Looking for a role
At 6-foot-1, 218 pounds, Pinkard seeks to earn a spot on the 53-man roster in crowded group at defensive back. The USC product spent most of last year on the practice squad, but was on the 53-man roster for the New Orleans’ playoff game.
Pinkard, 25, looks to former Seahawks defensive back Jordan Babineaux as an example of the type of player he could develop into in the league – a special teams and versatile performer that can play both cornerback and safety.
“Jordan Babineaux is a great football player,” Pinkard said. “I was watching him as soon as I got in here, just his athletic ability and him being able to move around and play all the positions. … So I try to take that mentality and mold myself after him. Those are big shoes to fill, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”
The three amigos
Pinkard worked out with fellow defensive back Walter Thurmond and Richard Sherman in Southern California during the lockout
“We were out there getting a ton of work in,” Pinkard said. “We felt like we were ready to go about a month early. So that’s how much work we were doing. It was just a great feeling having those three guys out there … We were all together making sure we were ready to go once we got out here.”
Growing through adversity
Three different ACL injuries at USC – two in his left knee, and one in his right – has not deterred Pinkard from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional football player. He diligently rehabilitated and recovered from the setbacks in order to get back out on the field, so he knows a thing or two about battling through trying times.
“It’s always good to overcome adversity and things like that,” he said. “It just builds character, and lets you know about yourself. It tells you who you are and how much you can go through. And it builds mental toughness. It was a tough break, but I think I’m a better person for it.”
They call him Pink
Pinkard’s nickname is Pink – short for Pinkard.
“A lot of guys call me that since I was younger,” he said. “It just arose, and it stuck with me.”