NFL applauds Brandon Meriweather’s ‘tenacious’ hits
|10.25.10 at 3:01 pm ET|
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, one week after criticizing Brandon Meriweather for his hit against Ravens tight end Todd Heap, praised the Patriots safety responding to the League’s crackdown on hits to the neck and head of defenseless players. Meriweather, who was fined $50,000 last week for his hit on Heap, leveled Chargers wide receiver Patrick Crayton with a hit below the shoulder on Sunday. Anderson lauded Meriweather’s clean, aggressive play.
“We like to think we’re off to a good start in terms of the new emphasis and the recognition that we are going to play aggressively but well within the rules,” Anderson told the Associated Press. “It’s a good start.
“Brandon Meriweather, specifically, last week we were appropriately calling him out and chastising him,” he added. ” Yesterday in the Patriots’ game at San Diego, Meriweather made two very tenacious, effective and legal hits in similar situations. But you could see it, he lowered the target area, blasted the opponent with his shoulder. He adapted, showing it can be done. It is appropriate to praise him for the tough play.”
Anderson also applauded the play of Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was fined $75,000 last week and briefly threatened retirement in response to the league’s emphasis on enforcing protections of defenseless players.