For the 2011-12 season, Merriman will be taking his talents to the B-Lo and getting a fresh start in the Northeast after two years riddled with injuries. The Bills have been a young, struggling team for the past few years and Merriman’s past success and experience could instantly improve their defense. Hopefully, “Lights Out” can return to his QB-terrorizing form and the world will watch the sack celebration go on into the playoffs.  It will take a lot of work since his division includes New England Patriots’ always-solid Tom Brady and New York Jets’ confident Rex Ryan.




“I feel good, man. For me, I haven’t played in two years, and after that first game I came out and it was like riding a bike. Like I never really left. It’s one of those things where you never really forgot what to do. Being banged up and not being able to do the things I wanted to do was immensely frustrating, and now it’s like doing a 180,” admits Merriman. “Mentally, I stay in it because, physically, you will always get that back. It’s the hardest thing, when you’re sitting back on Sundays and not playing or practicing. I knew physically, when I’d get back, I’d be ready to play.”




Along with finally being able to hit the field with his new squad, Merriman also returns to his Eastern roots. He considers himself a jetsetter, always traveling and moving around, but feels most comfortable in the cold winters – despite having the luxury of the constant California sun for the past few years.




“In a way, I really got used to the West Coast because you get spoiled on 75 degree weather all the time. At the same time, I spent 20 years on the East Coast from D.C.,” he explains. “You know, I played in the snow growing up in high school and college and all that stuff. I’ve been there. I’ve had to do it and now it’s just getting adjusted again. Playing in the cold isn’t even that difficult. It’s the normal, day-to-day tasks that take getting used to again. It’s going to get a bite to eat or get something from your car. Football will always be football whether it’s 20 degrees outside or 90 degrees – it doesn’t matter.”




Merriman also finds that the cultures of the two coasts are intriguingly different – especially within the tattoo world, something he knows more than a little bit about. “I think it’s a little more prevalent out West because of the weather,” he says. “You have more of a chance to show it off, more times in the year where there’s less clothing.” Never a stranger to flash, “Lights Out” is adorned in many tattoos representing faith, inspiration and intimidation. He’s been getting work done since he was 15 years old, around the same time when he received his moniker, and has piled up new ink like he’s sacked quarterbacks since entering the league, becoming one of the most widely known athletes to showcase his body art.




Among Merriman’s more famous tattoos are “Finish Strong,” a life motto written on his neck; multiple crosses to represent his faith; an “Evil Superman” logo on his right shoulder to represent his alter ego; a $56 bill on his forearm, the number taken from his jersey; a Roman Colosseum on his back that represents his strive for competition; a Japanese symbol for “extreme pain” (probably a warning, of course); a light switch being turned off with “Lights Out” written above it and, more recently, the words “Heart of Gold” tattooed on his chest.

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