Many of Brandon Meriweather’s teammates came to his defense and said they didn’t believe he deserved a two-game suspension following his hit to the head of Ravens receiver Torrey Smith on Saturday. But defensive end Jason Hatcher said after re-watching the play, he sees why the league slapped the safety with the punishment.
“Yeah, I think so,” Hatcher said when asked if he understood the reason by hind the suspension. “I looked at the hit on film, and I think the violent part of it is what made it so severe. He’s a violent tackler — him and Ryan [Clark]. If he would’ve let up just a little bit, he wouldn’t have gotten suspended.”
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden argued that it was a “bang-bang play” and that he believed Smith had lowered his body as he turned, and that Meriweather also was trying to lower his body as he flew in to deliver the hit.
Hatcher said that although Meriweather needed to have avoided this blow, he doesn’t want him to tone down his aggressive style of play.
“You can’t really take that from him. We love what he do, and we love the fear he puts in receivers going across the middle,” Hatcher said. “Hopefully we can have him back, he can appeal it and be back for the first game. If not, we’ll see him after the second game.”
Although he understood the reason behind the punishment, and where Meriweather had erred, Hatcher doesn’t totally agree with the league’s efforts to eliminate violent hits from the game.
“It’s football, man. It’s a violent sport,” Hatcher said. “You want to play two-hand touch? It’s slowly, but surely turning into that. After a while, we’re just going to put flags on and run around like kids. But it’s a violent sport, man. You go out there man-on-man. You’re trying to beat the man across from you, and it’s violent. So, I don’t know how they’re going to change it as much as they’re trying to.”
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