Brandon Meriweather

PATS NOTEBOOK: Meriweather in the fold

FOXBORO - He was drafted as a safety, but Brandon Meriweather's future as a Patriot may take a different course because of circumstances not under his control.

The first-round draft pick from Miami, signed officially Saturday to a five-year contract, made his first appearance on the practice fields as a cornerback - partially out of necessity, partially because it was coach Bill Belichick's plan for him all along.

"We'll work him at both spots," Belichick said after Saturday's practice. "He's played a lot of different positions in college. He's played the nickel position, the corner position, the safety position. We'll use him in some different spots and see how it goes.

"People on our team are going to have to have some versatility and play different spots anyway, so he falls into that category," he said.

First-round pick Meriweather looking to get deal done before camp

With negotiations slated to pick up this week, New England Patriots first-round draft pick Brandon Meriweather expects to have a deal done in time for training camp, which opens July 27, his agent said Saturday.

"We are about to start a real substantive discussion," Meriweather's agent Joby Branion, a Wareham native, told The Standard-Times. "I intend to talk with their (front office) in the coming week. I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be able to get a deal done that makes both sides happy."

The Patriots signed seventh-round draft pick Oscar Lua, a linebacker out of USC, to a four-year contract this weekend according to Branion, who also represents Lua. Based on reports, the Pats have now signed four of their nine selections.

Meriweather mending - For now, caution best prescription

Five games into a frustrating rookie season, Chad Jackson was asked what advice he would give a first-year player in his situation. "Don't get hurt," replied the Patriots receiver, who opened training camp last year on the physically-unable-to-perform list with a hamstring injury that persisted into the season.

First-round pick Brandon Meriweather has already gone awry of Jackson's recommendation. Meriweather, sidelined by a hamstring injury, was not on the field during the Patriots' three-day minicamp last week, although he was in Foxborough working out. The rookie defensive back was also absent from the passing camp session the Patriots opened to the media last month.

Perhaps Bill Belichick and Co. have learned their lesson from Jackson, whose 2006 season became a cautionary tale for rushing a rookie back from an injury before he's fully healed. Jackson, a second-round pick, showed flashes of brilliance while playing in 12 games but finished with only 13 catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

Mum’s word on absent Meriweather

FOXBORO - The absence of Laurence Maroney [stats] from on-field participation at mandatory minicamp wasn’t all too startling, given the offseason shoulder surgery the Patriots [team stats] running back underwent.

Brandon Meriweather?

It was a surprise when the rookie first-round pick missed yesterday’s workout. He wasn’t at Thursday’s voluntary passing camp, either, during the one day the media was allowed to watch.

Meriweather has had a history of shoulder trouble. Pats coach Bill Belichick, naturally, wasn’t providing much on the rookie’s absence.

When asked to explain why Meriweather was missing, Belichick responded: “Well, there are a number of players that aren’t out there on the field. There are different things going on with different players.”

Was Meriweather injured?

“There are different things going on with different players,” Belichick repeated. “Some of them I’m sure will be out there tomorrow and some of them may not be. We’ll have the injury report the first Wednesday of the regular season. We don’t want to rush it.”

Justin Schulman, who represents Meriweather at the California-based Athlete’s First, is referring all inquiries on Meriweather to the Patriots.


Brandon Merriweather Update

First-round draft choice Brandon Meriweather did not participate in the on-field portion of the workout, but he was at Gillette. Meriweather, whose hamstring is not 100 percent, also missed last Thursday's passing camp.


Meriweather's First Impression

Now that New England fans have gotten over the initial shock of Bill Belichick drafting a supposed Miami bad boy the Boston media has actually taken the time to get to know Brandon Meriweather, and they've learned he's not as threatening as his media-driven persona.

The Boston Globe - which I interned at twice by the way - is my favorite sports section, which is why I'm proud to have assisted Christopher Gasper with his personality profile of Meriweather. If you haven't already read it CLICK HERE. It's a must read! I say that because even I learned something about Meriweather I didn't know (I had no clue he was adopted).

Here is the transcript of Meriweather's interview when he reported to training camp last weekend.

Q:  Describe how you feel?

BM: I don’t think I can explain it in words.  I’m very excited to come to a Super Bowl contending team.  I don’t think my feelings right now can explain how excited I am about being here.

Meriweather grateful Pats trust his character

FOXBORO — If you don't like what you see, Brandon Meriweather suggests you look again.

With a media image far more imposing than his scrawny physique, the softspoken safety from Miami comes off on first glance as an undersized prospect with troubling character concerns. Making his New England debut Friday at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots No. 1 draft pick said he's glad Bill Belichick took a closer look.

"I think coach Belichick is one of those people who is a great feeler of people," said Meriweather, in town to participate in this weekend's rookie minicamp. "I think just by talking to him, I could tell that he was a smart guy that can feel out people well. Thanks to him, I'm here."

The human eye has trouble seeing Meriweather as the NFL first-rounder who made more tackles than any defensive back in Hurricanes history (293). He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 195 pounds, but Meriweather has always been undersized, enrolling at Miami at a scale-friendly 160.

Meriweather counting on Hall monitors

FOXBORO— While much has been made about the troubled past of first-round draft pick Brandon Meriweather, the former University of Miami safety focused yesterday on his future with the Patriots.

With the start of its rookie minicamp today, New England introduced Meriweather, who said he was looking forward to working with Patriots veterans like fellow safety Rodney Harrison in the offseason to acclimate himself to life in the NFL.

“I plan on getting with the veterans,” Meriweather said. “I think Rodney will be a great person that I can get around, and he can help me out with all the media and all the people in town — where to go and where not to go. I think since he has been here long enough … I think that is someone I need to get around and learn from.”

Meriweather has strong suits

FOXBOROUGH -- Brandon Meriweather impressed his new boss before playing a down. The Patriots' first-round draft pick, who was formally introduced yesterday at Gillette Stadium, caught owner Robert Kraft's eye with his sartorial selection.

The rookie was clad in a black suit, red shirt with a black and red tie, and a matching pocket square. "He's a very sharp dresser," said Kraft. "The pocket square, the whole deal. The guy knows how to dress."

Kraft's Mr. Blackwell impression aside, Meriweather will be judged on how he looks on the field and if he can stay clear of trouble off it. New England will get some idea about the former today with the start of a two-day minicamp, where Meriweather and the other rookies will get their first taste of NFL life.

Scott Pioli on Brandon Merriweather

Former Miami coach Larry Coker was interviewed today and talked about how you and Bill Belichick spent time talking with the players down there. Is it fair to say you might have had any questions about character answered in those discussions?

“We feel very comfortable with Brandon [Meriweather], and him as a person and as a player. We did spend -- not only myself and Bill -- but we have a number of scouts who went through there. Organizationally, we talked about all of his situations. We spent quite a bit of time with him as well personally in different environments and different situations. We felt comfortable with Brandon, and Larry and his staff were outstanding. Larry is one of the people in this business that you can certainly trust what he says. And we have a relationship with Randy [Shannon], the new head coach.”

(Dale & Holley Show WEEI)

Wealth of talent at Miami: Belichick digs in again

FOXBORO - When the Patriots [team stats] finally got back to choosing draft picks yesterday, as opposed to moving them or trading them, they went back to the well, so to speak.

The Patriots grabbed another defensive player, and they chose one from the University of Miami, the home of their previous selection in this year’s draft.

Miami defensive tackle Kareem Brown was selected in the fourth round with the 127th overall pick yesterday, joining Hurricanes safety Brandon Meriweather, who was picked in the first round (24th overall) by the Patriots on Saturday. The Pats worked out both in March.

Meriweather reax

What do expect with the Patriots?

“I haven’t even thought about that, I’ve been pretty much just thinking about getting to the team and helping out the team every way I can and learning my playbook, and getting ready to play in games.”

Any preconceived ideas about the Patriots?

“I don’t have any preconceived ideas about (the Patriots). I talked to (Bill Belichick) over the phone, and I understand he’s a bottom-line kind of guy. He’s a guy that loves to win, and I think I’m a guy that loves to win too.”

How did Belichick approach the off-field incidents?

“Me and coach Belichick, we sat down and talked about it, and I basically told him it was a dumb decision by me. I should’ve known better than to make that decision to even have a gun. I think he understands that, and we’re just trying to get on with building a football team.”

Meriweather's Defense

Q: How do you think you can help the Patriots overall on defense?

BM: Right now, I haven’t even thought about that. I am lost for words right now. I’m pretty much thinking about getting to the team and helping out the team in every way that I can, to learn my playbook and get ready to play in the games.

Q: What kind of preconceived ideas do you have about Coach Belichick and the Patriots organization in general?

BM: I really don’t have any preconceived ideas about that. I have talked to [Coach Belichick] over the phone and I understand that he is a bottom-line type of guy. He is a guy that loves to win. I think I am a guy that loves to win too. I really don’t think about it [with any preconceived notions].

Q: What type of questions did Coach Belichick ask you in regards to the incidents that you had with the gun and also the brawl against FIU?

BM: Coach Belichick and I sat down and talked about it. I basically told him that it was a dumb decision by me. I should have known better to have made the decision to even have a gun. I think he understands that. We are just trying to get on with it, building a football team.

'I'm happy with being a Patriot'

How do you feel you can help the Patriots? "Right now, I haven't even thought about that. I've been pretty much at a loss for words. I'm just pretty much thinking about getting to the team and helping the team out in every way I can, to learn my playbook, and get ready to play in a game."

What thoughts did you have about Coach Belichick and the Patriots in general? "I don't really have any preconceived ideas about him. I met with him, I talked to him over the phone. I understand he's a bottom-line type of guy. He's a guy who loves to win and I think I'm a guy who loves to win, too."

Character issues had no bearing on Belichick

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – He is not Rodney Harrison, and doesn’t want to be. Nor does New England Patriots first round draft choice Brandon Meriweather fit the shoes of Ed Reed or Sean Taylor – two other former University of Miami Hurricanes.

The Patriots chose the former Hurricanes free safety with the 24th pick in Saturday’s National Football League draft, but they opted to deal their other first round pick (28th overall) to the San Francisco 49ers for their first round pick in next year’s draft, plus a fourth rounder on Sunday (110th overall).

“Rodney Harrison is a great player,” Meriweather said. “He has his own style of playing, I have my own style of playing. He’s a Pro Bowler, soon-to-be Hall of Famer. I can’t ever compare myself or say that he and I have anything in common, until I do it.

Meriweather off to Patriots

CORAL GABLES -- With three players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, Miami extended its record to 13 consecutive years.
Safety Brandon Meriweather was the first Hurricane selected as the New England Patriots took him with the 24th overall selection.

The Patriots felt comfortable drafting Meriweather despite two incidents that have drawn a lot of attention -- including a shooting last summer in which he returned shots legally and his involvement in a brawl against Florida International during the season.

"I think all of us have made mistakes," Patriots coach Bill Belichek said. "At least I have. I think what's more important is not an incident that a person had, but really who they are, what their character is, and what you think that person really is, and what they're about. I would say that about anybody."

Safety helps raise ’Canes

FOXBORO - Five years ago, the Patriots [team stats] took Daniel Graham [stats] with the 21st overall pick in the NFL draft, eschewing Miami safety Ed Reed to fill a need at tight end.

Reed went three picks later and blossomed into an All-Pro. Yesterday, the Patriots weren’t going to let another Hurricanes safety slip through their grasp.

At the same No. 24 slot that Reed went in 2002, Brandon Meriweather became the third Miami safety to be selected in the first round in the last six years. The previous two, the Baltimore Ravens’ Reed and Sean Taylor of the Washington Redskins, played against each other in the Pro Bowl.

Is Brandon Merriweather a perfect fit?

Bob Brookover wrote a pretty interesting and rather revealing piece about how the Eagles feel about the safety position and what they are looking for in the draft as a result.

First, did you know that the Eagles have never drafted a safety in the first round? In fact, during the Andy Reid era Michael Lewis was the only safety taken on the first day. Certainly the fact that the Eagles already had a future hall of famer playing safety was a part of that, but it also may reveal some things about their philosophy in regards to the position.

This quote from Tom Heckert pretty much sums up why Lewis was let go and we likely won't be seeing a guy like Michael Griffin taken with the Eagles' first round pick...

In-Depth Interview with Meriweather

Miami (Fla.) safety Brandon Meriweather arrived in town yesterday for a two-day pre-draft visit with the Giants. He had dinner last night with secondary/safeties coach David Merritt and was scheduled to meet with GM Jerry Reese, coach Tom Coughlin, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and others this afternoon before leaving for a visit with the Titans.

Meriweather is in the middle of a busy interview/visit schedule that will include at least 10 teams before draft day. That's a lot, considering the average draft-eligible player makes about five visits or so. The reason for the extra stops is Meriweather has raised a few red flags for teams for two incidents: His firing a gun at an assailant who shot his roommate and his role in the Miami-Florida International brawl when he was caught stomping and kicking opponents. Both incidents have led a sure-fire first-round pick to slide in many mock drafts - all the way to the middle of the second round in a few. Teams obviously want to know who he is and what they'll be getting if they draft him.

I sat down with Meriweather last night for a 25-minute interview in which he spoke about the public's perception of him and what teams might be thinking. He said some fascinating things about being stereotyped as just another "Miami thug" - something he claims he isn't. In fact, he said he no longer owns a gun because it "only leads to trouble."

Draft Risers and Fallers

2. up Brandon Meriweather, FS, Miami (Fla.): Beason isn't the only former Hurricane creating a stir among scouts as the draft approaches. Certainly because of their great history in producing elite NFL talent, it is quite rare that a former Hurricane can enter the draft as an underrated prospect, but that is exactly how Meriweather is viewed by many scouts. Meriweather's off-field incidents will keep the talented safety from moving up as far as his athleticism warrants. On the field, Meriweather's combination of hitting ability, range and quickness allow him to not only stand out as a free safety, but he's capable of playing cornerback as well. The last safety I scouted at the Senior Bowl who stood out as consistently as Meriweather did a few months ago was another undersized playmaker: former Iowa strong safety Bob Sanders. I envision Meriweather developing into a similar performer at the next level, except as a free safety.