Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard warned Cincinnati Bengals star receiver A.J. Green on Tuesday that when he comes across the middle in the teams' season opener Monday night, he can expect to get smacked.
"When we see receivers come across the middle, if we are in the right defense, we are going to smack you, and we are going to let you know that you came across the middle on the wrong team," he told reporters, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Pollard, however, admitted that if Baltimore's secondary misses Green, who was voted to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season last year, it could be disastrous for the Ravens' defense.
"Having said that, if you miss him, he can hit a home run," he said.
The 24-year-old Green had 65 receptions for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns last season but was quiet against the Ravens' defense. He missed the first meeting between the teams because of an injury and then was held to two catches for 26 yards in the season finale, which Baltimore won to capture the AFC North title.
The 27-year-old Pollard played his first season in Baltimore in 2011 after previously playing for the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. He had 75 tackles, an interception, three forced fumbles (one recovery) and 13 passes defensed, helping the Ravens reach the AFC Championship Game.
Pollard praised Green, saying the receiver has a "special gift" and acknowledged that the Ravens' defense would be tested.
"We know that anytime a team steps in here, we are going to get their best shot. I don't care who it is. They can have no wins, we are going to get their best shot," he said, according to the Sun.