Many months ago, before the 2013 season had begun, the Tennessee Titans went out and signed free agent strong safety Bernard Pollard to a one-year contract. The signing at the time was a toss-up for some Titans fans (not me) due to Pollard’s age and the uncertainty of whether or not his performance would remain at a high level.
Pollard proved those skeptics wrong and not only did he prove them wrong, he shined in his first season with the Titans. Here are some of his stats from the 2013 season (via ESPN):
- Started all 16 games
- Had 99 combined tackles (third most in career), 77 total tackles, and 22 assists
- He had 3 interceptions (his second most in a single season over his career)
- He also was a dominant force on special teams blocking a few kicks throughout the season
- Stood out as a vocal leader not only for the defense, but for the entire team
While his stats are something that should be enough to prove his worth to the team, the leadership aspect cannot be overlooked or under emphasized. Having a vocal leader like Pollard can do wonders for a team, and I believe the mentality he brought to the Titans defense this season showed. When you have a guy like Pollard who backs up the intensity he brings with his play, it doesn’t go unnoticed and can really motivate a defense and team that may desperately need it. A true leader on a team can never be undervalued in worth.
Another obvious reason bringing Pollard back is a win for the Titans is because of his play. Watching him was unlike watching any Titans player we have seen for a while. He was vicious. He brought an intensity that was unmatched. He made others around him better and had the mentality that if you have on another uniform other than the one on my back, you’re the enemy. Period. That mentality was greatly needed on this Titans defense.
Moving into a new coaching regime you can’t have enough leaders to help push the team forward. Pollard is a pro who has been in the league for many years. Having his knowledge, expertise and mentality moving into this season under Coach Whisenhunt is in the Titans best interest.
Resigning Pollard needs to be a top priority for the Tennessee Titans. Now that the coaching staff is in place, making sure you bring back one of the team’s top leaders is a must.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Think Pollard should be back or should he be gone? Tell me what you think in the comments, via Facebook, or on Twitter @Titan_Sized or with my personal account @NPitak.
All stats for Bernard Pollard credit ESPN.com