Meriweather Vows to Change His Ways.................
Bears safety vows to reform
Meriweather says he will tone down violent hits
By Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune reporter 9:46 p.m. CDT, October 19, 2011
Benched Bears safety Brandon Meriweather, who was fined $45,000 the previous two weeks for illegal hits, vowed to immediately change his sometimes-reckless playing style.
"Apparently I need to fix something if (the NFL) is concerned about my hits," Meriweather told the Tribune. "I have to change it, or else I'm going to keep getting fined. Eventually if you get enough fines, you're going to end up getting kicked out the league. For me to continue to do something I love, I just have to change the way I play."
Meriweather's violent hits reportedly disturbed Ray Anderson, the NFL's vice president for football operation. League spokesperson Greg Aiello said Wednesday the league has no plans to schedule a meeting with the safety.
Meriweather said Bears coaches told him to stop leading with his helmet.
"Everybody told me that," he said. "It's not necessarily what they said, but how they said it. People have told me before that I had to change my ways. I've been trying. It's just something you can't do overnight." (LMAO!!! You mean like "one more fine and you'll be playing for the Manitowoc Chiefs in the Wisconsin Dairyland League")
Meriweather, in his fifth season, was fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Panthers receiver Steve Smith in Week 4. He appealed the fine because he thought it was a legal hit. Then Meriweather was fined $25,000 last week for a late hit on Lions receiver Nate Burleson.
"I didn't hear the whistle," Meriweather said. (:rofl2:Sure you didn't)
Last year while a starter for the Patriots, Meriweather was fined $50,000 for a pair of hits on Ravens tight end Todd Heap in the same game. The fine later was reduced to $40,000.
On one of those hits, Meriweather clearly launched himself at Heap's helmet and knocked out Heap's mouthpiece. Heap suffered a shoulder stinger on the play.
"That one on Heap is the one I regret," Meriweather said. "That right there was blatant and not called for in the game." (Guys doing life in prison for serial murders often say that too.)
Meriweather's stance Wednesday was much different than his take on the matter in this week's Sports Illustrated.
"They teach you growing up that you have to … put the fear of God in people, but when you get to the league … they tell you to change your game 100 percent or get money taken from you," Meriweather said in the Oct. 24 issue.
Meriweather tempered his comments.
"When you're a kid, you are taught to play like that," he said. "But now that you're older, you get paid to play a certain way." (Did you mean at U of Miami or in Chicago?)
Meriweather signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Bears. He started four games before losing his free safety spot to rookie Chris Conte. Meriweather was active for Sunday night's game against the Vikings but didn't play. He could be back in the lineup if Conte falters.
"Of course I'm upset about it," Meriweather said about being benched. "Who wouldn't be?"
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