|After four starts, Meriweather could be back on the bench. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Maybe Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was onto something when he released safety Brandon Meriweather a week before the start of the regular season. Meriweather, New England's 2007 first-round pick and a Pro Bowler in 2009 and 2010, was cut loose because, as Belichick explained at the time, "I just don't think you can pick teams, or pick your players based on what's happened in the past. You have to pick them based on what you think is going to happen this year, and that's relative to the competition, to the make of your team, and player's performance."
Translation: the Pats grew tired of watching Meriweather take bad angles and miss tackles, Pro Bowl accolades aside. He wasn't out of work long; the Bears signed him three days later. It was a one-year contract, which suggested to us at the time that the Bears weren't completely convinced Meriweather was a long-term answer in the secondary. If anything, he adds depth and experience, something Chicago lost in its preseason finale when backups Craig Steltz and Chris Conte suffered a hip injury and a concussion, respectively.
Well, five weeks later and Meriweather, a starter in the Bears' last four games, is again headed to the bench.
Details via the Chicago Tribune's Vaughn McClure:
Veterans Chris Harris and Brandon Meriweather are expected to be benched in favor of Major Wright and rookie Chris Conte for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, according to multiple team sources. Wright and Conte are expected to get the first-team reps at strong and free safety, respectively, during Thursday’s practice. …Sounds familiar.
Meriweather played a bit reckless throughout the game, opting for big hits rather than wrapping up for the tackle. The former New England Patriot seems to be having a tough time adjusting to a new defensive system.
Cornerback Charles Tillman was asked how the Bears could find more consistency at safety.
"Play harder, fix the mistakes, go back to fundamentals," he said. "And the most important part is to have fun."
In other Bears-related news, if the most important ingredient to NFL success is having fun, Jay Cutler would've been out of the league a long time ago. He's perpetually dour, which undoubtedly has to do with offensive coordinator Mike Martz, whose pass-blocking-optional offensive philosophy has a way of taking the joy out of the game.
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