If I were an NFL player, I'd be extra fired up to play against my former team.
I'd be looking to lay a big hit on my old teammates, make a few big plays, dance around and show my former organization that it was a mistake not to keep me.
Bernard Pollard and Vonta Leach say they didn't feel any of that yesterday when they faced the Texans, an organization with which both men spent time.
Pollard played the last two seasons with Houston, while Leach was with the Texans from 2006-2010. Both the strong safety and fullback signed free agent deals with the Ravens this summer, and both guys squared off against their former Texans teammates for the first time yesterday afternoon.
Did it feel special earning a win against Houston given the two men's history with the organization? Not at all, they said.
"This game is bigger than me," Pollard said. "We all need to be playing every week for a reason. A guy didn't get drafted as high as he thought he would. Or a guy was just on that team. Or whatever. A coach screwed you over. It doesn't matter. With this team, we all take it personally every week."
"No matter who we were playing, I wanted to win," said Leach. "They were just another team that we had to play against. A lot of my friends are over there. They're a good football team, but we're just a little better."
Leach told a Houston newspaper last week that he hoped to stay with the Texans this offseason, but that the team's free agent offer to him was "disrespectful." Still, he says he didn't play with a chip on his shoulder yesterday.
"Not necessarily," Leach said. "I played there for five years, and the guys know what I can do. If I would have played any less, then they would have been dissatisfied."
The two former Texans both played well, as Pollard had a season-high five tackles and two pass break-ups yesterday, while Leach had two carries for five yards, a 14-yard kickoff return off a squib kick and a few big blocks that sprung running back Ray Rice.
Pollard and Leach were both selected as gameday captains by head coach John Harbaugh, meaning the two men (along with linebacker Jarret Johnson) went out to represent the Ravens for the pregame coin toss.
Pollard said he appreciated the gesture, but downplayed its significance.
"That 'C' doesn't mean anything," Pollard said. "Coach Harbaugh took the time to pick me this week. I'm grateful, but at the end of the day it's about us playing. It's about 11 guys going out there and playing. Now we have to be ready to strap it back up for next week."