BALTIMORE -- Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather said he tried to square up the receiver, aiming for his middle. Instead, he wound up drawing a penalty -- and, if the NFL agrees with the call, there could be more repercussions -- something he's all too familiar with in his career.
Meriweather was flagged for a personal foul on Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith with a hit officials judged helmet-to-helmet in the second quarter of the Redskins' 23-17 preseason loss Saturday. Meriweather broke up a pass to Smith. Meriweather did not think he led with his helmet.
"No, I don't. But at the same time, I'm not the one who wrote the book on penalties," he said. "I tried to aim at his numbers. I kind of seen the pass go, and I went in and aimed low, and I hit him with my shoulder. I did everything my coaches taught me to do, and I got the flag."
Meriweather has a history of such plays, having been suspended one game in 2013 for multiple violations of this infraction. He's also been fined multiple times throughout his career, which is why Meriweather said he focused on staying low when working on his tackling form this offseason.
"I don't know," Meriweather said when asked if he'd be fined. "That's not for me to judge. That's for the NFL. ... I'm trying to do what the NFL asked me after going through the offseason, and working on the things I need to work on, and the first chance I get, it seems like I failed."
As long as he plays, Meriweather likely has to live with the knowledge that his previous hits have left him under a microscope. He also said he wants to keep focusing on staying low when he hits, trying to eliminate not only fines but possible suspensions.
"I think they've been keeping a close eye on me for the last couple years, not just this year," he said. "But at the same time I'm going to continue to work on my game and I'll continue to work on getting lower and continue to try to do the things the way they want me to do. ... I've got everyone here helping me with it. At the end of the day I have to find a way to make it happen."