    Ozzie Newsome made the all 80’s team as a player.
    It’s not like these rules/ideas are just being pulled from thin air by people that have never stepped on the field.
    As far as the owners them self go they might not have played in the league but they do own it so can make whatever rule changes they want, even then you have gus like Jerry Jones who was co captan of a National Championship team in college so he’s not completely clueless.

    Also “It’s not going to stop no injuries,” I can see it’s a form of English but it makes no sense in terms of the point he’s trying to make.

  22. I don”t think anybody’s talking about those huge, clunky pads that were worn 40 years ago. The new pads have got to be light and almost invisible. I don’t know what he’s all worked up about

  23. So BP thinks pads don’t stop injuries? Hmmm, I wonder if he will take the field without a helmet? Sounds like he already has.

  24. The whining needs to stop. The great and powerful Oz has spoken and the leg pads WILL be worn. Resistance if futile.

    Besides, the ink is already dry (and kickbacks paid) on the millions-of-dollars contract the league signed with the company that makes these things.

  25. As for whining about the loss of speed, if I promised a million dollars to any player who could match his 40 speed with and without the pads, I suspect we’d see no significant difference in the times.

  26. “But at the end of the day, we play the game.” So Mr. Pollard, when you have severe leg injuries or are drooling due to excessive concussions, don’t sue the NFL for not trying to help protect you or you just weren’t aware of the ramifications of playing for the NFL.

  27. When I played football in high school many years ago, our uniform had knee pads and thigh pads. Never understood why they stopped doing that in the NFL. When you slam your knee into someone’s helmet it’s less painful if there’s a layer of foam between. You run slower with a sore knee, no matter if your ligaments are fine.

  28. “It’s not going to stop no injuries,”
    Did these idiots actually get college degrees?

    When will Universities be held accountable for turning out complete idiots? High Schools too, for that matter.

  29. “It’s not going to stop no injuries,”
    Can’t speak english and complains a lot. Are you sure he doesn’t still play for the Ravens?

  30. Just wear the damned leg pads. Quit whining about it. People who watch you play make far less money, and we all have to do things we don’t like for our jobs. Get over it. Nothing worse than millionaries playing a game for a living complaining about trivial things.

  31. As a coach once remarked about Dexter Manley, “He has the IQ of a grapefruit.”

    So too, with Pollard.

  32. “I don’t know what their thinking was behind it,” Pollard said.

    Then you are as dumb as you are stupid. The whole issue is CYA. The league does what it does safety wise for one purpose: the mitigation of litigation. They don’t want you coming back later and suing because you can’t walk even though no one crippled you.

    And they don’t need to have played before to make you do something, they sign your paycheck, so do it.

  33. AD (His nickname is “All Day” folks) is a running back — pads, especially thigh pads are pretty useful. Pollard is a DB, thigh and knee pads are pretty much useLESS.

  34. I have played football and have coached football and I couldn’t imagine playing without thigh pads.

  35. Pollard, always looking for something to cry about.

    Pollard needs a tissue , because he is always crying and complaining about something. maybe he should learn how to cover a wr,or learn how to play zone defense, he would still be on the Ravens

  36. I don’t get this whole thing. I played, I cannot imagine how leg pads would ‘slow you down’ that much, if at all. It just has to be like a superstition or ‘feel’ kinda thing. I know when I was in HS, if my shoes were not tied totally tight, it would distract me, so I was re-tying them a lot between plays. Did them being tied the perfect tightness really make a difference? Of course not. But it was in my head. I assume that is what all this is about, unless this knucklehead is just trying to keep his name in the news, bring some heat to build his ‘brand’ or whatever.

  37. Pollard is an idiot. He assumes that the decision was made by people who never played football. I doubt that is true. Hip pads will definitely prevent the rash of hip injuries to wide receivers, etc. See Sidney Rice or Percy Harvin or Dez Bryant as examples of WRs who landed hard and got hurt without proper padding on their hips.

  38. Rule changes are proposed by the NFL Competition Committee. Two people on the committee not only played in the NFL, but they have Superbowl rings (Mark Murphy and Jeff Fisher) . And there are three coaches (Marvin Lewis, Jeff Fisher, and Mike Tomlin), who may not play the game, but are certainly close enough to understand the issues.

  39. The people making you wear leg pads may have never played in the NFL but they are the ones getting sued by whiny ass players every time one of them blows through their life savings 2 years after they leave the league. Thank them for this.

  40. Well Bernie, it’s true that most of the people making the rules never played and might not have as intricate of an understanding of wearing leg pads.

    However, the people who DID play are currently involved in law suites against the rule makers, so thank those former players for your leg pads.

  41. These football players complaining about pads Really you need to get a life!!!!! Pads is not going to hamper your play in anyway. Its for your safety CLOWNS.!!!

  42. Even with leg pads, no one is safe if Bernard Pollard is going for his knee. Week 13, another Patriot player will be out with something, thanks to him.

  43. As others have mentioned Mr. Pollard, if they don’t make you wear the pads you’re going to be suing them a few years after you retire. How about we let the well educated make the rules, shall we?

  44. There are safety regulations in every industry. OSHA tells millions what safety equipment they should wear. If the NFL didn’t get in front of this, it’s just another area our government would intrude.

  45. Pollard tested this theory years ago by voluntarily removing the padding from his helmet.

  46. Yeah and all these players complaining about these guys who never played football making football rules never ran a mulibillion dollar business….

  47. Players seem to be experts at identifying unnecessary safety measures. Which would mean that they might have ideas for effective safety measures.

    I can’t wait to hear those ideas.

  48. This safety overkill in the NFL is starting to make me nauseas. STOP DESTROYING THIS GREAT GAME!! What’s next? Coaches have to hug their players when they come to the sidelines? Players have to display good manners and say sorry after a big hit? Sheesh! My high school football coach must be rolling over in his grave.

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