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Associated Press
Known for this ability to deliver a game-changing hit, safety Bernard Pollard is part of Tennessee’s plans to get aggressive on defense.

Pollard gives Titans swagger on defense

– New Titans safety Bernard Pollard promises that Tennessee’s revamped defense will be aggressive and ready to play what he calls “smack you in the mouth” football.

If one player fights, Pollard, a South Side and Purdue product, sees a team where all fight. If one coach goes through something, they all do. And whatever is said inside the Titans’ building remains among the “brotherhood.”

“What happens here, what you hear here, stays here,” Pollard said Tuesday.

That’s part of an all-for-one mindset that is the last piece of fixing a Tennessee defense that gave up a franchise-worst 471 points. The Titans have been busy all offseason with moves that included giving Gregg Williams his first job as a senior defensive assistant after serving a yearlong suspension for his role in the New Orleans’ bounty scandal.

Now they’re busy learning the new defense during the team’s offseason program, a defense Pollard said will be aggressive from the beginning.

“If a guy coming across the middle, if a guy come up to you, if a guy wants to pick a fight, we as a defense we’re going to fight and we’re going to ask questions later,” Pollard said. “We’re not going to worry about what happened at that point. I’m not worried. The guy has an opposite jersey on so we’re going to fight him.”

That’s the kind of swagger the Titans need after going 6-10 in 2012 giving up an average 29.4 points. That included 55 touchdowns – most in the NFL. But because they also ranked near the bottom in several other defensive categories, the Titans also need to back up the tough talk.

To get it done, Tennessee signed five veterans to add winning experience, and Pollard is coming off a Super Bowl win with the Baltimore Ravens. The Titans will be learning new defensive schemes during the offseason program. Pollard, who signed a one-year deal, said he was attracted by all the young talent on this roster.

“You see the direction that coach (Mike) Munchak wants to go,” Pollard said. “You see what he’s been trying to do the last few years, and I truly believe they’re right there on the edge. Now ... they added some veteran guys, they added some guys in the draft to help this team, to help this team be better.”

The Titans also signed safety George Wilson after he was cut by Buffalo along with defensive end Ropati Pitoitua from Kansas City and tackle Sammie Hill from Detroit along with linebacker Moise Fokou from Indianapolis.

The Titans have Pollard helping set the tone on the field with Williams filling the meeting rooms with energy and passion. This is Pollard’s first experience working with Williams, someone that reminds the safety of Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham. Pollard played for Cunningham in Kansas City at the start of his career.

Pollard can’t wait to start playing in this defense.

“It’s straight to the point,” Pollard said. “There’s no hiding. You can’t hide ... in this defense, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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