Posted October 28, 2013

Brandon Meriweather intends to go low, tear people’s ACLs and end careers

Chicago Bears, NFC East, Washington Redskins
Brandon Meriweather has already racked up more than $100k in fines this season.

Brandon Meriweather has already racked up more than $100k in fines this season. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather served his one-game suspension (reduced from two games on appeal) Sunday, missing a loss in Denver. He will be back on the field in Week 9 against San Diego and, apparently, offensive players everywhere ought to be on the lookout.

Speaking with the media Monday, Meriweather said that if the NFL is going to punish him for hitting high, he’ll have to target another area of the body.

“To be honest, you’ve just got to go low now,” Meriweather said, according to ESPN 980′s Chris Russell. “You gotta end people’s careers.

“You gotta tear people’s ACLs,” Meriweather continued. “Mess up people’s knees. You can’t him them high anymore. You’ve just got to go low.”

Perhaps not the smartest comments for a player whose rather reckless play already has landed him squarely on the NFL’s radar. Meriweather drew his suspension after delivering a pair of penalized hits in a loss to Chicago, one on Alshon Jeffery and another on Brandon Marshall. Earlier this season, Meriweather knocked Packers running back Eddie Lacy from a game with a helmet-to-helmet hit and he’s been fined in the past for his on-field actions.

Marshall took particular exception to his run-in with Meriweather, calling on the NFL to punish Washington’s safety severely: “I respect the league trying to better our game and guys like that, maybe he needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely. …

“Guys like that just don’t understand. Those are the guys that are in trouble. They really don’t have anything to do after football because they think it is all about football.”

Marshall told ESPN’s Linda Cohn on Listen Closely that Meriweather reached out to him after those comments, seeking some explanation. “I talked to Brandon … I just tried to express to him how I felt — that one, I don’t understand why he would hurt himself physically and financially; and two, I just explained to him that we’ve got to accept the game for what it is. When you look at his history, there’s a pattern there.”

Apparently, whatever Marshall said to Meriweather did not land on friendly ears. Meriweather snapped back at Marshall’s initial comments on Monday, per Zac Boyer of The Washington Times.

“He feels like I need to be kicked out of the league? I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out, too,” Meriweather said, referencing a civil suit that a former girlfriend filed against Marshall, alleging domestic abuse. That suit was thrown out and Marshall’s name cleared.

Meriweather may not have all the information on that case, because he added: “You tell me who you’d rather have: Somebody who plays aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?”

The one-game suspension cost Meriweather approximately $75,000 in salary, on top of the $42K he was fined for his hit on Lacy. The NFL also assessed Meriweather a $75,000 fine in 2010 because of two hits on then Baltimore TE Todd Heap, and he racked up $45,000 in additional penalties the following season.

Meriweather’s recent suspension was the most severe punishment he has received thus far, though his argument that he has no choice but to hit low is one brought to the table by multiple defenders in the past. (Meriweather took it a step further than others with his comments about ending careers and tearing ACLs.)

Houston safety D.J. Swearinger took a similar position in the preseason, amid criticism lobbed his way after he ended Dustin Keller’s season with a hit to the knee. Baltimore’s Chris Canty later came to the defense of his team’s safety, Matt Elam, after Elam injured Randall Cobb with a similar blow. “It’s a legal hit, it’s within the rules,” Canty said of Elam’s tackle.

The debate is not likely to end anytime soon, especially given the NFL’s continued crackdown on hits above the shoulders. Meriweather sounds plenty willing to add to the controversy.

188 comments
Pv
Pv

Really sloppy journalism, or intentionally deceptive. I fear and suspect the latter. He didn't say he intended to tear acls and end careers. He was making a point about the fact that the league was forcing people to go low, with that result. Would hope for better from SI.

joeyjust4u2
joeyjust4u2

I wanted the Redskins to take out Peyton Manning on Sunday,but we did not.Well,it happens,Meriweather will be taking out players and he would have took Manning out the game had he played on Sunday.We have 9 more games in the season and we will win all nine.After watching the game on Sunday,i do believe we will win 9 games in a row and be in the playoffs again this season.Grifin III took some bad hits and Cousin too.From this point on,not only will Meriweather be taking out players,the entire DEFENSE will take players out and our defense will stay hungry,then again,special teams and the entire team will be hungry,we will be on our way to the SUPERBOWL,so we lost SUNDAY,that game is behind us now,we are moving on up,i believe in my "REDSKINS" and i will always say "REDSKINS",my team. HTTR HV BOTW FFODC,you either like our name or not how gives a F_C_

BobDelConte
BobDelConte

Defensive football was always about bringing the wood. Now, a killer hit is a penalty? Horse Collar was a great tackle. Now, it's a penalty? 

Whatever
Whatever

Without hearing the interview to get his tone of voice, it could be that he was simply stating that torn ACLs are going to happen because the NFL punishes anyone for hitting high. I don't know that he really said he was going to try to tear people's ACLs, just that wrecked knees were going to be the result because he now has to aim low.

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Poor misguided Meriweather, smh... 

Kids this is a perfect example of why education is the key,  with education you will be able to solve problems in your mind and once in a while discover a good idea or two , But not Brandon....Am i missing something here? What did the players do, (maybe some changed their target / hit zone at the last minute on Brandon...) that aside,  Brandon your real beef is with Goodell, it's his ACL  you should be targeting not the Players.... trust me Goodell is a man of the people it would be easy to catch him off guard

Joe R2
Joe R2

I hate the Packers but I was glad to see James Starks run this dude over and KO him a few weeks back.  Karma is a B!  He'll have more hits coming to him hopefully

Joe R2
Joe R2

I don't think many offensive players will have to worry about their safety after the season is over because Meriweather will be out of the league.  He's the worst safety in the NFL hands down,  and all he does is cost his team 15 yard penalties a couple of times per game.  And he's a POS as well....

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

This is a joke really. Its the helmet hits or more importantly the law suits from helmet hits that the NFL is concerned about. Knee injuries, ACL's, no one sues over that. A guy can limp the rest of his life and no one cares, head injuries and memory loss spells big bucks from the coffers. 

radioactivez0r
radioactivez0r

This is terrible reporting, he is clearly being satirical here in terms of how the rules are being enforced.  You guys makes him look like a psychopath.

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

Where the hell has this guy been. Safeties and dbacks already are going low and trying to end careers. They aren't tackling anymore they are hitting key parts of the body. When is the last time you saw a real tackle in the open field. 

NathanCorbin
NathanCorbin

That's disgusting. As a defensive football player myself I would never consider intentionally damaging another person like that.

T5
T5

Umm, there is a large area of the body between the knees and the head, it's called the torso and pelvic area. Players use to hit the torso and wrap their arms around the other player and drag them to the ground. It seems as if fundamental tackling has been replaced with a desire to create a "Sports Center" hit.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

You think an offensive player may be going for his knees on a block sometime soon? 

bcrd500
bcrd500

The NFL needs to be more proactive with players that publicly announce the intention to injure other players with longer suspensions without pay.

 Apparently, Swearinger is continuing his attitude from his college days at South Carolina. He got numerous penalties for late hits and loved to stand over players after those hits.

MikeL1
MikeL1

The short headline on the main page is misleading. He did not say his "aim" is to tear ACLs and end careers. he said he has to go low, and that is going to be the result.  It was his attempt at a passive-aggressive slam at the league. It was dumb but the headline put words in his mouth.

muser
muser

At least someone is being honest...

Ciscos
Ciscos

What an idiot... Funny thing tho, Meriweather forgets players have a way of policing themselves.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

So when he finally does hit someone and they tear their ACL the league will have his own words to use against him. Real smart guy

ZeeFlynn
ZeeFlynn

86'd for all time.  Don't let the door hit you as+ on the way out, you'll get a headache. 

ezwriter69
ezwriter69

When your team name is a racist epithet that you would NEVER call a member of the race you claim to be honoring face to face, you can't really expect that team to show any class whatsoever, can you... Washington, the last team to integrate, with a founder who was openly active in the KKK, continues, with hiring people like this to represent them, to be the most classless organization in all sports... it's in the history, it's in the name, it's in the blood, it's just who they are. 

NFL_Madness
NFL_Madness

There is no room in the NFL for guys like this.  I wonder if he watch the "League of Denial" doc?  Football is a dangerous sport when you play by the rules.  If you go outside the rules, it makes it more dangerous.  He should be suspended for the rest of the year.

BullRush
BullRush

The guy has shown an interest in making big hits up high and not just making the necessary tackle, but he's also stating the obvious, that the rules have unintended consequences and it shouldn't be a surprise that it seems like we're hearing more and more about ACL tears than I've ever remembered before.  We've heard all the talk about concussions, how long before we start hearing about former players unable to walk and blaming the league for creating rules that encouraged hits that injured them?

jeffr85392
jeffr85392

He's a manly man dedicated to showing others how it should be done. Wonder how he'd feel about a lifetime suspension?

StephenCurtis
StephenCurtis

clearly he was saying if he can't hit high u have to hit low at knees and that means u will tear acl's and end career's , players should be find for aiming at a guys head but when they fine them for hitting a player who ducks what else can they do. they player ducks when they are aiming at shoulder or midsection they hit in head get penalty and fine only place to hit them left is knees.

Miguel2
Miguel2

You clearly lack some reading comprehension. I don't even like the guy. However he is clearly saying that by having to hit low, that in effect you will end up "ending careers", "tearing ACLs", etc. 

I can see how athletes get in trouble for what they say all the time when the media twists their words like this.

B84
B84

I'm seriously gonna laugh when he ends up getting paralyzed the next time he tries to kill someone out there.

nosemanwvu
nosemanwvu

I seriously stopped reading the article once I read "penalized hits in a loss to Chicago."

Really?

el-cid
el-cid

How is this: “To be honest, you’ve just got to go low now,” Meriweather said, “You gotta end people’s careers.

“You gotta tear people’s ACLs,” Meriweather continued “Mess up people’s knees. You can’t him them high anymore. You’ve just got to go low.”

Turned into this: Brandon Meriweather intends to go low, tear people’s ACLs and end careers.


Whatever you think about Meriweather, he's just griping about about helmet to helmet and other contact rules and using some hyperbole.  He's saying if you're going to get fined for hitting people high then players are going to go low and knee injuries will happen.

beekay31
beekay31

Ha... Meriweather is a real life troll!

daleyp
daleyp

The thing that this class A moron doesn't understand is that he should actually try to tackle his opponent, not launch himself at them like he does, whether high or low.  It's not a matter of high or low.  Concussions or torn ACLs, they both wouldn't be as prevalent if defenders would actually try to tackle instead of going for the kill shot every single time.  He is the worst of them all.  Kick him out of the game for good.

PWINGS
PWINGS

Many of the posters to this thread are debating whether the reader should take Meriweather's comments literally or not. You're all missing the point. The real question is whether his team and his opponents take his comments seriously.  If his team takes them seriously, they have to wonder how much bad PR and lost playing time from suspensions this guy is really worth. Losing time to suspensions is no different than being injured in that the team that needed your services and paid for them is deprived of them. At some point, if you're deemed "unreliable", you're replaced just as a player who is repeatedly injured is replaced because he's too brittle or not tough enough. If your opponents decide that you're targeting them, intentionally trying to cripple them and deprive them of their livelihood, they're going to take you out first. In either case, Meriweather should have kept his mouth shut. Stupid!

decredico
decredico

fact is americans love violence, love seeing people get laid out, and have serious psychological issues that football taps into  ... all this talk about the nfl protecting players is lip service and little else but at same time, players must also be willing to play this game of lip service and merriweather here is just being a bit too honest 

Whatever
Whatever

@ImmaFubared Players care. There's still a belief among players that concussions may not be that bad, but take out a knee and your career may be over.

rodp236
rodp236

@radioactivez0r Maybe not a psycho, but certainly on the low end of another scale...........................

Whatever
Whatever

@radioactivez0r Agreed. I think he was venting his frustration and trying to make a point that the NFL is basically encouraging knee injuries.

I actually think there will be (and already has been) much more emphasis placed on playing the ball by DBs rather than trying to make a big hit to jar the ball loose. I like that change to the game, because it puts the focus back on the football and not on can you knock a guy's head off.

Jay Bratcher
Jay Bratcher

@NathanCorbin i would never WANT to damage someones knees... but if im being penalized for attacking the head and chest then i have no other choice but to aim for the knees/groin area... this is what football has been reduced to. don't worry. in another 5 years after several great players have left the game to knee injuries it will turn into a flag football league and no one will watch anymore.

Jay Bratcher
Jay Bratcher

@T5 This used to be true... but lately (last year or two) offensive players have learned that if you are about to be hit, dropping to your knees and lowering your pad level will result in an inadvertent hit to the head and an extra 15 yards... so aiming for the torso is even worse than aiming for the head because the officials have been taught zero tolerance and thus penalize the defense for an accident when really it was the offensive players fault he just got hit in the head.

My suggestion for all of this: make it a personal foul to drop your pad level when being tackled. If you dont want to get hit? slide like a quarterback legs first. If you slide head first and get hit in the head? that's your own damn fault.

ImmaFubared
ImmaFubared

@T5 You got that right. The hit on Cobb is a good example of the dback going low and waiting till Cobb got in the right position then hit him low and forced him end over end tearing up his knee. He could have just put his arms around him and made a tackel but then Cobb might have burned him on the next play. take the guy out, hes out. 

ninjustin
ninjustin

@MikeL1 This is how most everyone is reporting it.  By Picking and choosing what parts of what he said gets reported.  Here is a quote that leaves out the ACL part but puts in that he would actually hate to end someone's career. 

" I guess I've just got to take people's knees out,” Meriweather said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “That's the only way. . . . I'd hate to end a guy's career, you know, over a rule. But I guess it's better other people than me getting suspended for longer. "

rodp236
rodp236

@Ciscos Good comment....nothing like him putting a target on his knees.........................................

Joe R2
Joe R2

@Ciscos 

Hopefully he gets a nice crack back block under the chin that will KO him for good

supabo
supabo

@ezwriter69 You really need to check out sports such as curling or ice dancing. You won't find much to complain about and everything is PC, so I am positive you would LOVE IT.

Marc T
Marc T

@StephenCurtis You give him too much credit.  He's way too dumb to get the concept of sarcasm.

Miguel2
Miguel2

@Miguel2 Ideally they wouldn't have to choose either. Players would start making fundamental tackles and quit launching themselves. However that is not the way the game is played today. Personally as a fan, I enjoy a big hit as much as the next guy. 

lartho61
lartho61

@Miguel2 WELL PUT. so with that being said athletes have to be careful what they wish for.. concussed or career ending knee injury

Schmoogalicious
Schmoogalicious

@supabo @ezwriter69 So let me get this straight, supabo:  in your eyes racism, such as being a member of the KKK, is equivalent to manliness?  Fascinating.