Haslett bothered by Meriweather's tackling

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
1:22
PM ET
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said he wasn’t concerned with Brandon Meriweather’s fines or suspension. It’s the penalties that bother Haslett.

Meriweather
Against the Chicago Bears, Meriweather drew 22 yards from his two personal fouls (linebacker Brian Orakpo added a third personal foul with a late hit on quarterback Josh McCown).

“I was more concerned with the style [Meriweather] was tackling more than the fine or whatever,” Haslett said. “I’m concerned with him doing a better job wrapping his arms and bringing a guy down and not launching.”

Orakpo’s penalty probably hurt the Redskins more because it occurred on a third-down incomplete pass. Meriweather’s first penalty, a 15-yarder, came at the end of a 28-yard catch to the Redskins’ 43-yard line. The second one occurred on a first-and-goal from the 14-yard line, leading to a first-and-goal from the 7.

The Bears scored touchdowns on the latter two drives; they missed a field goal after the Orakpo penalty.

When Meriweather returns from his one-game suspension, it’ll still be a concern.

“They tell the referees to err on the side of caution and if it goes helmet-to-helmet, however you get it,” Haslett said, “if you hit the chest and you slide up and you get a piece of the helmet -- obviously that’s what the league calls a penalty....I think the league does a great job with player safey."

Meriweather said after Sunday’s game that he has worked to change his tackling habits, thanks to numerous fines since 2010. Teams only dress in full pads once a week, so it can be difficult. But the Redskins do have individual tackling sessions, focusing on wrapping up.

“That’s part of our routine every week and in training camp,” Haslett said, “so he has that understanding.”

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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