Merriman On Myles Garrett: This Will "Linger With You Forever"

Garrett's reputation – and career – will never be the same, Shawne Merriman says

The DA Show
November 19, 2019 - 12:06 pm

As a former All-Pro defensive lineman, Shawne Merriman knows how physical an NFL game can be. He knows how emotional it can be.

But he also knows there’s no justification for Myles Garrett trying to hit Mason Rudolph with a helmet.

“It was terrible for many different reasons,” Merriman said in-studio on The DA Show. “For one, I feel bad for him now because it takes four years to build a reputation and four seconds to ruin it. He’s a great player. He’s not good; he’s a great player. And when you do that, it’s going to linger with you for a long time. No matter what you do, no matter how great of a player you are, no matter what you do off the field and help people and charity and do all the right things, it’s going to linger with you forever off of that one reaction.”

The NFL, of course, has been no stranger to on-field scuffles. That’s just the nature of the beast.

But Rudolph is lucky – and so is Garrett – that the helmet swing didn’t connect as fully as Garrett intended.

“There could have been serious injury to somebody,” Merriman said. “Football is already a rough sport. The careers aren’t long. You’re in and out of there way quicker than you think. If you swing a helmet at somebody and possibly knock that guy out and cause brain damage, this guy has a family that’s at home watching – and something like that happens, now you have to worry about that.”

That said, Merriman believes Rudolph “absolutely” deserves criticism for what transpired.

“In no way shape or form (should he) ever play victim,” Merriman said. “Even though Myles Garrett was wrong and his suspension was warranted, Mason should never play victim. I was a little bit upset how he came to the podium right after that and called it bush league and all this other stuff. Like, dude, you did try to rip this man’s helmet off first, and you did charge him. If that lineman wasn’t there to break it up, who knows what could have happened? You charged another man. . . . You tried to yank off his helmet and you charged him. I was a little bit surprised that he didn’t get suspended as well. He should have been. A lot of that could have been avoided.”