Top 5 Safeties – No. 3, Bernard Pollard

Any offensive player, especially a New England Patriot, will tell you that calling Bernard Pollard a safety is a misnomer. If a ball carrier finds himself carrying leather when Pollard’s nearby, he’s anything but safe. Pollard’s coverage zone is the danger zone. Besides, Pollard doesn’t just patrol; he lurks near the line of scrimmage like a linebacker defending the run or laying out inattentive quarterbacks in blitz packages.

At Purdue, they dubbed Pollard the Bone Crusher. His introduction to most NFL audiences was as the young, intrepid, poppin’-and-lockin’ Chiefs special team player on HBO’s Hard Knocks. It takes a certain type of mentality to sprint 80 yards downfield at full speed to collide with another man and thrive, but that’s exactly what Pollard did as a rookie. Since then, he’s carried that mindset over to the defensive end.

Alongside the ball-hawking Ed Reed, he was the enforcer in Baltimore’s Super Bowl secondary. In New England, he became known as the Patriot Killer.

In Week 1 of the 2008 season, the then-Chief laid a season-ending hit on Tom Brady that set off a chain reaction resulting in Matt Cassel becoming a Chief, Cutler a Bear and Tebow a Bronco. But I digress. The point is that his impact has been felt league-wide. Over the following years, he inadvertently tacked Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski onto his list of victims.

His final memorable play as a Raven was the legal, yet thunderous guillotine hit on running back Stevan Ridley that essentially locked up the AFC Championship for Baltimore. As a side note, it’s worth acknowledging that Pollard was also the last player to tackle Aaron Hernandez.

Pollard’s exit from Baltimore didn’t receive as much attention as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed’s, but offensive skill players will definitely be keeping their heads on a swivel against Tennessee next season. Pollard’s now the leader of a Titan unit that needed someone to bring some fire to their defense. Pollard brings Super Bowl experience to the Titans, but more importantly he presents an intimidation factor that they’ve lacked in recent years.

Back in June, Pollard sent a message to the team in the form of a note that read, "Goal – Super BowlMission – Kill!!!"

The Titan’s 2012 forgettable defense allowed the most points in the league. When opponents hear Pollard’s footsteps nearby, they’ll know they’ll remember these Titans.