Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has returned from his one-game suspension. And if the sanction has humbled him, he’s doing a good job of keeping it under wraps.
First, Meriweather responded to Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, who called Meriweather out for the two illegal hits against Chicago that triggered the suspension.
“Listen, everybody’s got their opinion of things, you know,” Meriweather said, via Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Everybody’s got their opinion. He feels like, you know, I need to be kicked out of the league. I feel like, people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league too. . . .
“You tell me who you’d rather have: Somebody who plays aggressive on the field, or somebody who beats up their girlfriend,” Meriweather said. “Everybody’s got their opinion. That’s mine. He’s got his.”
Regardless of Meriweather’s opinion regarding his suspension, he says he’ll change his style to conform to the rules.
“I guess I’ve just got to take people’s knees out,” Meriweather said. “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. . . .
“To be honest, man, you’ve just got to go low now. You’ve got to end people’s careers, you know? You’ve got to tear people’s ACLs and mess up people’s knees now. You can’t hit them high no more. You’ve just got to go low.”
We hear that all the time now, and it’s a valid concern. To an extent. But when guys like Meriweather talk about hitting a guy low to avoid hitting a guy high, they ignore another target area: the middle.
What’s wrong with wrapping a guy up at the waistline? Or hitting him in the chest with something other than the helmet?
When it comes to striking a balance between the written rules against head shots and the unwritten rules against taking out a guy’s legs, the appropriate balance would be to hit him solid between the neck and the knees.
It’s a balance players will have to encourage each other to strike, unless and until political, legal, and/or parental considerations prompt the NFL to give ACLs the same protection as the cranium.