Just a week after drawing league-wide attention and a $50,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Todd Heap, Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather laid a textbook hit on Patrick Crayton in the first quarter of the Patriots-Chargers game on Sunday.

Unfortunately for Meriweather, Crayton hung on to the pass, converting a second-and-8 for a first down on the New England 26-yard line.

So it seemed a bit odd that Meriweather hoppped up from the bone-crunching hit and gave a salute to the Patriots' sideline.

Meriweather, however, explained that he wasn't celebrating his big hit.

"One of my best friends joined the Army, so he said he'll see me play every week, Meriweather told The Boston Globe, according to Chris Gasper on Twitter. "I said I'll salute him every week."

Gasper reports that the friend is Willie Cooper, who played with Meriweather at the safety position at the University of Miami in 2006.