Washington’s Meriweather rips Bears’ Brandon Marshall
ASHBURN, Va. — After saying he’s going to “take peoples’ knees out” to avoid another suspension for hits to the head, Washington safety Brandon Meriweather struck another blow — declaring that “people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league.”
Meriweather’s comments were a retort referencing the checkered domestic violence past of Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, who last week suggested that players such as Meriweather should perhaps be “taken out of the game completely” to make the game safer.
“Everybody got their opinion,” Meriweather said Monday. “If he feel like, you know, I need to be kicked out of the league, I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league, too. You tell me who you’d rather have — somebody who plays aggressive on the field, or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?”
Marshall’s career has occasionally been overshadowed by off-the-field troubles, including multiple arrests following confrontations with a girlfriend when he was playing for the Denver Broncos. None of the arrests led to a conviction.
Marshall declined to comment when approached by reporters in the Bears’ locker room on Monday. Shortly after Meriweather’s comments, he tweeted: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
Monday was Meriweather’s first day back with the Redskins after a one-game suspension for multiple helmet-first hits against defenseless receivers, including two in a victory over Chicago last week. One of the hits was against Marshall in the end zone on an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter.
Meriweather, who was fined for a helmet-first hit against the Green Bay Packers earlier in this season, was initially suspended for two games by the NFL. He had the sanction cut in half after an appeal.
Asked if he plans to change how he plays, Meriweather said: “I guess I’ve just got to take people’s knees out. I’d hate to end a guy’s career over a rule, but I guess it’s better (for something to happen to) other people than me getting suspended for longer.”
“You’ve just got to go low now,” he said. “You’ve got to end people’s career. You’ve got to tear people’s ACLs and mess up people’s knees now. You can’t hit ‘em high anymore.”
Asked for his reaction to Meriweather’s comments about aiming for the knees, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said: “I’m not sure if I would have used those choice of words.”
“Brandon knows that he’s got to go lower,” Shanahan said, “or he’s not going to be playing in the National Football League. ... Now the safeties have to go lower. It’s just part of the game.”
• New York Jet David Nelson and Cincinnati’s Adam “Pacman” Jones were still going at it after they tangled a few times on the field.
The two had a few tense moments during the Cincinnati Bengals’ 49-9 victory Sunday, including a hit by the New York Jets receiver late in the third quarter that angered Jones. Nelson was penalized for clipping, and the cornerback had to be restrained by a teammate as he ran toward him.
Nelson acknowledged he’s a physical player. But Jones took it a step further, saying Nelson is “dirty” player.
“For him to call me dirty,” Nelson said Monday, “I think is inaccurate and not true.”
The New York Daily News also reported that Jones told Nelson during the game that he would find out where he lives “and come and get you.” Nelson wouldn’t detail his conversations with Jones, but confirmed that published reports were accurate.
• Case Keenum will start at quarterback in place of a healthy Matt Schaub when the Houston Texans host division foe Indianapolis on Sunday night.
Coach Gary Kubiak said he had decided before the bye weekend to give Keenum a second straight start as the Texans try to end a five-game losing streak. Kubiak said the decision was not for the rest of the season, but is geared toward trying to keep the team going in the right direction following a close 17-16 loss to Kansas City in which Keenum played well.
• Carolina free safety Mike Mitchell said he’s being “targeted” by commissioner Roger Goodell after receiving his fifth fine of the season from the NFL.
Mitchell was fined $7,875 last week by the league for taunting after he shoved Rams quarterback Sam Bradford out of bounds during a game on Oct. 20. Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury on the play.
• Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams has been remembered as a competitive visionary who helped cultivate the NFL as a founding member of the old American Football League. About 1,000 friends, relatives and associates of Adams attended a memorial service in his adopted hometown of Houston. Adams died last week at age 90. He’s best remembered for bringing pro football to Houston when he and partner Lamar Hunt announced in 1959 the formation of the upstart AFL. And he’s remembered in the nation’s fourth biggest city for moving the team in 1997 to Tennessee, where they became the Titans.
• Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver has apologized for making an obscene gesture directed at the officials and will be disciplined by the team.
Tarver was caught on television using the one-finger gesture toward the officials after a flag was thrown on cornerback Mike Jenkins for a hit to the head of Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell in Sunday’s 21-18 win. The flag was eventually picked up.
“I apologize for my action on the sideline of yesterday’s game. It was in the heat of the moment, and I regret drawing attention away from the Raiders players and what they accomplished.”