Robert Ayers Jr. says 'enforcer' Brandon Meriweather 'brings a lot to the table'

EAST RUTHERFORD — Brandon Meriweather's reputation as a big hitter that tends to find himself on the wrong side of the rulebook has been fleshed out thoroughly since he signed with the Giants on Sunday. 

So far, all the right things are being said. Meriweather promised to play within the rules on Monday, and Tom Coughlin is going to make sure he has a chat with Meriweather about the issue. And obviously, given this is the era of concussion enlightenment, no one is going to endorse illegal hits.

But at the same time, football is a inherently violent game. And as long as Meriweather's physicality falls within the parameters of legality, it is going to be something the Giants' defense will appreciate and feed off. There is an excitement about adding Meriweather to the team, according to defensive end Robert Ayers Jr.

"He was an enforcer," Ayers told NJ Advance Media. "He's a very good player, and he's going to be a great add for us. He has a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge of the game, and he can help bring the young guys along. I think he brings a lot to the table. I'm excited to see him out there doing damage."

Signing Meriweather is an attempt - some will call it a desperate one - by the Giants to bring stability to a position that has seen the opposite so far during training camp. Meriweather is 31, and there are plenty of arguments he is well on the downside of his career, in addition to his history of four fines and two suspensions for illegal hits. He only played in 10 games for the Redskins last season due to injury and suspension.

But Meriweather also has started 68 games in his NFL career, a staggering number given the Giants only had three NFL starts - all by Jeromy Miles - among their safeties before Meriweather arrived. So if the Giants can catch lightning in a bottle with Meriweather, it could be a calculated risk that pays major dividends. 

Ayers said Meriweather's presence will definitely give the Giants' defense a different dimension and edge. 

"He brings a mindset and he packs a punch. Things like that are contagious," Ayers said. "When you see a guy flying around, being aggressive and knocking people's heads off, that's contagious. The competitor in anyone, if you see another guy do that, you want to, too.

"He's definitely going to impact us not only as a player, but as a mindset and a character and a personality, and with his demeanor."

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