Chargers find 3-4 experience in unlikely place

Not many have played in the 3-4 defense before coming to the San Diego Chargers. Yet, deep within the confines of the roster, one man has experience playing it – in college. He is undrafted free agent Robert Pollard, the son of former NFL fullback Bob Pollard.

Robert Pollard comes from the school that many know because of LaDainian Tomlinson. He is a TCU alum and relative veteran of the 3-4 defense and one that dominated college football in 2002. they have been under pressure to perform, hailing from a small school but making waves in the top 25 polls.

They also played a 4-2-5 so Pollard has seen multiple looks and Coach Gary Patterson was known for tweaking his defense to keep the opposition off balance.

Sound familiar?

It is exactly the type of defense the Chargers are trying to employ.

"We did a 3-4 up at TCU," Pollard confirmed. "It is something I am familiar with. All I have to do really is learn their plays and how the system works out. I am familiar with it so I hope it wont be too big a shift for me."

He did not get the recognition he probably deserved after a 47 tackle, 2.5 sack season. He followed it up with a 63 tackle, 4 sack season as a senior with 14 tackles for a loss. Respectable numbers but the Horned Frogs and NFL scouts expected more. They expected more of the entire TCU defense in 2003, but it was not to be and every defender was slighted around draft time save Bo Schoebel.

So Pollard went undrafted.

He possesses versatility having played both end positions at TCU and the Chargers have already placed him in a role as training camp looms.

"They told me I would be playing right end," Pollard said.

And for a defense that seems to be coming into its own in the pass defense portion of the game and new players to add a dimension of speed off the edge, Pollard is made of a different mold. He is a run defender first and foremost.

"I think I am really good at the run," Pollard said.

And for a team that is desperate to find people to clog up the middle, the 6-foot-2, 265 pound Pollard talks the talk. He does not have the ideal size of a run defender but has the skills. It is his pass rush that ironically needs work.

"I can do pass rushing. I think that is something I can develop into and get better at the next level."

One thing at a time. First Pollard has his sites on making the Chargers.

Denis Savage can be reached at denis@sandiegosports.net

SD Super Chargers Top Stories