This is the part where we usually set up the story and give you the news. This time, we're just going to let Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard address his qualms with the NFL and Ed Reed's $50,000 fine.
Pollard had this to say to The Baltimore Sun:
"They took away the suspension, but they took away $50,000 from him for something that was not intentional. He's not a headhunter, that's not what Ed is. As players we ask where's the money going? They're always taking money from players for bogus stuff.
"We are football players. We are taught to react. Don't call it defense if we can't defend something. If they're reacting and ducking, we can't help that. We have a split second to make the tackle. We already used our split second. We got to go. We are a missile. We can't redirect. If they're ducking their head and doing other things you can't blame us for that.
"You can't do anything. The contracts are set. It's set, signed and delivered. (The commissioner) knows and understands that he controls it. He has more power than is needed. I understand it might be a tough position for him to be in at times, but he signed up for it. He knew the potential problems he could face.
"Us as defensive players, we need to stand up because we're at a disadvantage from the get-go. First of all, they're going forward and they're going backwards. I don't want to make an excuse, but it's getting tough as defensive layers any time we play this game and think. That's when all kind of bad things are going to happen.
"We wouldn't be talking about the system if it worked. Obviously the system isn't working. You have to be careful what you agree to. I'm pretty sure things were looked at and tried to go over it as deep as they could. When it's all said and done, it's not working. We need to iron some things out.
"You can tell me an offensive player can stiff-arm a defensive player, grab his facemask and throw him to the ground and you all are perfectly OK with that. If we countered that to try to tackle him because he has our head jarred back, then it's an $8,000 fine for us. That's bull crap.
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"The refs do as they're told and ordered to do things. They have to abide by those rules. They're not making the rules. It's the guys who have coached and played in this league and have hit people helmet-to-helmet. All of a sudden, you want to stand firm and you know what the truth is. We've got a split second as defensive players to make a tackle. We are taught to react. We signed up for this, but they have to switch up the rules and define it.
"It's no clear-cut way. They want to say, 'We'll just take your money and fine you because we said we can.' They're hiding behind a piece of paper. I stand behind what I say. If they disagree that's fine. We can disagree. I'll still play this game the way I was taught to play it and I'm going to hit guys and do it the safe way, but when we're reacting and the offensive player is putting his head down, you can't fine us for that."
Did you catch all of that?
Pollard didn't say anything that several others haven't. Flags and fines for unintentional helmet-to-helmet hits will continue to be disputed. But when Pollard gets going, it's never a dull moment when you sit back and listen.