Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach, Herm Edwards, talked to the guys at 810 WHB about the departure of Bernard Pollard. While Herm didn't get into whether he agreed or disagreed with the move because, frankly, that doesn't matter at this point, he talked a little bit about what kind of player he is.
The words "in the box" came up a lot as Herm admitted Pollard wasn't a coverage guy.
It's an interesting take from a guy who knows Pollard well. You can listen to it here.
Below, I've pulled the section on Pollard from the 20+ minute interview and taken notes.
"He obviously was a very good special teams player. When we drafted Bernard, I think in the third round or something like that, we were in a safety mode. We needed some safeties. We got him and Page as young rookies and tried to bring them along.
"Bernard is a guy that can play very well in the box when he stays focused. At times he loses focus, I think. He's an emotional player. Sometimes, his emotions get the best of him and he loses his focus and that's what hurts him at times.
"He's never been the type of player you want in space. He's not a space guy but he plays better traditionally in the box. That's where he played at Purdue. Similar to a linebacker or traditional strong safety kinda guy.
"He played good on special teams. He's a very good special teams player. I think he'll get another opportunity somewhere. Sometimes, when you let a guy go, it makes him a better player down the road. And hopefully this will.
"It will make him focus more on his job and his responsibilities. Also, how you use the guy helps him too. Sometimes, you can put players in spots where they feel uncomfortable.
"That's a little bit about pro football is that every player has his strengths and you always try to play to their strengths and that helps players become successful. If not, all of a sudden he becomes vulnerable."
Should a team try moving him to linebacker?
"I don't know that. He's big, but he's not that big. He's kind of a tweener. I tihnk he can play safety if you play him in a traditional role.
"He needs to be in the box. Like 85% of the time he needs to be in the box. He needs to be a box player. That's probably where he'll probably flourish.
"Again, the thing I think that hurts Bernard at times is his focus. He's so emotionally involved in the football game he loses focus at times. And that hurts you. That's how people game plan you, there's no doubt about it. If they think they can upset you and get you emotionally thinking about things, they can attack you.
Is it harder to use a traditional strong safety in today's NFL?
"You make a good point in that teams spread you out but I think you're still going to play certain coverages where you're going to need guys in the box, whether it be in run support or pass coverage.
"In pass coverage, talking about playing the box, we're talking about playing in the flat or the hook area, nothing in the deep part of the football field. When you play zones, you need guys underneath when you play those zones. Theyr'e going to play in some form or fashion, the hook areas and the wide areas outside the numbers.
"When they play in the box, obviously they have a gap and have to control that gap. That's their gap of run responsibilities. You can still use those guys. They still work.
"Linebackers, as you know, play in the box and generally when you add that eighth element in run support that's usually the safety coming out of the secondary to get you an eight man front.
"Kinda like when we had Lynch in Tampa that's what he did. He played in the box a lot. He played halves at times in the middle of the field but for the most part he played in the box. He was a good cover guy, he could cover tight ends, which Bernard can do because he has enough speed to do that."
On Jon McGraw:
"He has a lot of potential. The thing that's always hurt Jon over his career if you go back is that he hasn't always been healthy. Very smart guy, athletic, can run and jump, has all those traits, plays the ball well. He's fearless nad not afraid to tackle.
"He's been nicked up, that's been kinda his whole career.
"When we first got him in New York he was our nickel guy. I don't know if you guys remember but when we first played the Chiefs in New York he covered Tony on third owns. We brought him down and he covered Tony on third down."