Adam Archuleta: Meriweather-Like Fines are ‘Ruining the Game’

by Chris Lingebach
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Brandon Meriweather (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Brandon Meriweather (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Blast from Redskins past Redskins past Adam Archuleta seems to side with current Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather, and against the NFL, on the perceived unreasonable target area the league expects defensive players to administer tackles.

“I personally think it’s ruining the game,” Archuleta, now a college football analyst for CBS Sports, told 106.7 The Fan’s Lavar and Dukes on Tuesday. “I think it’s ruining the game of football.”

“It’s hard enough with the skill that guys have on the offensive side of the ball to just tackle guys,” he said. “To try and adjust your aiming point – maybe some guys are good enough to do it, I certainly don’t think I would have been good enough to do it – you learn that you have to put your face on somebody, you have to put your helmet on somebody, and now they’re calling you if you touch the other guy’s helmet.”

Meriweather was suspended one game after inflicting helmet-to-helmet and helmet-first contact to the upper body of Bears’ Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall nearly two weeks ago.

“To be honest man you just gotta go low now, man. You gotta end people career. You gotta tear people ACL and mess up people knees. You can’t hit them high anymore. You just gotta go low,” Meriweather said upon returning from suspension.

“I don’t believe that you can child-proof everything in life, and not to be a meathead or be old-school, but football is football, and it really isn’t for everybody,” Archuleta said.

While qualifying that he’s not a statistician, Archuleta held that he’s not convinced even with increased fines and penalties, the number of concussions are going down, and yet we’re still reaping the negative consequences the change in culture has on the game.

“And here’s the problem I have with it,” he continued. “Is maybe you could make an argument that if you’re going helmet-to-helmet, and the helmet is the very first thing that makes contact with the other guy’s helmet, maybe I could see that, but what I’m seeing, not only in the NFL or in college, but the force of the blow has already been met by the body or the shoulder and then the helmet slides up, and if you touch the guy’s facemask or the helmet, they’re gonna throw you out in college or they’re gonna fine you in the NFL, and to me, I think it’s too far, I think it’s ridiculous.”

“If you start to now talk about a strike zone and hitting guys low, I don’t believe football is going to be the same in five or six years if they continue down this path,” Archuleta went on to say. “I know they’re not going to reverse it, but I think it stinks. Instead of arguing who is the better football team on Mondays in the NFL and on Sundays, fans and everybody is arguing calls or whether or not should have been thrown out, or somebody should have been targeting, and to me, that’s the wrong emphasis. That’s not what sports is all about.”

Archuleta, who played one year for the Redskins after signing a 7-year, $45-million contract in 2006, was asked to reflect on his time in Washington.

“Well it wasn’t the best,” he said. “I didn’t look back on it fondly, but it wasn’t a great time for me, either professionally or personally. It was relative to my life, it was a very low point and I went through a lot of personal struggles during that time, but you know, it is what it is. I appreciate every year, every moment that I got to play in the National Football League, and I appreciate the opportunity by Dan Snyder to sign me and bring me there. It didn’t work out, it was a miserable experience, but I’m a better guy for it now.”

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