Chargers Undrafted Interview: Robert Pollard

Sometimes a team is not defined by their record. Sometimes it is the wind that carries word that change is in the air. The future looks bright and players want to be part of the renaissance. Robert Pollard, a defensive end out of Texas Christian University, is one of those players. The San Diego Chargers are that team.

Signed as an undrafted free agent, Robert Pollard is excited about the prospects of joining a squad on the rise. With most of the players on the roster having under three years of experience, the only place to go is up.

Pollard sees it as an opportunity to grow with a team that is turning a corner. Plus, he won't be out of place in the locker room where he will be among players his age. Three year players are veterans, but they will be able to relate to the rookies, having just gone through the growing pains that first year players are susceptible to.

And then there is Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer.

"I heard a lot of great things about San Diego," Pollard said. "Not only the football team but also the city. It is beautiful weather. Schottenheimer up there, I am really impressed with the way he has taken over the team and what they are doing now."

Pollard had a career at TCU overshadowed by Bo Schobel, the stalwart defensive end who manned the other side. But without Pollard, Schobel would have faced more double teams and been neutralized.

Then there was a hamstring injury that limited Pollard's effectiveness. While Pollard certainly didn't have the Herculean numbers that Schobel did, he did contribute 63 tackles to lead the line and added 14 tackles for a loss and three sacks.

The Chargers remained interested in Pollard throughout the offseason, unlike Nortwestern State. When he visited that campus before deciding on TCU, the team played video games the whole time he was there and never let him into the reindeer games.

Pollard can only laugh at that memory.

The Bolts plan on seeing what they have with Pollard and actually using him in their live rendition of Madden 2004.

Pollard is ready to contribute in any way possible. He understands he is the underdog and it takes a while to get to the top. In the Chargers case, that usually means two or three years, but as a rookie in camp, Pollard is willing to concede his leadership role – that is until he is more comfortable.

"I am used to starting at the bottom," Pollard said. "You can't go in expecting to be the top man. Every time you start something new, you have to start from the bottom up. That is just the mindset I have as a rookie and try and build status on the team."

To build status he must make the team. There is no other option as far as Pollard is concerned.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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