NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bernard Pollard was taken back by the positive feedback he received from Titans fans on Twitter and Facebook just hours after he agreed on a multi-year contract to stay with the team on Monday.
"It tells you that this city is ready for something big to happen," the veteran safety said Monday evening. "We're getting paid to bring wins back to Nashville, and that's going to ignite our fans and keep them excited. When we kick things off over the next month, we need to get ready for October, November and December right now. That's the mindset of Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt, Coach (Ray) Horton, our general manager Ruston Webster and our owner, Mr. (Tommy) Smith…I'm very excited and ready to go."
Instead of being distracted by the start of free agency next week, Pollard said now he can focus on football.
"We know where we're going to be for the next couple of years," he said. "The city of Nashville and state of Tennessee have welcomed myself and my family. We feel at home here."
While he could have tested free agency, Pollard said the decision came down to the best fit for him and his family.
"My kids are getting older and my wife and I love where we're at, so for all of us it was a great decision," Pollard said. "Plus the camaraderie I have with my teammates, and to see the changes that Ruston Webster and Mr. Smith have made in terms of where they want to take this organization – I think all of that was really good and that definitely factored into it."
Pollard said Titans fans have shown incredible support from the moment he arrived in Nashville a year ago, and that continued Monday night through the outpouring of positive comments on social media.
"For me, I just enjoy playing the game of football and I hope I'm doing something good when I play the game," he said. "Our fans could be doing something other than watching the Tennessee Titans play football. But they've taken the time to talk to us and get to know us. When you look at Seattle and their 12th man, that's a tough place to play. We want that for Nashville, and that played a huge part in my decision to come back."
Pollard said he's excited about Coach Whisenhunt's winning background and the staff he's assembled.
"He's been to a Super Bowl, he's won in this league and just looking at the guys he's hired under him speaks volumes," Pollard said. "With this staff coming in and what they want to do is going to be a change of scenery, a change of mentality and other things that are needed, so I'm really excited and ready to go."
Adjusting to Ray Horton's defensive system will not be a big transition for Pollard, who said he played in a similar multiple front, attacking-style scheme in Baltimore.
"He's not a guy who's going to sit back, he's a guy that's going to come get you. He wants to have his defensive presence known from start to finish in the game," Pollard said. "For all of us it's going to come down to being in one accord and being ready for change. It's going to be different from what a lot of guys have seen, but it's going to be great."
And don't expect Pollard's leadership style to change. He said he will continue to lead by example, both on and off the field.
"Guys like George Wilson and Jason McCourty were huge doing that and we all kind of fed off each other," he said. "That's going to be huge again for us this year. We're going to need the same thing times ten if we want to make a splash in the playoffs, because ultimately we want to make a run at the Super Bowl."