Tag Archives: Houston Texans

Pollard, Bernard “Bonecrusher”

Card: Upper Deck Rookie Debut 2006
Acquired: Texans Blitz 2009

Bernard Pollard was originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of  the 2006 draft. A straight inline safety and incredible hitter, Pollard was nicknamed “Bonecrusher” by his teammates at Purdue. The name would follow him to the pros where he’d be involved in ending the seasons of two different New England Patriots. With a brutal blow he’d end Tom Brady’s season in 2008 as a member of  the Chiefs, and in 2009 Bernard, playing for the Texans, would be pursuing Wes Welker, when a freak injury would strike Welker sidelining him for 9 months. Although not responsible for the injury, Pollard would still be viewed by many Patriots’ faithful as the culprit.  Pollard is a special teams beast- blocking 3 punts in one season with the Chiefs, and 1 for the Texans in 2010. He was also the leading tackler for the Chiefs in 2008.

Strangely in 2009 he’d be cut by the Chiefs without explanation, but the Texans – a team in desperate need for defensive help in the secondary claimed him off of waivers. He’d be reunited with his secondary coach David Gibbs and be immediately inserted at the starting strong safety position. Bernard would help turn the Texans around defensively where in 13 games he’d get 102 tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns. 2010 would see a reversal of fortune for the defense, and although Pollard would establish himself as a vocal team leader, the secondary would collapse and Gibbs and defensive coordinator Frank Bush would be fired. With the addition of new coordinator Wade Phillips and the conversion to the 3-4 defense upcoming Bonecrusher’s future in Houston became extremely cloudy.

Bernard is what is referred to as a ‘straight in-line’ or ‘box’ safety, much in the vein of Roy Williams of Dallas/Cincinnati. Pollard is an exceptional run defender, (something that I love,) but needs help in the secondary when playing the pass. With the demands of the game changing for secondary, and especially at safety, hip fluidity and the ability to turn and cut is now at a premium for the position with offensive passing games in high gear. I do like Bernard a lot and I hoped he would be able to stick around with the team, but the Texans did not tender him in for the 2011 season, and allowed him to test the free agent waters. He currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

Here is a highlight video of Pollard from 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYgl5NnpdAs

G/Gs   76/59    Tac  326      Sac 5      Fum 7      Int 7     Yds 144    Avg 20.5      Td 1

Barwin, Connor

Card: Upper Deck Star Rookies 2009
Acquired: TTM 2009, Houston Texans Blitz

Connor Barwin is a solid athlete, with a nose for the ball, who played tight end half of his career with the Bearcats of Cincinnati before being converted to defensive end. At 6’4″, 260 Barwin possesses all the tools needed to be a top flight defensive end or linebacker. The Patriots were have rumored to have targeted him at the end of round 1 in the 2009 draft, but the Texans ended up snagging him during the second round. Many draft pundits were pleased with the selection and he led all rookie defensive linemen in sacks during 2009 with 3.5 sacks as a situational pass rusher. Connor has the speed and power to be a very productive pass-rusher but still needs to learn the subtleness of the position and needs to improve his run enforcement.

Barwin’s sophomore season would be cut short early in game 1 of 2010 as he suffered a season ending injury. The blow to the Texans would be great as the team lacked depth behind him. I got a Twitter account just to wish him well. As of this date, rehabilitation appears on schedule and he is favored to be the pass rushing linebacker in the Texans new 3-4 defensive alignment in 2011.

G/Gs 17     Tac 18       Sac   3.5       Fum   1     Int  0     Yds  0    Avg -.-    Td 0   Lg  -.-

Wilson, Eugene

Card: Topps Finest 2003
Acquired: TTM 2009, Texans Blitz

Eugene Wilson was drafted out of the University of Illinois by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2003 draft. Valued for his flexibility at both safety and cornerback Wilson was a valuable member of the Patriots’ SuperBowl XXXVIII playing big when it counted in big games. In 2008 he was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but would be later cut by the team.

Wilson would quickly find a home with the Houston Texans who needed help at safety. He’d help lock down the position for most of the remainder of the season and assist in improving the team’s woeful rush defense. Eugene’s time with the Texans was an up and down tenure as injuries would impact his performance and he’d lose a great deal of 2009.  He’d return in 2010 but by this time had lost a step. The team would cut Wilson after the conclusion of the 2010 season as the team decided to move in a different direction.

G/Gs 96/86    Tac  313    Sac  0     Fum  3    Int   14     Yds  139    Avg        Lg  24  Td 1