Former Bears Receiver Tom Waddle Blasts Brandon Meriweather for Illegal Hits
Over the last few NFL seasons, players haven’t had to try terribly hard to be reprimanded for the way they tackle. Many defensive players insist the league has gone soft, and while that may be true to an extent it would be tough to argue that players — particularly receivers — are not safer as a result. Still, there are players who refuse to play by the new rules and regulations. One of them is Brandon Meriweather.
Meriweather is known league-wide for being a head hunter. He often finds himself out of position in the defensive backfield and tries to compensate by laying a brutal hit on the receiver. What is most disturbing about his hitting style is the way he tends to lead with the crown of his helmet and launch at people. As Shutdown Corner pointed out, this video is a perfect example of why Meriweather is considered a dirty player.
Former Bears receiver Tom Waddle, who was a scrappy player known for his willingness to take hits over the middle of the field, completely blasted Meriweather for the way he plays during his ESPN 1000 radio show on Tuesday.
“I don’t approve of the way he plays the game,” Waddle said. “And you can call me a sissy all you want. OK? I was on the receiving end of a lot of head-to-head hits. And maybe it’s the reason I act the way I do. But in football there are going to be moments when a guy is trying to make a tackle and his helmet hits yours. It’s going to happen, and in today’s game you’re going to get flagged for it. And that’s the way it is.
“Intent, to me, means a lot. If you make helmet-to-helmet contact and you’re just trying to play good, solid NFL football and you get flagged I’ll give you a pass. You have to be aware of it, maybe you need to work on your tackling technique, get the head to the side and wrap your arms, but I can give you a pass. When I interpret the way you go about your job that you have the intent to hurt somebody, I’ve got no time for you. I’ve got no place for you. The game’s got no place for you.
“What Brandon does is he leads with his helmet all the time. There’s no place in the game, brother, at this particular time for that. It’s vicious enough. And when your intent, in my humble opinion, is to hurt or maim, I’ve got no time for you, and I don’t think the game’s got any place for you.”
Them there are fightin’ words. Waddle clearly can’t stand the way Meriweather plays and may be overreacting a tad, but his overall assessment is accurate. Meriweather goes up under the chin of opponents with the top of his helmet and leaves his feet on a regular basis. Tackling like that puts receivers at tremendous risk and could even end someone’s career. On top of all that, he sucks.