BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL has taken considerable measures in recent years to reduce serious head injuries, chief among them an increased emphasis on penalizing players for helmet-to-helmet hits. Former Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather was notorious during his NFL career for hitting players in the head, leading to public beefs with opposing players – but he says that helmet hits were what players preferred.
Meriweather joined Toucher & Rich on Wednesday for his weekly phone interview ahead of Super Bowl LI in Houston and was asked about public comments made by Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett back during Meriweather’s playing career. Meriweather doesn’t have anything against players who called him “dirty,” but reiterated previous comments he’d made about opposing players.
He insisted that players ultimately preferred to be hit in the head rather than down low, since serious leg and knee injuries can ultimately derail careers faster and easier than concussions.
“I get everybody’s point-of-view, but everybody that ever played the game told me, ‘Please don’t hit me low, hit me high,'” said Meriweather. “‘I’d rather you hit me in the head than hit me in the leg.’ Everybody I ever played in the game said that.”
Meriweather also talked about the narrative surrounding players who complain to the referees about getting hit. He said that “80 percent of receivers” and “all quarterbacks” complained to the officials – not just Tom Brady.
Listen to the full podcast below: