Meriweather acknowledges 'fine line' on hits

Meriweather acknowledges 'fine line' on hits
September 21, 2013, 10:45 am
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Brandon Meriweather says he knows he must change the way he tackles after getting fined $42,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit last Sunday.

But the Redskins’ safety, who is no stranger to being fined for illegal hits, also says he doesn’t intend to play with less of an edge.

“Yes,” Meriweather said, asked if he’ll change the way he hits. “I think everybody has to change the way they tackle. They say hit low. I’ve seen people get concussions from hitting low, too. Honestly, there’s no real safe way to play this game. You know what you signed up for. If you’re going to do it, you do it 100-percent.”

Meriweather was fined for striking Packers running back Eddie Lacy with a helmet-to-helmet blow in Sunday’s 38-20 defeat at Lambeau Field. Lacy left the game with a concussion.

A quarter later, Meriweather was forced out of the game after a second helmet-first hit left him concussed. It was Meriweather's first regular season action since last November.

“I kinda figured it was my first game back [and] I was overaggressive,” he said before backtracking a bit. “Well, I can’t say I was overaggressive because that’s how you want to play the game—aggressive.”

“I try not to think when I’m playing,” he added. “The people who think while they’re playing are the people who retire early.”

This is not the first time that Meriweather has been forced by the NFL to evaluate the way he tackles. The 29-year-old has been fined three times previously for helmet-to-helmet hits.

In a 2011 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Meriweather acknowledged that he needed to “fix something” and that he’s been trying to change “his ways.”

Apparently, though, it’s easier said than done.

“Honestly, it’s a fine line,” Meriweather said Friday, asked if he’s clear about what the NFL doesn’t like about his hits. “If I say, ‘No I don’t,’ I’m going to get criticized for it. If say, ‘Yeah I do,’ they’re going to ask why I’m playing the way I play. So I really can’t say [either] way.”

Meriweather intends to appeal his latest fine.

He also hopes to return to the field Sunday against the Lions, but he isn’t sure he’ll be permitted to do so.

“I don’t know,” he said of his status. “I feel good right now. It’s all up to the doctor now. Whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do.”