Jon Scott, publisher of PatriotsInsider.com, has covered the entire career of one of the Chicago Bears' newest acquisitions, safety Brandon Meriweather. The two-time Pro Bowler was cut by the Patriots last week after falling out of favor with the organization. He's been described as high-risk, high-reward player that may be able to provide an upgrade to the back end of Chicago's secondary.
Yet according to Scott, he may be more trouble than he's worth. His scouting report below offers us a better idea of the player the Bears are getting.
Meriweather scouting report
S Brandon Meriweather
Brandon Meriweather is a guy many people think of when they talk about the New England Patriots after the retirement of Rodney Harrison. Meriweather was supposed to be the guy Harrison passed the torch to in what amounted to being one of the league's better units. Unfortunately, Meriweather never became that guy.
Drafted in 2007, Meriweather joined a talented group of defensive backs. Harrison was the deep anchor, Asante Samuel was the hotshot corner, Ellis Hobbs played opposite Samuel. Role players were James Sanders, who spelled Harrison, Eugene Wilson and Randall Gay. For Meriweather there was no need to make a big splash as a rookie, he had plenty of talent already in the locker room.
But when Harrison retired, Wilson and Gay moved on, Samuel left for Philly and Hobbs was let go, the entire makeup of the defensive backfield changed. This was the time Meriweather was supposed to step up. Instead Sanders became the one to assume more of the leadership duties.
Trouble began for Meriweather when he admittedly started to freelance in the secondary. Taking bad angles to cut off a defender, gambling on an interception here or there, missing tackles, all were part of the negative performance the former Miami U defender was showing. Touted as a versatile defender who could play safety or corner, Meriweather wasn't excelling at either one.
The writing on the wall for Meriweather came when undrafted rookie free agent Sergio Brown began to get reps with the starters. The team brought in a host of backups, including former Bears S Brandon McGowan. McGowan even beat out Meriweather for playing time.
The Patriots have opted to part ways with Meriweather and take their chances with players who just "do their job." Pat Chung was drafted for one spot, and the team has a couple of other faces to play the other safety spot, including former role players James Ihedigbo and Antwaun Molden.
Can Meriweather be productive?
Sure. At least if he decides that he needs to play the way the coaches are telling him to play. It's surprising that Meriweather was voted to the Pro Bowl last year when he clearly fell to the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.