View Full Version : Mike Pollak has history of versatility

06-13-2014, 10:08 AM

Mike Pollak entered the league as a second-round pick having started 31 straight games at center for Arizona State. His first four seasons in the NFL with Indianapolis he played in 49 games, starting 36 of them.
During practice essentially every week of his NFL career he's switched between guard and center.
Yet, in the six years he's been in the league, only in garbage time has Pollak ever lined up snapping the ball as he did throughout his collegiate career.
This could be the year he finally makes the move back. Or it might not. Coaches haven't relayed to him where they think he'll end up at this point, but rest assured, his versatility will be invaluable as the season draws nearer. A number of combinations could fill the center and left guard spot between left tackle Andrew Whitworth, right guard Kevin Zeitler and right tackle Andrew Smith.
All picks signed: Bengals sign Darqueze Dennard (http://www.cincinnati.com/story/blogs/2014/06/12/bengals-sign-first-round-pick-darqueze-dennard/10382987/)
Walkthrough: Good day at Paul Brown Stadium (http://www.cincinnati.com/story/blogs/2014/06/12/walkthrough-612-good-day-at-pbs/10363065/)
Pollak, who impressed during five starts last season at guard, enters 2014 prepared for either.
"I'm just ready, wherever they need me to go," Pollak said. "They brought in (Russell) Bodine and he's doing a great job and if they want to go with him at center, great, but I'm going to be ready to go at center or guard, wherever they need me."
For now, they need him to get healthy. Pollak injured his knee in offseason training and hasn't participated in the offseason program. He set a goal to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp.
The more snaps he can take in the preseason the better for establishing himself within the competition for either position. Clint Boling's recovery continues to go well and with 31 starts in three years he'll be a candidate to return to left guard on opening day. Pollak is used to preparing himself for either position as he did last season.

"I split both equally," he said. "I feel comfortable either way. Right now all I can do is get in my playbook and make sure when I do get out there I'm as sharp as I can be."
Pollak owns a significant headstart on Bodine, who's been placed on a trial by fire this week as the starting center. With the playbook thrown at him the rookie is doing all he can to keep up. Pollak assimilates attempting to start at center closely with starting at quarterback as a rookie. The intricacies and responsibility of the calls are relentless.
"There's definitely a little bit of a grind going on," Bodine said about studying. "You've got to spend time in your playbook. I've been here three weeks and there's no way you can get the offense down front to back in three weeks. I know I'm going to make mistakes but try not to make that same mistake twice and just keep moving in the right direction."


07-02-2014, 11:24 AM

Mike Pollak could help Bengals' pace (http://espn.go.com/blog/cincinnati-bengals/post/_/id/8828/mike-pollak-could-help-bengals-pace)