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Brandon Meriweather: 'I'm going to be aggressive, point blank.'

New England Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather defended his hit on Todd Heap of the Baltimore Ravens in the face of speculation that he will be fined by the NFL for launching himself for helmet-to-helmet contact Sunday. The NFL has vowed to crack down on such plays.

"I'm going to be aggressive, point blank," Meriweather said during his weekly interview Monday on WEEI Radio in Boston. He declined to comment . "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 yesterday and let him know it wasn't intentional and he told me he understood."

Ray Anderson, the NFL's vice president of officiating, called Meriweather's hit "flagrant" and "egregious" on ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" show. Meriweather said he jumped for the hit because he thought Heap was going to catch the ball. Patriots Coach Bill Belichick took Meriweather out of the game after the play.

"We ran that play a thousand times at practice," Meriweather said. "Every time at practice I broke on the ball and the tight end caught it every time. 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 injury anybody, or play dirty in any kind of way. It just happened."

Even if you try to avoid helmet-to-helmet hits, Meriweather said, sometimes they are not preventable.

"You never know what someone is gong to do," Meriweather said. "You can try to go with your shoulder, but what if they move the same way you move, then it's still going to be head to head. There's a million different ways you can get head to head contact. You just gotta play aggressive. When things happen like that you just pray that nobody gets hurt."

One ex-player pundit, former Patriots DB Rodney Harrison, called for suspensions on hits like the one Meriweather made on NBC's "Sunday Night Football.

"You didn't get my attention when you fined me five grand, 10 grand, 15 grand," Harrison said. "You got my attention when I got suspended, and I had to get away from my teammates, and I disappointed my teammates from not being there."

To which Meriweather said: "Hot Rod has his opinion on a lot of things, but I think if he was still playing he would have never said anything like that."

By Cindy Boren  | October 19, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  NFL  
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Comments

I'm torn.

On the one hand, I hate the Gene Washington stink that has been on the front office for years now. He's the sissy former wide receiver that started all the 'protect the offensive players' rulings that have come down for the past 15 years. He's the one who put a 'skirt' on the League and it continues til this day.

On the other hand, while I'm a huge fan of hits, I'm not a huge fan of injured players and debilitated former athletes who can't live a decent life after football (especially since the League/Players Association is so dam tight with the health insurance monies and disability payouts plus how hard they make it to file compensation claims).

We'll just have to live with whatever rulings come down the pike.

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 19, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm torn.

On the one hand, I hate the Gene Washington stink that has been on the front office for years now. He's the sissy former wide receiver that started all the 'protect the offensive players' rulings that have come down for the past 15 years. He's the one who put a 'skirt' on the League and it continues til this day.

On the other hand, while I'm a huge fan of hits, I'm not a huge fan of injured players and debilitated former athletes who can't live a decent life after football (especially since the League/Players Association is so dam tight with the health insurance monies and disability payouts plus how hard they make it to file compensation claims).

We'll just have to live with whatever rulings come down the pike.

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm torn.

On the one hand, I hate the Gene Washington stink that has been on the front office for years now. He's the sissy former wide receiver that started all the 'protect the offensive players' rulings that have come down for the past 15 years. He's the one who put a 'skirt' on the League and it continues til this day.

On the other hand, while I'm a huge fan of hits, I'm not a huge fan of injured players and debilitated former athletes who can't live a decent life after football (especially since the League/Players Association is so dam tight with the health insurance monies and disability payouts plus how hard they make it to file compensation claims).

We'll just have to live with whatever rulings come down the pike.

Posted by: kahlua87 | October 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@ kahlua87
I'm torn as to why you posted the same thing THREE TIMES!

Posted by: whatyoutalkinboutman | October 19, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

suspensions and game misconduct like the NHL has will be the only way to change the attitude of a few players that play the game dirty...safety and protecting the star players is not only good business but does not take away from the violent game of collisions...rodney harrison was a dirty ballplayer that caused many a 15yd unsportsmanlike penalty whey playing for the san diego chargers...it was actually refreshing to learn of his most recent take on illegal hits to the head...hard hitting clean football is what we all want to see not intent to injure...i.e.james harrison most recent comments...are you kidding me...ask how colts or patriots would feel is someone cheap shot peyton manning or tom brady and they were out of football ....bravo to NFL to taking action proactive and not waiting for the next darryl stingley hit by jack tatum....those of us who were around to witness that hit could not believe tatum was not even fined for that hit...

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | October 19, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@ Kahlua87
~~~
No way in the world that the safey excuse can be pinned on Washington. This is a Roger Goodell show.
1.This is what you get when you're a sports commissioner that's being led around by the nose by an overempowered media.
2.This is also what you get when you have said sports commissioner making 15 million a year and trying to stay relevant as a justification for his big-/a/s/s/ salary. With his yearly salary, Goodell makes more than almost 95-98% of the players themselves.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | October 19, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

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