Pollard on the Ravens defense: 'You can't stop us'

Ravens strong safety

Bernard Pollard

was rewarded this month with a contract extension, a deal that can keep him in Baltimore through 2015. Pollard made 75 tackles and broke up a career-high 13 passes in 2011, his first season here, but he insists his attitude and his play won’t change now that he has a new deal.

“This is a blessing for me. You hear so many times when guys get extensions and they don’t play the same, they don’t do the same thing, they don’t have the same hunger,” Pollard said


. “I stay hungry. I play with chips on my shoulders. Playing with these guys is truly an honor.”

Pollard, 27, was referring to all his Ravens teammates but was later asked specifically about

. He made sure to point out that these were, in fact, voluntary. But he said players such as inside linebacker

Ray Lewis

and free safety

Ed Reed

have earned the right to skip these voluntary OTAs, and he has no doubt that those guys


During Wednesday’s media-friendly practice, Pollard assumed his spot with the first-team defense. Veteran safety

Sean Considine

, who will also be counted on to contribute on special teams, often took Reed's spot at free safety.

Lardarius Webb

and second-year player

Jimmy Smith

manned the two cornerback spots as

Cary Williams

, who is still working his way back from offseason hip surgery, watched from the sideline.

This offseason, Webb boasted that the Ravens had the


’s best secondary, but there has been a good bit of roster turnover after the talented nickel-package quintet. Safeties

Tom Zbikowski


Haruki Nakamura

and cornerbacks

Chris Carr


Domonique Foxworth

are gone, opening up opportunities for rookie safety

Christian Thompson

and cornerback

Asa Jackson

, along with second-year players such as

Chykie Brown


Pollard praised general manager

Ozzie Newsome

and the team’s front office for putting together what he feels is another championship-caliber team. And Pollard, who is a favorite of reporters for his willingness to tell you

, sounds eager to silence the team’s critics.

“Whatever happened last year was last year. We’re moving on to this year. The 2012 football season is going to be exciting,” he said. “You’ve got so many people saying what we can’t do, who we’re facing, how many quarterbacks can do this, what offenses do that. It does not matter because when the whistle blows and you’re between those white [lines], you can’t stop us. And we’re excited with what we have.”