You probably know Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard as the hard-hitting monster who haunts Bill Simmons’ febrile nightmares. Pollard has a reputation as being one of the most vicious players in the NFL while on the field, but both he and his teammates claim he’s an entirely different person when the pads come off.
Defensive tackle Jurell Casey explained the two sides of Pollard to USA Today Sports:
But off the field, I’m telling you, he’s completely different. He’s very religious. He doesn’t use many cuss words. He doesn’t use the n-word.
Every time we are doing prayer, he has something really good to say, and how he believes in the Lord. He’s a Christian. And it’s not just a front. There must be some kind of inner beast inside of him, and he releases it at game time, because he’s not the same guy.
As for Pollard himself, the eight-year pro says that he “ain’t no thug” and that he sees no problem in adopting a different persona when he steps on the field:
There’s nothing wrong with having two different personalities — one on the field, and one off it. And really, it’s not that hard. This is me understanding that God has blessed me with the ability to go out there and play. That doesn’t mean I can’t cut on my mean streak. That I can’t cut on that switch to play hard-nosed football, and to dominate.
But at the end of the day, when that whistle blows and that clock expires, I am back to being Bernard, not No. 31.
You can catch Pollard and the Titans this upcoming Sunday when they host the New York Jets.
[Source: USA Today Sports]