Bernard Pollard’s 2012 Baltimore Ravens teammates will be at the White House on Wednesday for their meet-and-greet with President Barack Obama.
But by his own choice, Pollard won’t be attending. Instead, he will be toiling away in OTAs with his new Tennessee Titans teammates. It’s a decision that he arrived at and is comfortable with.
“First and foremost, I have practice with my teammates here. It’s no knock to any one of my (ex-) teammates. I think they understand it. I still talk to the guys and we all have great relationships. When it’s all said and done, this is my new team,” Pollard said.
Pollard is one of a handful of ex-Ravens, who have new NFL addresses and won’t be in Washington. Others include Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger and Cary Williams.
Pollard even managed to joke that he didn’t want to be associated with an Obama administration that over the past few weeks has been riddled and rocked with such scandals as the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the Benghazi cover-up.
“Dealing with the White House and everything that’s going on anyways, I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be a part of Watergate II,” Pollard said with a grin.
But politics and joking aside, the veteran safety said he is fully focused on what he can bring to the Titans and isn’t dwelling on the past, no matter how successful 2012 might have been.
“It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to make a decision, and my decision is made. It really is. My decision is made,” Pollard said. ”I embrace what we’ve done last year with winning the Super Bowl. It’s truly a blessing, but at the same time, we’re moving forward with OTAs, training camp and the practices. The season is not gonna stop for anybody.”
He said he never even approached Titans coach Mike Munchak about taking the day off to attend the ceremony.
“The coaches have nothing to do with it,” Pollard said. “My team, me being here with my teammates, practicing, lifting weights and doing whatever we can to get better as a football team and to produce and do whatever we can to be the man across from us on the football field when the bullets are live, that’s why I made the decision I made.”
So, what does he see coming at the end of the Titans’ work being put in this off-season?
“I think we have a really good chance. I think we need to flow under the radar. A lot of teams might not respect us. A lot of teams don’t respect us,” he said. “All we can do is better our craft and do whatever we can do to be a better player on the football field.
“We have to establish an identity for ourselves. I’m talking about on the defensive side of the ball. The offense is doing what they do, but for us on the defensive side of the ball, we have to establish an identity, because we’ve got to go out there and we’ve got to produce on the football field.”