Tom Zbikowski has outlasted Bernard Pollard and is set to begin the season as the Ravens’ starting strong safety Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Zbikowski, 26, will start alongside free safety Ed Reed.
Zbikowski started three games this preseason, while Pollard started just two. Even though the Ravens signed Pollard to a two-year deal on August 4th, Zbikowski appeared to have the upper hand all along because of his familiarity with the team’s defensive prowess and scheming.
However, Pollard did have the better preseason of the two, at least statistically. Pollard was all over the place filling up the stat sheet, contributing seven tackles, one sack, one interception and one fumble recovery. Meanwhile, Zbikowski, the Ravens third-round pick in 2008, had just had four tackles.
In a recent Baltimore Sun article, this is what Pollard had to say about the team’s decision:
“That’s one of the same things I had said, but Zbikowski is a great player,” said Pollard, who did not sound disappointed or frustrated about the decision. “He’s been here for four years, and this is a whole new system for me. Not to say that I don’t know it because I’m ready to go out there and play now. But the coaching staff chose to go ahead and go with him, and it’s something I have to adjust to.”
Zbikowski is no stranger when it comes to starting, as he has started 10 games in the past three seasons for the Ravens. The four-year veteran fills the void left by former Ravens strong safety Dawan Landry, who signed with the Jackonsville Jaguars this past offseason.