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Bernard Pollard: One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

Safety has been a position of need pretty much since the Texans inception in 2002. Eric Brown, Glenn Earl, Jason Simmons, C.C. Brown, Nick Ferguson, Dominique Barber and John Busing are just some of the names who came and didn't work out at the spot. But something odd has happened this season. Houston seems to have finally found someone who has shored up the Strong Safety position well. Extremely well.

I remember watching NFL Network right near the end of preseason for the names of all the final roster cuts for every team. There were obviously several names that I immediately put on my "Texans Wish List." One of those names was former Kansas City Chief, Bernard Pollard.

By the end of Week 1 of the 2008 season, almost everyone knew who Bernard Pollard was. While it wasn’t necessarily for his play on the field. It was more for being known as the man who ended the season of Patriots QB Tom Brady. Not that his play on the field was lackluster.

I have several co-workers at my office who are Purdue alumni, and I remember one of them mentioning Bernard Pollard while he was still playing for the Boilermakers. He was referred to as "The Bonecrusher" for his really physical play and devastating hits in college. Something that earned him honors as a first day draft pick, going in the 2nd round and #54 overall to Kansas City.

After starting every game and leading The Chiefs with 98 tackles in 2008, I think it surprised almost everyone when his name was on the final cuts list at the end of camp this year. Especially Chiefs fans.

With us staring a year of Dominique Barber and John Busing at safety in the face, I hoped Houston would take a flyer on him. And that they did. So far, it seems to have been one of the smartest in-season pickups the Smithiak regime has ever had. Since being inserted as a starter, Houston is No. 1 in the league against the rush.

By this point, everyone is scratching their heads and wondering why Kansas City let him go. When asked about it, Pollard simply says that he was just as confused and surprised as everyone else:

"It was very difficult," he said. "You don't know what's going on. You don't know who said what about you. You don't know how they labeled you. When you don't know, that's the worst thing."

When credited for Houston’s defensive revival, Pollard is humble and gives his teammates credit by saying that he is just another piece to an already great defense.

Another Purdue alum, Jacques Reeves, says that he isn’t at all surprised about Pollard’s huge impact on the defense:

"I knew what kind of player he was and I figured he would come in here and make an impact," Reeves said. "I don't know what else went along with him being cut, but I do know he is a good player and he's playing good for us."

A month ago this guy was looking for a job. Someone to give him a shot. Most agree that he is making the most of the opportunity.

"I just want to play football," he said. "I want to be able to show management or teammates what I'm able to do. You know what they say; one man's trash is another man's treasure. I'm thankful for where I'm at."

And most Texans fans are thankful to have him here. 

However, as always, there are detractors. There are some who say he will give up the big play to try to make a big hit. In fact, I even remember him on 790 AM here in Houston saying:

"You just got to establish yourself....let them know that I'm going to hit the ever-loving **** out of them. Sorry to say that, but that's how I feel, that’s how I play."

Sorry, but what fan isn’t going to like hearing a player for their team say that? Along with Brian Cushing, Pollard has given the Texans defense a swagger and a mean streak that we have never seen out of this team before.

I say lock the guy up. He is only 24 (25 in about a month and a half) and in his prime. I know there are many who are worried he is just another Will Demps. And that could be true. But you don’t want to have the fix in your hands and let him walk next season. Pollard talks about how much he likes it here and the direction the team is headed. Unfortunately, there are going to be many other contract renewals and extensions to worry about this offseason. But let Rick Smith worry about that. It’s his job, not ours. Just like Pollard’s is to keep knocking the ever-loving  **** out of ‘em, and the contract will take care of itself.