The NFL’s two-game suspension of Redskins Safety Brandon Meriweather drew strong protests from DeAngelo Hall and Ryan Clark. Clark in particular called out former safety and now NFL executive Troy Vincent for disloyalty and poor skills at the position.
Talk about hitting low.
Vincent answered on the NFL Network. The leagues looked at video of Meriweather’s hits since 2009 and saw no change in his style of play, which the NFL is trying to remove from the game. Vincent saw two problems. Meriweather hit a defenseless player, Torry, Smith in a sensitive area and he led with his helmet.
The league might have mitigated Meriweather’s sanction if he simply looked up as he made the hit.
Brandon might do well to spend the next two weeks learning how to coach Heads Up Football.
Yes, sports fans, The NFL is inspiring the next generation of football players to learn a new technique for tackling without the head butt.
If Meriweather becomes a little skilled in coaching it, he might be better skilled at using it. Effort to change might be the difference between a fine and suspension next time.
Why stop there?
The NFL-funded Heads Up Football program encourages all youth coaches to become Heads Up Certified to be sensible about the risks inherent in the game. Why stop with youth coaches? How many NFL position coaches are Heads Up Certified?
In citing his efforts to change, Meriweather says he is learning from Hall and Clark. Hog Heaven has not heard the name “Raheem Morris” spoken.
It’s a business
Players will do anything to make a team and will hide concussions in order to play. Thirty years later, their loved ones will file lawsuits against the NFL for hiding the impact of the risks of the game. Courts take a dim view of employers who know those risks and then do nothing to shield the workers.
This is a business issue and we know team owners get that far better than players who see it all as a game.
The NFL is protecting itself as much as it is protecting players. The players better get used to it and … just look up.