Safety Brandon Meriweather made life more difficult for his teammates on the Redskins defense last weekend.
He drew a pair of personal fouls for helmet-to-helmet hits against Bears receivers, handing Chicago 15 yards each time and helping them sustain drives that wound up in touchdowns. Meriweather was suspended two games by the league for those infractions, which join a list of many others, although it was later reduced to one game on appeal.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said that the Redskins have worked with players on tackling correctly and that Meriweather has had plenty of exposure to information about how to avoid illegal hits, but that his continued penalties have made it clear that the team needs to do more to get the safety on the straight and narrow.
“We do a good job teaching our guys what the league is asking you to do from that standpoint,” Haslett said, via the Washington Post. “But obviously it didn’t work in his case. So we’ve got to do better because we’ve got to eliminate the penalties because that hurt us more than anything from a team standpoint last week in the game.”
Given how often and how flagrantly Meriweather flouts the rules regarding hitting receivers in the head and neck, the question of whether there’s anything Haslett or anyone else could do to get him to hit more responsibly in the future is one worth asking. If not, the Redskins should ask themselves whether Meriweather does enough positive to outweigh the harm he does to the team and others.