Bernard Pollard: Time To Put Up Or Shut Up


The offseason is a time for predictions, debate and seemingly endless chatter.

Veteran safety Bernard Pollard is tired of it.

With less than a week before the regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football, Pollard is ready to put all that talking to rest.

"It's time to put up or shut up," Pollard said Monday. 

The focus now for Pollard and the Ravens is to go out and prove they can continue playing at the high level that has earned them playoff bids for the last four seasons.

"I think all that stuff we've been talking all offseason, from every player, we expect to be great," he said. "We expect to go far in the playoffs. We expect to be playing in the big show.

"I know you can't win games through the press. You can't win games through the paper. You got to go out there and do what's right between the white."

The path to get back to the postseason starts next week against the Bengals, another team that earned a playoff bid last season.

Now that the 53-man roster is set, the Ravens have quickly transitioned into regular-season mode and started instituting a gameplan for the opener.

"Today is the day," Pollard said about turning attention to Cincinnati. "Our coaches are doing a great job of introducing everything to everybody."

One of the consistent storylines of the offseason has been the evolution of the offense into what could be one of the league's best. Quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice are hitting the prime of their careers and the offense looks poised to possibly seize the reigns as the backbone of the organization.

Pollard sees the offense taking a step forward, but also takes pride in what defense means to the Ravens.

"As a defender on this team, we love the fact that defense is what we're about," Pollard said. "We love the fact that we can go out there and put fear in the other men that are across from us. We love that. At the same time, we love when the offense can score points."

More importantly than whether the Ravens are known as an offensive or defensive team, Pollard said the key is development across the board so that they can reach the level of greatness that he expects. 

"We just got to continue to pull it together as a defense, as an offense and as a special teams to make this thing happen," Pollard said.

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