Earlier this week, a pair of defensive teammates stuck up for Brandon Meriweather. After the safety was suspended on Monday, an offensive teammate — fullback Darrel Young — offered an equally enthusiastic defense.
During his weekly appearance on B-Mitch Live, Young was asked whether he thought Meriweather’s hits on Sunday were anything out of the ordinary. (Watch it here, around the 9:00 mark.)
“No. Honestly, I think he’s playing football,” Young replied. “I think the most frustrating thing was — no one would notice, but I’m gonna say it now, because this is what it was. When he got that hit [on Alshon Jeffery] on the sideline, the first one, the ref came over to the sideline and said who was that flag on?, to the other ref. And [the other ref] said 31. [Then] he threw the flag.
“So D. Hall, when you seen him scrambling and arguing, that’s what he was arguing about. Because how can you throw a flag on a guy when you didn’t know who it was, you know? So I thought that was stupid.”
“But at the end of the day, you play football,” Young continued. “I’m not trying to hurt anybody. But me as a fullback, a corner’s gonna take my legs out. I know that. I’m not coming in there, running straight up.
“The situation that he’s in, I’m not gonna promote what he does. I’m not gonna say he’s right, I’m not gonna say he’s wrong, but I’m gonna have his back. Because I played safety, and I know that your job is to basically to knock the ball out of the guy’s hands. If you don’t do it, then you’re not playing well enough, and we’ve got to get somebody else to replace you.
“So at the end of the day, I think he put himself in situations to make the team better. And they threw a penalty, ok, we can live with it. They threw another one, ok. The first one, I thought he didn’t do anything. The second one, ok, maybe a little bit more so. But Brandon Marshall’s comments, for them being friends, were ridiculous.”
Pierre Garcon also spoke on Meriweather’s behalf during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier.
“It all depends on the intent,” Garcon said. “You know, some guys aren’t trying to go the the head. Sometimes it’s just your natural body taking you towards the player. It’s definitely not a good situation, the helmet to helmet, or shoulder to helmet, or forearm to helmet. It’s all starting to get very hard for those guys to hit anybody. But, I guess they’re just trying to protect the game….We know Brandon’s not trying to hurt nobody, because definitely at the end of the day it definitely hurts us. And then you get fined too, by the league. It definitely hurts everybody. It’s just a tough, tough rule, and a tough thing you have to deal with playing in the NFL.”
And cornerback Josh Wilson also backed Meriweather during an appearance on the same program.
“A lot of the penalties, and things that people are saying that is dangerous what he’s doing, it’s just because the nature of where the game has turned to,” Wilson said. “Like the [Eddie] Lacy hit, he didn’t hit him in the head. He hit him in the chest and caught a piece of his chin and Lacy was knocked out. I wouldn’t call that a dirty play. That’s a football play that just hit him at the wrong angle….
“The one [Sunday] with Jeffery, he hit him clear with his shoulder into Jeffery’s shoulder. Those aren’t dirty hits. He’s wasn’t trying to hurt Jeffery. He hit him way below his helmet. And the one with Brandon Marshall, as a defensive player in the red zone, in the end zone, you don’t have a lot of time to make a decision. And he just tried to knock the ball free and stop a touchdown. And Brandon Marshall curls up. If I have a split second to make a hit, make a ball-dislodging hit, and the player changes the angle of his body, how do I readjust?”