Shawne Merriman: “The word ‘bounty’ I think has just went way too far. It’s called guys who do cheap shots or certain things.”

May 11, 2012 – 6:00 am by Steven Cuce

Shawne Merriman was placed on IR last October ending his first season in Buffalo after only five games. The former Maryland linebacker feels like he can be “Lights Out,” once again this season after recovering from a nagging Achilles injury.

As for the Saints bounty scandal that is taking the NFL by storm this off-season? Merriman is growing tired of the word ‘bounty’ being thrown around so vaguely.

Shawne Merriman joined XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego with Darren Smith to discuss the status of his Achilles tendon injury, being at the Buffalo Bills off-season workouts, his reaction to Junior Seau’s death, not worrying about his physical and mental health after he retires and the word ‘bounty’ being used too much in the NFL.

How is your health?

“Honestly man I was just talking with coach about this. It’s probably the best I have felt in three years. The first time I got the chance to have full surgery on my Achilles and have a real off-season. I am looking for a big year.”

So has it got to the point where it is all systems go? How tough is it to battle all the injuries you have had?

“It’s been rough man. It was a rough process just going out there on the field and not knowing if I was going to be 100% or whether I am going to be able to play next week, practice next week. I dealt with that my last year in San Diego and my first full year when I got out here and that’s not the case or the scenario this year. I’ve been here every day for the past 3 or 4 weeks doing everything the team has been doing with the off-season workouts. It’s been good.”

How shocking was the news of Junior Seau’s death?

“It was very shocking. One of the first reports that came out was on TMZ. It was something that was devastating. You wouldn’t think that it would come out on TMZ and things like that. I really didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. I was laying down and watching TV and I got a few text messages on the phone. After the third or fourth text message came I looked through and it was a link to TMZ about Junior Seau’s passing and I just went downstairs. I couldn’t even hold it together. I called my grandmother and I was just so out of it. I couldn’t believe it happened.”

How much do you worry about what you are going to feel like mentally and physically 20-30 years down the road?

“I’ll worry about that then. I take pretty good care of my body and you are never going to stop all the injuries in football from happening. Like I said it is a collision sport, but at the same time I take very good care of my body year around and just trying to put as much effort into playing the game the way it is supposed to be played. I don’t think I am ever going to stop playing the game the way it is supposed to be played because the way I learned how to play the first time I put on the helmet. I was always taught to run through a guy and not around a guy. I was always taught to look for contact and not shy away from it. Those things are never going to change for me.”

What did you think about the penalties being handed out to the Saints?

“I think it was justified to a certain point. Jonathan Vilma and all of those guys they are great guys. They are not bad guys knowing all of them guys for years and we can’t really specifically sit back and say hey he told this guy to take him out of the game or hurt his knee or whatever the case is and you don’t want to see anyone purposely get hurt in this game. One thing about the word ‘bounty’ I think has just went way too far. I don’t think anybody in the locker room saying we gonna get this guy by the end of the game. We are trying to end this guy’s career. At the end of the day it is a brotherhood no matter what, but don’t get it mistaken if you got that guy in the locker room that is searching guys out after the play or he’s hitting guys after the whistle was blown. That stuff gets noticed and that’s not called a bounty. It’s called football. It’s called guys who do cheap shots or certain things and you don’t want that happening. This whole word ‘bounty’ is taking off to another level where it is not guys saying hey let’s get this guy again. Let’s end this guy’s career and make sure he doesn’t finish the game. You want to see good hits. You want to see good collisions. You want to see contact. You want to see great football. You never want to see a guy get permanently hurt ever.”

Listen to Shawne Merriman on XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego here

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