Tuesday, October 19, 2010
NFL veep calls Meriweather hit 'egregious'
By Tim Graham
Bill Belichick isn't the only one displeased with New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather.
The NFL is upset with Meriweather, too.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson was on ESPN Radio with "Mike & Mike in the Morning" and called Meriweather's helmet-to-helmet hit on defenseless Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap "flagrant" and "egregious."
ESPNBoston.com posted some of Anderson's comments about how the NFL would handle helmet-to-helmet shots from here on out. Suspensions seem more likely.
"What I would tell you is that if there are flagrant and egregious violations of our current rules," Anderson said, "we will be enforcing, effective immediately, discipline at a higher level."
Meriweather said he didn't intend to hurt Heap on the play but was otherwise unapologetic when he spoke with Boston sports-radio station WEEI on Monday.
"I'm going to be aggressive, point blank," Meriweather said. "I won't change my game, period.
"I'm sorry it happened. Heap is actually a real good friend of mine. I talked to him [Sunday] and let him know it wasn't intentional and he told me he understood. ...
"I thought it was going to be overthrown but the tight end always seemed to go and get it. Instead of me waiting for the ball to see if it was going to be overthrown I just attacked. I wasn’t trying to for head-to-head contact or trying to injure anybody or play dirty in any kind of way. It just happened."
Meriweather was penalized 15 yards for the hit. Belichick, clearly aggravated, removed him from the game until safety Jarrad Page hurt his calf and couldn't continue.