Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Message Lost in the Delivery

After his suspension for hitting wide receivers harshly Washington Redskin safety Brandon Meriweather returned to play and in an interview he said that he's got no choice but to hit offensive players at their knees and cause career ending injuries. This was welcomed with harsh criticism and overall disapproval by most gas bags on shows on ESPN and NFL Network, but most didn't catch his message. I heard what he said and I got the message. What I'm assuming he meant was that because of the new rules that the NFL has put in place in the name of safety defensive players aren't allowed to hit wide receivers or tight ends high (which includes the head or the chest) which only leaves hitting players low which aren't as protected as the head and chest.

Pads and helmet have been developed to the point where hits don't cause as much damage as they did 30-40 years ago so getting hit high won't cause as much of an issue as it did in the past, but the lower part of a football player is not as protected as the upper part. The typical football player wears thigh pads and knee pads that are as thin as paper and they don't protect players' knees, and that's where players like Meriweather are going to strike players since they can't hit a receiver high. Receivers are going to have to get used to players going for their knees and defensive players are going to have to swinging and missing a lot because hitting a player's knees isn't that easy. So there are going to be a boatload of missed tackles coming and things are look sloppier than they do already.

I don't blame Meriweather for his comments, but he does need to learn how to get his point across without coming off sounding like a maniac. The NFL didn't fine him for a reason because the powers that be know he's right.

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