1. According to top beat writer Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard played through six cracked ribs this season. He did miss three games of the season with the ailment after aggravating the early season injury, but Pollard was playing through the playoffs and most of the season with six cracked ribs. Pollard is tough as nails, and that’s something even Patriots fans will have to consent. He also had a solid season overall for the Ravens in 2012, which was something of a bounce-back year for the veteran safety. Pollard finished the year with 98 tackles and continues to put in some very good work in run defense.
Here is what he told the Baltimore Sun, “It’s tough dealing with pain. For us as football players, we know we’re going to go through it. At the same time, that’s the name of the game. Six of them, yep. Hey, it’s up to us to go out there and play and we did.”
2. Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams was lucky to have not been thrown out of the Super Bowl after shoving a referee, and I consider what the referee did to be a selfless act even as others accuse him of being “stupid”. Some people just don’t get the point these days and don’t know virtue when they see it.
Anyway, while Williams isn’t exactly my favorite player in the league, he did play a good game against the San Francisco 49ers in the Ravens 34-31 victory. He also got into a fight with 49ers fullback Bruce Miller that he, for all intents and purposes, won.
This is what he said to the Baltimore Sun, “To me, I feel like the 49ers are pretenders. They’re fake tough guys. You got to play football. We do it physical and we do it between the whistles. They were diving on piles, shoving people from behind. They can try to pretend they’re physical, but we really are.”
At least he didn’t call the 49ers “arrogant f***s” like Terrell Suggs called the Patriots.
3. Although I prefer Matt Elam, here is an excellent scouting report from NE Patriots Draft (they have the best scouting reports out there) on LSU Tigers star safety Eric Reid. They view Reid as one of the top 40 overall prospects and a top three player at the safety position, and the site also lauds his coverage skills by saying he could succeed at free safety as well. Maybe I’m too low on this guy.
4. SB Nation has the Patriots taking intriguing wide receiver Quinton Patton out of Louisiana Tech, but I would personally prefer Tavon Austin. His ability in the slot has me salivating, and he would be a perfect fit for the Patriots if the team is unable to re-sign Wes Welker.
5. Tony Pauline is one of my favorite draft gurus out there, and he had the New England Patriots taking Florida Gators safety Matt Elam in his 2013 NFL Mock Draft. Pauline lauds Elam’s ability in coverage and his range, which are two traits that (as Pauline notes) will help the Pats troubles in deep coverage. I would love to get Elam paired up with Devin McCourty in the secondary, and the Pats would have a great group of young safeties with Elam in the fold to join McCourty and Tavon Wilson (I have faith in the guy, please rewatch some of the early games this year).
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