The Tennessee Titans made a questionable acquisition yesterday when they signed former Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard to a one year contract for an undisclosed amount. During Pollard’s eight year career he has gained infamy for being a ferocious hitter that punished any ball carrier or receiver that crossed his path. In the 2013 AFC Championship against the New England Patriots, it was Pollard who delivered the chilling blow that led to a turnover that ultimately sealed the win. Although Pollard will be remembered for his devastating hit on Patriots’ running back Stevan Ridley, his inability to be proficient in coverage nearly cost the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
Last season the Titans were near the bottom in every defensive statistical category, surrendering the most points in franchise history. Prior to the Pollard acquisition, Titans general manager Ruston Webster was doing a remarkable job in upgrading and adding much needed depth to a malignant defense. The Titans now have a logjam at the safety position with 2x Pro-Bowler Michael Griffin and George Wilson, who was acquired in February after being released by the Buffalo Bills.
When a player is cut by four franchises despite being each of the teams’ leading tackler, there is truly a cause for concern. If the Ravens were unwilling to guarantee $2 million to a key contributor on a defense in need of talent, this should have been a huge red flag to Webster. The problem is that for every devastating tackle that Pollard makes he surrenders chunks of yards to opposing quarterbacks and tight ends in the passing game.
At this point in Pollard’s career it’s too late to change who he is, a violent tackler whose coverage skills are as soft as Cottonelle tissue. For the sake of Titans fans everywhere, it is truly unfortunate that opposing quarterbacks in the AFC South Division are already licking their chops dreaming of future aerial assaults against a vulnerable Titans defensive secondary that has yet to address one of its biggest needs.