- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- In the face of a hit that earned him a $42,000 fine from the NFL, frustrated Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard has an idea on how the league can further revise things to make the game safer for offensive players.
"If you don't want us to play defense, don't call us defense and take us off the field," he said. "Just let them go against air. Let's see what that do to the ratings of this game."
Pollard and the Titans were not happy that his shoulder-to-head hit on Andre Johnson on the sideline in Houston late in the Texans' overtime win drew the same fine as an earlier play by the Texans. Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson unleashed a helmet-to-helmet hit on Kendall Wright earlier in the game that drew a flag, unlike Pollard's hit.
Jackson also was fined $42,000 for his hit in the same game, a source told ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli, confirming multiple reports.
Wright bounced up from that, though he was out of practice Wednesday and may have a concussion. Johnson was knocked out of the game with a concussion, but some Titans wonder if it was from the hit or from his head hitting the ground.
Pollard said there is too much gray area for the officials and the league told him "I did everything right, but he was a defenseless receiver." Since replay for scores and turnovers have already slowed down the game, the safety said hits should be subject to replay review as well.
Titans coach Mike Munchak said the team has to keep lowering its hits and that the calculator the league uses to compute fines must have some basis.
"I'm assuming they have some criteria that we're not aware of when they evaluate how to put a dollar amount on a hit, I'm assuming it has something to do with how many times they've evaluated one of your hits, I'm guessing," he said.
Pollard said he's lost track of how often he was fined.
Jackson was flagged for unnecessary roughness for his hit on Wright.
"That's a huge number. That's a huge number. It's outrageous," Jackson said. "I don't know. Can't do nothing but appeal it. It happened, so that's all I can do.
"I'll never understand a $42,000 fine for a hit. Never. Guy got up. He was OK. I'll never understand that regardless of the situation or the hit. That's how I feel about it."
The NFL doesn't announce most fines until Friday.
Since 2010 through Week 1 of this season, Pollard and Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson had led the league in unnecessary roughness penalties (14), which played a part in the decision to fine Pollard.
Goldson received his 15th penalty in the Buccaneers' Week 2 loss to the New Orleans Saints and was suspended one game. The ban was overturned on appeal, but the league fined Goldson $100,000.
On the play in which Pollard hit Johnson, the Texans receiver got his team to the Titans' 2-yard line with a 21-yard catch, setting up an Arian Foster touchdown that along with Foster's two-point conversion helped Houston make it 24-24 with less than two minutes remaining. The play was first ruled an incomplete pass, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak challenged and the call was overturned. Houston won in overtime.
It's the second fine Pollard has received since joining the Titans. He was fined $10,000 for a late hit out of bounds in the team's first preseason game, against the Washington Redskins.
The hard-hitting safety signed with the Titans this offseason after he was cut by the Baltimore Ravens.
He made headlines in June when he told The (Nashville) Tennessean that the Titans' goal "is the Super Bowl, and our mission is to kill." He was not punished by the NFL for the statement; however, a source told ESPN at the time that Pollard sufficiently explained to the league that he was not being literal and that he will be more careful in expressing himself publicly in the future.
Jackson on Sunday called his hit on Wright a "bang-bang play."
"Who knows? They may not throw the flag, he may fumble. I gotta just keep playing as a defensive player. Some of the rules are against us, but I've got to keep playing.
"He's on offense," Jackson said. "We're supposed to target him somewhere, aren't we? It's football. I don't know what they want me to do."
ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Josina Anderson, Ed Werder and Adam Schefter and ESPN.com Texans reporter Tania Ganguli contributed to this report.
Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard tweeted Wednesday that he was fined $42,000 by the NFL for his hit on Andre Johnson last Sunday that resulted in a concussion for the Houston Texans receiver.