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(CBS) When one of the most respected coaches in NFL history releases a 27-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler that he used a first-round draft pick on in 2007, there must be something the rest of the league isn’t seeing.
Turns out, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knew something the Bears didn’t when he released Brandon Meriweather.
The Bears recently-acquired safety has proven he does not play disciplined football, giving up tackles in attempts to make “big hits” and delivering late, dirty hits. Meriweather continues to play cheap football, even after the league fined him for leading with his helmet in the Bears’ win over the Panthers. As a repeat offender, Meriweather’s fine was considerably larger than average.
“From my vantage point, as an ex-player, it just looks like he has an issue with authority right now,” Matt Bowen of The National Football Post and Chicago Tribune said Thursday on The Mully and Hanley Show.
LISTEN: Matt Bowen on The Mully and Hanley Show
If Bowen were the Bears defensive coordinator, he would make it very clear what is and is not expected of Meriweather.
“I’d make it very cut and dry and be honest with me,” Bowen said. “‘Look, Brandon, you’re not playing very good football for us. I’m not going to start you this week. I’m going to have you play under (special teams coach Dave) Toub. If you don’t make plays, I’m probably going to let you go.”
Meriweather may be the Bears best athlete in their struggling secondary, but the ways he’s paying isn’t helping the Bears.
“I think this is the point in the season where, as a coach, you might have to make some changes,” Bowen said. “Maybe he is the best athlete in the secondary. I would agree with that, he probably is. You could’ve said that when he was back playing with New England. But when you’re not playing within the scheme of the defense, not playing the technique of the defense, you just can’t be out there.”