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Old 05-02-2005, 11:17 AM  
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Pollack moves to linebacker

Pollack feels out of place as linebacker
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JOE KAY / Associated Press
Posted: 1 day ago

CINCINNATI (AP) - David Pollack walked off the Cincinnati Bengals' field with a broad smile, pleased with how he finished his first day as a linebacker-in-training.

A few steps later, the look of contentment was gone, replaced by flat-out embarrassment.

His wet cleats slipped on the concrete stadium floor, taking him down the way he used to take down quarterbacks at Georgia. He grabbed for close friend Odell Thurman as he fell, and took him down, too.

Fortunately, the only thing that Pollack hurt was his pride - more than once.

The 17th overall pick in the NFL draft took his first steps Friday in a major transformation. The defensive lineman from Georgia is moving to outside linebacker in the pros, a position he has never played.

"I felt like a dog chasing a car," Pollack said. "I didn't do anything this morning that I did in college - ever."

In four years at Georgia, Pollack lined up at defensive tackle and end. He still had an end's number - 99 - and mentality when he arrived for the Bengals' rookie minicamp, two things he needs to change.

"I'd rather have a number in the 50s to look like a linebacker, because I am a linebacker now," he said. "Yesterday we had to stand up, tell our position, the university you went to and your hometown. I stood up and went, 'David Pollack, defensive ... uh, linebacker, University of Georgia.' I had to catch myself."

His assignment is to catch on quickly. Pollack didn't think it would be smooth, but had no idea it would be as tough as it turned out on his first day.

He got his playbook and studied the X's and O's on Thursday night with Thurman, a Georgia teammate who has played middle linebacker his entire career. Pollack saw where the X lined up on paper and envisioned himself there on the field.

Unfortunately, the visualization didn't work so well. When the rookies practiced lining up during a light workout on Friday morning, Pollack kept forgetting where he was supposed to be. It bothered him.

"This morning, I felt like I was starting football all over again," Pollack said. "I felt really awkward.

"I want to be good, and I'm not good yet. I've got to start over. I didn't know where to get into position. I was frustrated because I felt it was my responsibility to know that. But I can look at the playbook all night and it seems like it doesn't soak in necessarily until I do it."

"This morning, I think he was a little frustrated," said Thurman, Pollack's roommate for the weekend. "Then, it started to click. He's catching on real fast. I knew that was going to happen."

So far, Pollack has been more demanding than the coaches, who expect a break-in period. The main thing they're looking for is progress from one practice to another.

"When you're playing something totally different, I think they'll understand," Pollack said. "I think they'll have patience with me for a little while. But that patience will wear out if I keep messing up. The important thing for me is I've got to learn not to do the same thing (wrong) over and over. I think that's the one thing coaches can't stand."
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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I don't think that's a good move.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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Hmmm...I won't name names, but a I clearly remember some self-important a-hole blasting me because I said Pollack was a tweener and they said he was a "pure" DE.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:22 AM   #4
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Hmmm...I won't name names, but a I clearly remember some self-important a-hole blasting me because I said Pollack was a tweener and they said he was a "pure" DE.
i was also blasted for saying something similiar to that

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Old 05-02-2005, 11:24 AM   #5
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This is exactly the reason I didn't want Thomas Davis. Their first season or two at a new position is like re-learning the game. We would have had Davis move to LB, and he would have struggled the entire season IMO.

DJ is a true OLB.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRR
This is exactly the reason I didn't want Thomas Davis. Their first season or two at a new position is like re-learning the game. We would have had Davis move to LB, and he would have struggled the entire season IMO.

DJ is a true OLB.
Davis played more snaps at LB in college than Safety.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Hmmm...I won't name names, but a I clearly remember some self-important a-hole blasting me because I said Pollack was a tweener and they said he was a "pure" DE.
That was probably me. I don't remember saying that, but I answer to "self-important a-hole" sometimes.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobia
That was probably me. I don't remember saying that, but I answer to "self-important a-hole" sometimes.
Don't be so hard on yourself. I've never considered you self-important.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Davis played more snaps at LB in college than Safety.
I would also think that a safety to LB switch is a lot easier then a down lineman to a standing LB spot.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief
Davis played more snaps at LB in college than Safety.
Reading his profile, it says he only saw spot duty at OLB, moving to safety in 2003 because of injuries, and playing the entire season at safety in 2004.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius
I would also think that a safety to LB switch is a lot easier then a down lineman to a standing LB spot.
You would also think a move to CB from safety would be just as easy, but players continue to struggle with it every season.

I wanted the more complete LB. Safety wasn't a need. Many experts agree that Davis would be a better safety at the NFL level. Only time will tell.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:38 AM   #12
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who cares we now have the best pure lb in college the last years.

Maybe they could convert him to Safety
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:44 AM   #13
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I saw this move coming, he doesnt have the size for DE in the Pros.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRR
You would also think a move to CB from safety would be just as easy, but players continue to struggle with it every season.

I wanted the more complete LB. Safety wasn't a need. Many experts agree that Davis would be a better safety at the NFL level. Only time will tell.
Actually, no I wouldn't expect that at all. I would think that would be nearly equivlant to the DE to LB, only worse. A Safety and a LB both have similar duties a lot of the time, both are standing up, facing the game from a similar spot on the field, both blitz, both cover TE's out of the backfield, both come up in run support, etc, etc. A CB needs to be able to turn around and play chase, a safety has to worry more about the angle of attack.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:50 AM   #15
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On paper you wouldn't think Dwight Freeney, who is smaller then Pollack, has the size for DE end either.

Yet another illustration of how the Bengals manage to screw themselves over year in and year out.
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