Pollard on Colts: 'We haven't punched back'

METAIRIE, La. -- NFL teams generally focus a good share of the offense on the team they are chasing and their opening day opponent.

When I visited the Texans during organized team activities (OTAs) I talked with a lot of guys about that focus, intending to get to it before the season. (AFC South Blog lesson: Every time we try to wait with something, it pops up for discussion before we get to it. Thus, NO MORE WAITING.)

The Houston Texans get the team they are chasing as their first opponent, with Indianapolis visiting Reliant Stadium on Sept. 12.

But safety Bernard Pollard resents the idea that the Texans, who are 1-15 against the Colts all-time, have put too much of a premium on that game.

“Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, everybody understands what he brings to the game, we know and understand what he brings to the organization. But they’ve dominated [us] for eight to 10 years. It’s our turn to step up. We’ve been getting punched by them and we haven’t punched back. We’ve been on top but lost the fight. But this year is a new year…

“I couldn’t care less what they have to say. We know and understand everybody is entitled to their opinion. Nobody determines what the Houston Texans do. We understand people are not going to give us respect. We are going to take it then. We know and understand that teams don’t respect us. We know and understand that some fans don’t respect us, some people feel like they’re going to give us six wins. No, no, no, no. I promise you, we’re going to show you a different team.

“We’re excited. Who’s not going to be excited about football? We open up Week 1 at home, and the Colts just happen to be our opponent when everyone is talking about how tough our schedule is. We couldn’t care less. This is our year and we’re going to play football.”

That’s all reasonable. If you’re a Texans backer, or even if you’re not, it’s what you’d expect the Texans to say.

Pollard wouldn’t travel with me to a hypothetical time when the Texans might be dealing with a loss in that first game. But his tone suggested that if things somehow don’t pan out as he and his team expect, he’s not worried that the Texans will crumble with 15 more to play.

And that’s the lone concern here, that if they lose they don’t feel as if they just lost their Super Bowl.