October 12, 2011
Brandon Meriweather(notes) is developing quite the reputation. The Chicago Bears safety added to his highlight reel of questionable on-field football actions on Monday night, when he threw this weird hit/block at Nate Burleson for no apparent reason.
We'll get back to Meri's history in a minute, but first, let's take a look at former Bears receiver Tom Waddle tearing Meriweather a new one on ESPN 1000.
"I don't approve of the way he plays the game," Waddle said on ESPN 1000. "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." [...]
"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," Waddle said. "He's going to hurt himself, and he's going to hurt someone else because of the intent." [...]
"I don't know Brandon. I haven't had a discussion with him. But it sure looks by the way he plays the game that the intent isn't to put a big hit on someone and legally knock them out, it's to hurt someone," Waddle said. "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."
If you're wondering about Waddle's qualifications to make such pronouncements, he's got them. He played six years with the Bears, and in terms of pure physical talent, you could think of him as the anti-Calvin Johnson(notes). He could catch the ball and take a beating, though. He was never going to make a Pro Bowl, but he did make the All-Madden team.
His verbal takedown of Meriweather is about as direct and scathing a criticism as I've ever heard in regard to a player being dirty. Guys don't get called out like that often.
Meriweather makes himself a pretty good target, though. He's been fined for helmet-to-helmet hits twice in his career. First, there was this Bobo Brazil-style headbutt on Todd Heap, and just a couple of weeks ago, this hit on Steve Smith cost him $20K. And if you wanted to take it back to college, at The U (where they don't fine players, despite exorbitant salaries), Meriweather once stomped on a guy in a brawl.
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