If Brandon Marshall had it his way, Brandon Meriweather would never play another down in the NFL.
The Redskins safety — and former teammate of Marshall’s in Chicago — was penalized yet again for two illegal hits on receivers during Washington’s 45-41 win over the Bears on Sunday.
Marshall was on the receiving end of one of those shots, his coming a full second or two after a drop in the end zone, and he let Meriweather have it after the game.
“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football,” Marshall told reporters, via the Chicago Tribune. “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. I understand. I get it. I was one of those guys. I played defense growing up. I was a headhunter. Even sometimes on the offensive side, I played that way. But with rules in place, you’ve gotta respect it.
“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. Guys like that, it’s tough.”
Meriweather has racked up more than $120,000 in fines for illegal hits during his seven-year NFL career, including a $42,000 fine for concussing Packers running back Eddie Lacy earlier this year. The former Patriots safety is likely facing additional punishment again this week (some report that a suspension is likely), but he insists that he never plays with the intent to injure, and that he’s even tried to modify his game to avoid such hits.
“The last two, three weeks, I tried everything possible,” Meriweather said, according to The Washington Post. “I lowered my target. As y’all could see, I lowered my target. I stopped using my head. I’m using my shoulder. No matter what I do, honestly I feel like I’m gonna be in the wrong. If I hit you with my shoulder and I slide up, they’re gonna say it’s head to head. If I hit them too low, I think somebody just got flagged for hitting somebody too low. So I think it all depends on who’s watching. I don’t think we can be right.
“I feel like every hit that I took was a legit hit. I wasn’t trying to be dirty. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody. I didn’t launch with my head. I used my shoulder like they told me to do. Everything I did was a pointer from them [league officials]. … You’ve just got to play. There ain’t nothing I can do about it. I just go out there and play.”
Meriweather may claim that dirty hits are not a part of his game, but Joseph White Jr. of The Associated Press reports that the safety was joking about his forthcoming fine in the locker room after Sunday’s game.
Meriweather (with a smile): "Anybody else want to chip in on my dinner? I can't afford it right now."—
Joseph White Jr. (@JGWhiteAP) October 20, 2013
See the hits in question in the GIFs below, with a helmet sticker to Barstool.