Once the most feared pass rusher in football, famous for his ‘lights-out’ celebration dance in opposing backfields, Shawne Merriman has seemingly fallen off the map since the turn of the decade.
The former University of Maryland and San Diego Chargers star, now with the Buffalo Bills, has played in eight games in the past three seasons, making just 15 tackles. In the first three years of his career, for comparison, he had almost two-and-a-half times more sacks than that. Boy, how the mighty have fallen.
Merriman violated the NFL’s steroid policy in 2006 and missed four games but still had 17 sacks. He tore his posterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in 2008, injured his foot in 2009, injured his Achilles in 2010, and then had another setback with the same problem in 2011. Throw in accusations of battery and false imprisonment by his girlfriend, former MTV reality star Tila Tequila, in 2009 (charges were eventually dismissed), and the past couple years haven’t been too kind to the D.C. native.
But now, Merriman is trying to get back to his old ways, and high-intensity, heavy weight training is the route he’s taking.
"The key to any position and any part of the game is all about explosion," Merriman said in the video below, part of a series on The NOC,YouTube'ssignature athlete network. "How fast can you get off the ball. That's what I'm going to be working on this offseason. Getting my explosion back."
This is the last real memory I have of Merriman. It came in 2007, the last time he was relevant in the NFL.
This is Merriman recently, trying to get back to 100 percent to make an impact with the Bills.