Bernard Pollard likes to talk and loves to hit.
The Baltimore Ravens strong safety is one of the chattiest players in the locker room, eager to discuss anything from NFL policy to same-sex marriage.
On the field, Pollard is arguably the fiercest tackler on a rugged defense with a reputation for nastiness. His affection for collision is one big reason why the Ravens beat New England 28-13 Sunday to earn a berth in the Super Bowl against the 49ers.
Pollard’s legal helmet-to-helmet hit on Patriots running back Stevan Ridley forced a fourth-quarter fumble that proved to be pivotal play in Baltimore’s upset victory. New England trailed by eight points with just under 13 minutes left when Pollard leveled Ridley, forcing him from the game by technical knockout.
“This is a violent sport. We run fast, we hit hard,” Pollard said. “For me, I love to play this game. I love to tackle. That’s what I do. When you have two guys running full speed at each other, and you have helmets and shoulder pads on, somebody is going to go down.”