Posted November 03, 2013

As promised, Brandon Meriweather is going low on tackles now

San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins
Brandon Meriweather has changed his point of focus.

Brandon Meriweather has changed his point of focus. (The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Forced by the NFL to turn away from the helmet-to-helmet hits that have defined his career to date, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather vowed upon return from his recent one-game suspension — a suspension that stemmed from two questionable hits against the Chicago Bears — that he would have a new point of focus.

“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. Mess up people’s knees. You can’t him them high anymore. You’ve just got to go low.”

With 5:18 left in the first half of the Redskins’ game against the Chargers, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw a quick pass to halfback Danny Woodhead on 1st-and-15 from the Chargers’ 15-yard line. Meriweather closed in on Woodhead, and clearly went low. It was a borderline play, but Meriweather is far beyond the benefit of the doubt.

(GIF via BuzzFeed Sports)

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith spoke with Meriweather this past week about his comments. “He is passionate about the game, and I know he is sorry for what he said,” Smith related in a statement. “He is concentrating on helping his team win the rest of the season. Brandon knows that all players have a responsibility to each other and to play within the rules of the game.”

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett also defended his player.

“Brandon’s a good guy. He’s a good person. I don’t think he’ll do anything that harms the team. He said something out of emotion, the way he felt. But just knowing Brandon and the way he practiced … he’ll stay within the rules and do what’s best. He’s not going to try and hurt our football team.”

We’ll see. Meriweather wasn’t penalized for the tackle, but Merton Hanks, the league’s VP of Football Operations, has also spoken with Meriweather, and this is a player who will be closely monitored through the rest of his career.

6 comments
RyanFisher
RyanFisher

I think we're starting to forget that this is football. The fact is that each player on a team has a responsibility: block the guy, tackle the guy, cover the guy, run past the guy, and catch and throw the football...oh and kick it too. It's pretty damn simple, you get your job done at all costs. If you're going one on one against Adrian Peterson, you're going to do everything you can to take him down. How many times have you seen a CB commit interferance when a reciever has got him beat? Because it's better to take a yard increasing penelty than a TD. As far as tackling goes, when you have a fast, agile, and strong RB heading your way you're not thinking about the rules, you're thinking how the hell are you going to stop this guy. Everyone thinks because someone makes a penelizing hit that they're being malicious and hoping to end a career. That's the dumbest thought process ever, it's simply a fight or flight decision that has to happen in seconds.

As far as Merriweather's comment: "You gotta end people’s careers. You gotta tear people’s ACLs. Mess up people’s knees. You can’t him them high anymore. You’ve just got to go low.” If you think this is a threat you're F******G ignorant. He's stating that hitting high reduces the chances of injuring a player.

Let's cut the BS and realize that everyone who's crying about the way this guy plays are obviously not Redskins fan...probably the same kind of people that piss and moan when N Suh kicks a guy in junk and gets a penelty flag. 

G-Men1
G-Men1

This guy won't last in the nfl. Now he's aiming to end careers but its going to be his own that he's ending. Players act like they don't know how to tackle but go ahead and be hard headed, you won't last

Richierich5352
Richierich5352

The problem is with the definition of "tackle." Brandon Meriweather utilizes a modification of a "spear' tackle. where the defenseman drives at full speed, and plants their head directly into a relatively stationary receiver. The impact to the receiver can be catastrophic. Now, due to rule changes, defensemen have changed their strategies. What has occurred is just a result of the fact that Brandon Meriweather is really not performing a tackle at all, his arms are not splayed in any attempt to grab his offensive opponent, he simply runs at full speed, drops his shoulder, and aims for a vulnerable body part on a relatively stationary opponent. This type of attack is not sportsmanlike, does not promote the positive aspects of team competition, and has contributed to the sense that all professional sports are simply staffed by men who are only separated from urban gang members by the balance in their bank account.

Changes by the NFL need to be applied to what actually defines a tackle, and what is simply an ambush on a target who has not had the benefit of building up inertia to combat the effects of 200 lbs speeding at them at over 20 miles per hour. Not to mention the unscrupulous players that then target the most vulnerable parts of the target with the intent of causing crippling injuries. Brandon Meriweather is an example of poor sportsmanship and should not be what the NFL condones. It certainly seems that personal responsibility, individual ethics, and the unspoken code of ethics, have all left the NFL for good.

I blame the NFLPA.

Coaches need to have more control over the players, be able to fine their players for not doing what they are told, and be forced to perform in a manner that promotes the team brand. When prima donna players question the decisions of the coaches, discipline has broken down, and what we have now is simply a bunch of self serving stars who only show loyalty to their bank statements. If I was a coach I would fine every player who did not run on, and off, of the field. I am tired of watching these overpaid jerks who refuse to act like a team unless the television cameras are on.

Brandon Meriweather is a terrible representative for the Washington Redskins brand, for the NFL brand, and for sportsmanship in general.

Dave Harrigan
Dave Harrigan

how was that borderline at all?not even close to a penalty, what a stupid writer