Regretful KC safety calls hit on Brady

Winslow Townson, The Associated Press

Winslow Townson, The Associated Press

By Doug Tucker

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The man who delivered the hit that ended Tom Brady’s season insists he was not trying to hurt last year’s NFL MVP.

“It was really an accident,” said Kansas City’s Bernard Pollard. “I can’t change what happened. I can’t do anything but pray for him and hope he has a speedy recovery.”

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Early in the Patriots’ 17-10 victory, Pollard came on a safety blitz and was fighting through the block of running back Sammy Morris. Crawling forward, he got hold of Brady’s left knee just as Brady was planting to make a long throw to Randy Moss.

“As soon as the play happened, I said, ‘Oh, man.’ When I heard him scream, I knew it was serious,” said the third-year safety. “I came back to the sideline and told (coach Herm Edwards), ‘That dude’s hurt. But it was not intentional, coach, man, I’m sorry.”‘

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    The league said Monday the hit was clean.

    “It is not a foul because the defensive player was coming off and affected by a block by the offense, said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. The replay was reviewed by Mike Pereira, the supervisor of officials.

    But Pollard said he’s sure that many people will agree with Moss that it was a dirty hit.

    “I know one of their teammates called me a dirty player. If you see the play, I was not being dirty at all,” Pollard said. “I was trying to get up and my momentum took me forward with 230 pounds on my back. I’ve never been a dirty player. You ask my teammates. You ask any of my coaches.”

    Drafted in the second round in 2006 out of Purdue, Pollard became a starter in 2007 and has acquired a reputation as a quiet, studious young player and hard-hitting tackler.

    He said he’d received messages of support from friends and fans.

    “Everybody is saying, ‘Keep your head up,”‘ he said. “My head’s up. I do still have a little bit of pain that he’s down and out right now. But I have to be a pro. If I’m going to be a player for the Kansas City Chiefs, my teammates expect me to go out there and do my job every play, every game.”

    Pollard’s teammates were making a point to console him.

    “Bernard feels terrible” said quarterback Damon Huard, who came into the game in the third quarter when Chiefs starter Brodie Croyle sustained a shoulder injury that could sideline him for a while.

    Huard, a former backup to Brady and a good friend of the Patriots star, said the injury was just an unfortunate accident “that happens in football.”