Newly signed Giants safety Brandon Meriweather has a reputation for being a big hitter in the NFL.
Unfortunately for him, he's playing in an era when that kind of play is frowned upon. As such, he's run into discipline from the NFL numerous times, and now that he's with the Giants, the big question isn't how much toughness he'll bring to the secondary, but how many flags it will cost the team.
To which former University of Miami teammate and current Giants defensive captain Jon Beason says it should be none. In a perfect defensive world, anyway.
"In my opinion I think they should flag the quarterbacks for throwing the ball there," Beason said. "Back in the day on certain routes and certain coverages they would say 'I can't throw this seam route because it's Cover-4 and the safety is sitting right on top of it, I don't want to get my guy killed.' So you wouldn't even think to throw the ball there. Now you throw the ball, guys get hit, they may be hurt maybe not, you roll around, the flag comes out, ok, it's a good play for the offense. And they know it."
Beason, who began his college career as a safety, said he doesn't think he'd be able to play that position in today's NFL given the restrictions on the hitting zone to which defensive backs must abide.
"You play to the rules," Beason said. "But I think the onus is most on the quarterbacks not to throw those balls. Then we wouldn't have those collisions."
That kind of Utopia for a linebacker and safety isn't coming to an NFL stadium near you anytime soon. The NFL's rules will apply to Meriweather as much as anyone else. Perhaps more given his long rap sheet of infractions.
"Hey, you can't hit people like that anymore," Beason said. "I think nine years in, he realizes the target area has changed. It's a violent game unfortunately, and I think Brandon has learned his lesson."