Myles Garrett is as talented as any young defensive lineman in the NFL, but, as we all witnessed during Thursday Night Football last week, the Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl defensive end lost his cool during an on-field fight with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. The incident occurred with just 8 seconds left in the contest and the outcome already decided, so it was an embarrassing scene for both teams and the NFL.
While the league swiftly suspended Myles Garrett indefinitely for his helmet-swinging fight with Rudolph, there are some out there who think that the Steelers signal-caller was the instigator of the whole thing, with video showing Garrett nearly getting his helmet ripped off, while also being kicked in the groin. And because of his role as antagonist in the melee, some are actually feeling bad for Garrett.
One of those people is former NFL safety Brandon Meriweather, who, during his playing days, was regarded as playing a little too aggressive himself. And, while speaking about the Myles Garrett-Mason Rudolph fight, he offered up some supportive words for the defensive end, with the former player even going as far as saying he feels “sorry” for Garrett being made the bad guy in the situation — especially when considering Rudolph’s role in the fight, which didn’t even warrant a suspension by the league.
“Honestly, I kinda feel sorry for Myles Garrett because everybody’s jumping on his back trying to make him something that he’s not,” Meriweather said. “I kinda feel sorry for the man. He did it … He (has to deal with) the consequences. … I just hate the fact that ain’t nothing happen to Mason Rudolph. Just picture this: Picture somebody holding you, and all you got is one hand and somebody punches you in the nuts and still is attacking you. What do you do? You’re gonna swing whatever’s in your hand, especially in that situation, where you’re not thinking clearly.
“And I just think everybody’s jumping on him like, ‘Oh, he’s such a thug, he shoulda never did it.’ Granted, he shoulda never did it, but, like, you gotta put yourself in his shoes, too.”
Meriweather was particularly perplexed over the seeming free pass given to Rudolph, who only was fined by the NFL.
“Mason Rudolph was trying to jab his eyes out, was pulling on his helmet,” Meriweather said. “He was doing all the same things that Myles did. The only difference is Myles, while he was getting held and getting attacked, he swung back. And he just happened to have a helmet in his hands. So, I feel like if you suspend Myles Garrett, you gotta suspend Mason Rudolph, too.”
Meriweather brings up solid points there, which he brought up to “Toucher and Rich” of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s during an appearance Monday. While Myles Garrett definitely crossed the line, Rudolph continued to go after him — even after the quarterback’s helmet was off — hoping to get a reaction out of the behemoth defensive end.
While Meriweather expressed some sympathy for Garrett, he immediately criticized Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who said in a postgame interview following the victory that his teammate’s behavior was “inexcusable;” something that earned the second-year signal-caller some praise for showing leadership and maturity. However, some ripped him for throwing his teammate under the bus; including Meriweather.
“One teammate that wouldn’t be wanting none of mine no more is (Mayfield). You don’t throw your teammate under the bus like that,” Meriweather said. ” … If I was Myles Garrett, I would’ve walked into the room, (gone up to Mayfield) and said, ‘You gotta square up right now.’ … You don’t throw your teammate under the bus like that.
” … I think he got caught up in the moment, and I don’t think he meant no harm by it. … If one of my teammates would’ve said something like that, we would’ve definitely had a problem.”
No matter whose side you’re on, and if you think Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph are at fault for their roles in the bizarre fight, no player should ever get to the level of psycho that Garrett did. And, while he’s apologized and is taking ownership for what happened, it’s not all on him, so it’s good that Rudolph will reportedly be fined for being the instigator in the whole thing.