But Meriweather talks little of his capabilities. If eager to make up for lost time, he doesn’t let on. If confident that he can be a solution in the team’s leaky secondary, he doesn’t share those sentiments, either.
“You’ve just got to wait and see,” he says. “I’m just working to be out here for my team. It feels good to know the coaches and them have faith in me.”
Meriweather said he doesn’t allow himself to worry about another potential setback. He doesn’t find himself wrestling with the dilemma of knowing how to pace himself as he works his way back.
“If it was up to me, I’d be out there every play,” he said. “But thank God I have good coaches, thank God I have good trainers, because they’re handling all that.”
The Redskins have made plans in case Meriweather’s knee doesn’t hold up, however. This spring, the team drafted Phillip Thomas andBacarri Rambo
. With Meriweather rehabbing during the spring, Thomas saw significant time as first-team strong safety while Rambo has started at free safety both during offseason practices and in training camp. Veteran Reed Doughty also has seen time with the starters at strong safety.
Meriweather doesn’t feel the pressure of the competition. Instead, he has taken it upon himself to help Thomas and Rambo in their acclimation to the NFL, giving them guidance in meetings and on the field.
“He gets on me, stays on my case, but I know he means well,” Thomas said. “It’s a progression thing and I know he’s going to bring me up, because we’re only as good as our weakest person.”
Says Meriweather: “That’s life. There’s somebody gunning for your job, too. It’s not just mine. . . . But at the end of the day, the best player’s going to win, and the people that are here are still going to be able to help the team. If you don’t play Week 1, you might play Week 3. You’ve always got to have somebody there that’s just as good. The way I grew up, your secondary is only as good as your backups. So if you have good backups, you’ll have a good secondary.”
Meriweather just hopes he can do his part to contribute to that secondary. If on the field, he believes the success will come.