When word came out that the Texans would be practicing in pads starting tomorrow (shoulder pads Sunday, full pads Monday), I knew there was really only one person I needed to talk to after practice on Saturday afternoon: Bernard Pollard.
The hard-hitting safety has been barking up a storm on the field over the first two days of training camp, including plenty of trash talk aimed at the Texans' wide receivers, running backs, tight ends and even offensive linemen. You can tell it's been eating him alive to not be in pads to this point.
Here's my brief-but-entertaining conversation with him this afternoon:
How ready are you to wear pads and have contact in practice?
"Well, they come on tomorrow, so there's no way that anybody can stop that now. We're two practices down a day, and now we're going to stop all those long deep routes, everybody running fast. That's going to be null and void now. We get a chance to put them on and we get a chance to hit, and we're going to let it be known."
*Has it been tough for you not to be able to hit at all in these first few practices?
"That's very hard. It's very hard. This is not my game. I don't run around. I don't like tapping people. We're going to lay some hats on; we're going to lay the hat down. And I think that's how we're going to establish our dominance. I really do. This is camp. This is where we start. Day 1, when Day 1 comes, you're going to know we're here."
*Sounds like your offensive teammates might need to watch out a little bit tomorrow.
"It's going to be fun, I'll tell you that. The level of play's going to go up tomorrow. You'll see."