Friday, October 15, 2010

In Defense of Shawne Merriman...

Hey, guys! I know, there are a couple of my readers curious as to my feelings about the situation with Shawne Merriman and the San Diego Chargers this week. If you haven’t heard by now, and I really can’t imagine why you haven’t, Merriman was placed on IR with a minor injury stipulation, which means in 6 weeks, if he is healthy, the Chargers have to release him. For all practical purposes, his days as a San Diego Charger are done.

San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawn <span class=

I had heard that there was a potential chance for Merriman to be cut. Even so, I was still surprised to hear that they were taking this route, but then again I was surprised when A.J. Smith fired Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season. *Shrug* So, for the next 6 weeks, the NFL will be Merriman-less. I’m glad the Chiefs have a winning record.

Aug 14, 2010; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers linebacker <span class=

The thing that really surprised me, however, was the number of negative comments made by some San Diego “fans.” First, there were the ones who commented, “get rid of the bum because he hasn’t been any good since he got off the ‘roids.”

1. Merriman tested positive in April of 2006. He was suspended in September of 2006. He deserved the suspension, because even if you are “unaware” of a substance is in the supplement, you are responsible for getting it tested. He was suspended without pay for four weeks. He lost more in those 4 weeks than most of us will make in 4 years. Not to mention, it cost him the Defensive player of the Year. Plus, he has the dubious honor of having an NFL rule named after him.

2. He finished the 2006 season with the following stats: 62 tackles, 17 sacks, 7 PDef, and an interception.

3. He finished the 2007 season with the following stats: 68 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 4 PDef.

That doesn’t look like a fall off to me; therefore, the “roids” argument doesn’t wash, so let that argument go, because it doesn’t hold water.

December 9, 2007: ..Backup Titan quarterback Kerry Collins is sacked by San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman after starting quarterback Vince Young left with an injury...The Tennessee Titans lead the San Diego Chargers 3-0 at LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee Photo via Newscom

Then, there were the ones who commented, “he is an off-field distraction, who has delusions of Hollywood more than football.” Really? Name an NFL player who isn’t trying to make it in Hollywood? So, that’s not Shaun Phillips on Kick Off Cook Off. Philip Rivers isn’t in that ESPN commercial. Apparently, Antonio Gates doesn't do commercials or the ESPYs either. Football careers are short lived. These guys have to make a dime anyway they can. If Hollywood is willing to give them the money, I have two words-take it. That whole business with Pro Football Talk was to be done on the nights most players go out and party. I would rather have my players in a studio talking football, than getting drunk in a club (as long as he didn’t discuss out playbook). Don't start me on Peyton Manning...

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 04:  Shawne Merriman arrives at the White Party hosted by Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Ashton Kutcher to help raise awareness for Malaria No More held at a Private Residence on July 4, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Arrests. Shaun Phillips was arrested in 2006 for resisting arrest and was cited for slapping a security guard in 2009. Plus, he has an impending civil case in Las Vegas for allegedly slapping a 54 year-old woman. No, distractions there. The guy you protest to miss and need so much, Vincent Jackson was arrested and sentenced not once but twice for driving under the influence. By all means, give him whatever he wants. Plus, Jackson was arrested for driving with a supended license the morning of the playoff game with the Jets (a game in which he received a 15 yard penalty for kicking Rex Ryan's challenge flag). By all means, welcome him. Merriman was arrested, released, charges dismissed for his alleged "assault" on Tila Nguyen. You guys want to defend a woman who claimed she was pregnant by a rapper, not pregnant by a rapper, but a surrogate for her brother, but not a surrogate for her brother, cause she's not pregnant, but engaged to marry a woman who dies shortly after the engagement. Those are just the ones that popped up in my newspapers. Yet, several people called him a woman beater. *eyes rolling*

Merriman's injury came on December 9, 2007 after a cheap shot hit on him in "retaliation" for Vince Young running into him. David Stewart and Kevin Mawae were fined a total of $17,500 for that hit on Merriman. The Chargers doctors diagnosed Merriman with knee ligament "sprains." His missed one game and played the rest of the season virtually on one leg, because those "sprains" were actually tears to his PCL and LCL.

December 9, 2007: ..Tennessee quarterback is sacked by Charger linebacker Shawne Merriman...The Tennessee Titans lead the San Diego Chargers 3-0 at LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee Photo via Newscom

Did you forget the rematch a few weeks later in the playoffs where Merriman 4 tackles, 1 sack and a FF? ON ONE LEG. Playing the next week against Indy with 5 tackles and 1 PDef. ON ONE LEG. Playing the next week and the Pro Bowl. Okay. So maybe he should have taken off the Pro Bowl and had surgery. He still would have only played a hand full of games in 2008, and the injury takes at least a year to fully recover. So, he tried to play in 2008 with one leg. Surgery. He comes back pulled groin and plantar fasciitis. He only had 4 sacks and 28 tackles in 2009. If sacks are the only stat you look at, Nick Barnett and Patrick Willis also only had four. Ray Lewis only had 3. Granted they had far more tackles, but most of you are really only looking at the sack stat, Merriman was not really drafted for his tackling. It was for the sacks. Good luck sacking even the slowest quarterback with those injuries. My point is...HE PLAYED!!!

SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 14: Linebacker Shawne Merriman  of the San Diego Chargers works out before the game with the Chicago Bears on August 14, 2010 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  Merriman signed his one year tender contract on Friday and isn't expected to play. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Then, there is this year. Yes, yes. The ill-advised sit out, but he showed up. Then, there was the Achilles. Then, there was the calf-strain. So, now he's done Charger fans. He's about to be where most of you want him, on his way to being "someone else's problem." So, Shawne here's what you do. Rest the leg. Get therapy on the Achilles and calf. Repeat. Take whatever the next team offers that reasonable. Don't hem and haw too much. Don't talk about it at all. Take the deal. Take the field, and model your comeback after Drew Brees, who they thought was washed up, too.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and quarter back Drew Brees hold the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning Super Bowl XLIV at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on February 7, 2010. The Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts 31-17. UPI/John Angelillo

Good luck, Shawne...

Until next time, "The best revenge is massive success."~Frank Sinatra

1 comment:

  1. I am not a huge fan of his. I find him reasonably oafish...but he WAS a great player. Frankly I wonder how any of these guys play football without using somethign to keep them going. I hope he gets healthy and gets a chance to play again.

    fans, by and large...are stupid.