NFL's crackdown on hits should emphasize fundamentals, Hoge says
What to do about the kind of violence and injury that millions of football fans saw Sunday?
" ... You reintroduce the fundamentals of the game," Merrill Hoge said on "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on ESPN. "I've heard [Mike] Golic talk about [how] our league is awful about tackles. It's an all-hit league. People want to hit everybody, but nobody wants to tackle. You implement how you tackle. You bring your arms, you sync your hips, you hit people with your shoulder pads. You reintroduce that. You force that. You coach that and then you penalize that."
The worst hit on a day of bad ones? "When you launch and you deliberately lead with your head -- and the word 'deliberate' has to be put in there. ... [Brandon] Meriweather [of the New England Patriots] deliberately launched and led with his head and it was the only purpose that he left his feet for. It wasn't the tackle. It was to deliberately inflict some type of hit on Todd Heap with his head. Absolutely grotesque and unnecessary. ... That's the one we have to eliminate."
The NFL's former vice president of officiating agrees. Mike Pereira, now a Fox Sports analyst blogged: "I cannot muster any kind of sympathy for Meriweather. This is another cheap shot, and, in my mind, worse than the hit Cleveland's T.J. Ward put on Cincinnati's Jordan Shipley two weeks ago, and Ward was fined $15,000.
"Meriweather clearly launched and went helmet-to-helmet against Heap, and Heap was injured on the play. At least Ward did not launch. This type of hit is totally avoidable, and another message needs to be sent by the league to all players, forcing them to realize this type of contact is not acceptable. I look for a big fine to come from the league against Meriweather."
TWO SAFETIES WEIGH IN
So the NFL wants to suspend players for helmet to helmet due to injuries, yet the NFL wants 2 more games. Make sense?
I feel the NFL is singling out defensive players. What about the running backs who are running towards me then lower their heads at contact
MORE FROM THE POST
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Photo gallery: See Sunday's hits
James Harrison: 'Don't care if I hurt people'
Redskins: Cooley played with concussion
The League: What can be done about helmet-to-helmet hits?
| October 19, 2010; 8:20 AM ET
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