It's not enough that Baltimore's Bernard Pollard has absolutely hammered the Patriots on the field for most of his career. Now he's even going after them in the offseason, too. In his sights: none other than His Royal Highness Tom Brady.
Late in the first half of Sunday night's AFC championship, Brady scrambled to his left and found Baltimore's Ed Reed angling straight at him. Brady wisely slid, but added a little spikes-up Rockette kick to the end of the play. Reed, who was absolutely flying at Brady, flipped tail-over-teakettle to avoid the spikes and a possible torn-up knee, or worse.
So, question is: was Brady instinctively protecting himself, or was he looking to spike Reed? How you view that probably depends on how you view the Patriots. And there's not much doubt about how Pollard views that team from New England, as CSN Baltimore notes. Pollard has long complained that the NFL has a double standard for penalizing defensive versus offensive players.
“When you slide…everything is on the ground. He knew what he was doing,” Pollard said. “It has to go both ways. Hopefully the NFL will do something about it.”
Pollard knows whereof he speaks. He was fined more than $100,000 for hits this season. It's also worth pointing out that Ndamukong Suh was penalized $30,000 for a similar kick on the Texans' Matt Schaub on Thanksgiving Day.
Pollard ranks among the Patriots' all-time villains, having been involved in the injuries of Brady, Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski in recent seasons. On Sunday night, he added to his rep, delivering the devastating hit on Stevan Ridley that effectively destroyed the last of New England's momentum. So you can imagine that New England fans have little patience for Pollard continuing to keep up the attack.
The NFL's fine schedule stipulates that a first offense of kicking results in a fine of $7,875. And if you believe that Brady will be fined, we have some "New England Patriots: Super Bowl Champions!" merchandise to sell you.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-