The Washington Redskins must “do better” in teaching proper tackling techniques to suspended safety Brandon Meriweather because their efforts so far in that regard “didn’t work in his case,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said Thursday.
“We do a good job teaching our guys what the league is asking you to do from that standpoint,” Haslett said at Redskins Park. “But obviously it didn’t work in his case. So we’ve got to do better because we’ve got to eliminate the penalties because that hurt us more than anything from a team standpoint last week in the game.”
The league imposed a two-game suspension Monday on Meriweather for what it called repeated violations of the sport’s player safety rules. The suspension was imposed a day after Meriweather was penalized for two illegal hits on Chicago Bears receivers Sunday. Meriweather appealed and the suspension was reduced to one game Wednesday by appeals officer Ted Cottrell.
“I think the league does a great job with player safety,” Haslett said. “Obviously being an ex-player, I think what they’ve done, what the league office has done, has been exceptional. They’ve done a good job all around the board from that area. My concern was more with the penalties…. Obviously I was more concerned with the style of which he was tackling more than the fine or whatever. I’m concerned with him doing a better job of wrapping his arms, bringing the guy down and not launching.”
Proper tackling techniques can be taught — and learned — in practices even with the restrictions that are in place on the amount of contact permitted during NFL practices, Haslett said.
“I don’t think it’s hard because we do tackling drills out there,” Haslett said. “It’s not full, live tackling because you don’t want to get anybody hurt. But we do tackling drills. That’s part of our routine every week and in training camp. So I think he has that understanding.”
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