Nate Washington is entering his 10th NFL season, while Bernard Pollard is entering his 9th in the league. Both are being counted on by Ken Whisnehunt and staff to lead this team by not only their play on the field but by there actions otherwise as well.
One of the areas these two veterans are attempting to lead by is keeping the team loose. In doing so they are also providing laughs for both players and fans who have watched during the opening days of camp.
Usually during the team stretching period prior to practice the only voice that is usually heard is that of strength coach Steve Waterson barking out commands to the team. Not so anymore.
During today's period it was Pollard who took the lead in comedy. First by by calling out rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger.
"Mettenberger, snipped Pollard. "Roll Tide." Pollard making this comment in regard to the recent incident where the rookie quarterback was sucker punched in a bar.
Then Pollard turned his attention to Washington.
"Hey Nate," yelled Pollard from one side of the field where he lines up, to the other for Washington. "Tell 81 (receiver Rico Richardson) to cut his hair, he looks like a girl."
Pollard then challenged all four quarterbacks (Jake Locker, Charlie Whitehurst, Mettenberger and Tyler Wilson) but yelling, "I got a bet we pick all four of you today!"
Pollard and his defensive teammates did their best to back up their vocal leaders bet, picking off four passes, but not all four quarterbacks.
"We didn't get all four quarterbacks," said Pollard following practice. "The great thing for us is competing, as long as we are out here competing, as long as we are out there each day. We can not take a step backwards."
>p>"We have a long way to go the be the team we want to be and not the team we were last year," continued Pollard. "We understand how to finish off some of the situations we didn't finish last year.
Pollard and Washington continued their jabs back and forth throughout the remainder of practice, with each getting their shots but on this day it was Washington that perhaps got the better of it today.
In the 11-on-11 portion of the practice it was Pollard, who in coverage was beaten down the sideline for a long completion. Washington, who was not involved in the play, and standing on the sidelines, sprinted down the field to let Pollard know he was beaten.
"You got burned dude," snipped Washington.
For Pollard, there's always tomorrow.
The two veterans continued this throughout