DeAngelo Hall: Mike Shanahan overruled Jim Haslett’s playcalling

jim-haslettDeAngelo Hall is one of a number of Washington Redskins players who seems happier now that Mike Shanahan is gone. Hall’s latest comments tell us that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett should be just as thrilled about Shanny being gone.

Hall, who said a few months ago that Shanahan was always in Haslett’s ear telling him what to call, told CSNWashington.com’s Chick Hernandez that there were certain situations in 2013 where Shanahan actually stepped in and overruled Haslett.

“Yeah, I mean, it was probably more difficult for Jim than us,” Hall said, as transcribed by Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “You know, we were going through all week practicing a certain call, knowing that we were going to call it in certain situations. And there would be certain times where Mike would overrule Jim.

“And I told Jim, I understand where you’re coming from. There are certain techniques and things that I want to do that Mike would tell me the same thing — ‘Well, you know, I kind of want you to play it like this as opposed to that.’”

Shanahan was an offensive assistant/coordinator for 20 years before he became head coach of the Denver Broncos. Haslett, a former NFL linebacker, has always specialized in defense. As Steinberg noted, a Washington Post story from December indicated that Shanahan micromanaged Haslett from Day 1.

One of Shanahan’s first calls came in September 2011, during a game at Dallas. With the Cowboys on their own 30 with 2 minutes 20 seconds to play, Shanahan called an all-out blitz — “Cover-0,” as it is known — and it backfired, resulting in Dallas quarterback Tony Romo finding wide receiver Dez Bryant for a 30-yard gain. Dallas eventually kicked a field goal for an 18-16 victory, and Haslett was left to shoulder the blame.

While I don’t doubt that any of this is true, the Redskins need to be careful. They have not played a single game under Jay Gruden and already we have prominent players like Hall and Robert Griffin III acting like all of Washington’s problems have been solved now that Shanahan is gone. If the Redskins go 7-9 and miss the playoffs this season, it will be hard to keep using Shanny as a scapegoat.

DeAngelo Hall has some strong words for Richard Sherman on Twitter

deangelo-hallBecause of his personality, and status as one of the premier cornerbacks in the NFL, Richard Sherman is often a target of fans and opposing players.

On Wednesday, Sherman and LeGarrette Blount had a debate on Twitter over who is the best corner in the league. Blount tried to state his case for former teammate Aqib Talib. Sherman, not surprisingly, rebuffed Blount’s attempts.

Thursday, it was DeAngelo Hall of the Washington Redskins who came at Sherman with some pretty strong words. As you can imagine, the ensuing conversation was entertaining to say the least.

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DeAngelo Hall: Mike Shanahan micromanaged Jim Haslett

Jim-Haslett-RedskinsThe Washington Redskins had one of the worst defenses in the league in 2013. The 29.9 points per game they allowed was tied for 30th in the league. The two years prior were not much better, as the Skins finished in the bottom 10 in the league in 2011 and 2012. DeAngelo Hall believes Mike Shanahan was part of the problem.

During an interview with ESPN 980’s “Inside the Locker Room” on Wednesday, Hall claimed that Shanahan — who is known as an offensive-minded coach — kept defensive coordinator Jim Haslett from doing his job by “micromanaging” him at times.

“Defensively man, I just feel like we played so bad last year, we’ve got some unfinished business to definitely take care of,” Hall said, as transcribed by DC Sports Bog. “I’m excited after talking to Haslett about the possibility of him being able to just run his defense without anybody in his ear telling him what to call or what not to call. So I’m really excited to see Haz unleash his full arsenal of play calls.”

When one of the hosts mentioned that Haslett could have been better if given more freedom, Hall had no problem calling Shanahan out by name.

“I mean, (Haslett has) been in this league for so long for a reason,” he said. “It’s not because he’s the best-looking guy; it’s because he can call plays and have a great defense. No disrespect to Mike Shanahan, he’s a great coach, but he liked to micromanage things. He kind of liked his hands on everything.

“Jay [Gruden's] kind of like, ‘Look, I’m gonna let Haz kind of do his thing. Obviously if I see something that I feel like as an offense we can stop or we can’t stop, I’ll definitely let him know, give him a heads-up on some things to help us get better as team. But Haz is going to get to do what he does.'”

Hall added that he was also held back as a player by being told to play his position a certain way. Bottom line? It’s easy to blame Shanahan for the team’s struggles now that he is gone. If Washington’s defense stinks again in 2014, we’ll know he wasn’t the only issue.

DeAngelo Hall: Saying Richard Sherman is best CB in NFL is ‘screwed’

richard sherman crazyDeAngelo Hall recognizes that Richard Sherman has had two terrific seasons, but he’s not prepared to call the Seattle Seahawks corner the best cornerback in the NFL. In fact, he says making such a proclamation is “screwed.”

Hall, who has made the Pro Bowl three times in his 10 seasons, believes Sherman benefits from having a very strong supporting cast and favorable system in Seattle. He shared his thoughts during an interview Tuesday with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan in DC.

“I definitely think he’s the best at what they want him to do, what they ask him to do,” Hall told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant and Danny on Tuesday. “To sit there and say he’s the best corner in the game is probably not fair because of what their defense asks him to do.

“They play a lot of Cover 3, but their Cover 3 is predicated on their corners pressing,” Hall told the hosts. “All their linebackers still drop in coverage, obviously they have a heck of a rush, they have probably the best safety in the game; actually, two safeties, because I love Kam Chancellor.”

Hall makes a great point that others have also noted. But can you hold it against Sherman that he’s playing extremely well just because he has great teammates?

“To say he’s the best corner in the game is a little bit, um … I guess screwed,” Hall said. “Because I love Patrick Peterson myself, personally, just things that guy does on the football field is just exciting. But you can’t deny Richard Sherman’s numbers. His numbers have been amazing.”

Hall doesn’t believe Sherman can’t become the best corner in the game, he just believes he needs to keep playing at a high level for more years.

“In this league man, it’s all about longevity,” Hall said. “This guy’s been in the league I think three years. Like I said, he’s probably put together two of the best years I’ve ever seen, numbers-wise, but in this league, to be on Champ [Bailey’s] level, the C. [Woodson’s] level, even Ronde [Barber] when he played, it’s about longevity, it’s about being able to keep this going, being able to adapt to receivers, adapt to different schemes, and being able to play different schemes.”

That’s fair. I still think — and the the numbers seem to show — that Sherman is the best corner in the game. Darrelle Revis is right up in that discussion as well. Like Hall, I want to see Sherman do it for a long time, but that won’t keep me from calling him the best in the game when he was the best in the league this season.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Jay Cutler: DeAngelo Hall just ‘another player’

jay-cutlerChicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is more than a little bit familiar with Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. You wouldn’t know that based on Cutler’s assessment of his upcoming opponent.

On Thursday, Cutler was asked if he was looking forward to facing Hall again on Sunday. He responded by saying plenty without saying much.

“Another player,” Cutler said, per Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune.

Why is that significant? Hall is “another player” who happened to intercept four of Cutler’s passes when the Bears lost to the Redskins back in 2010. After that game, Hall said that Cutler doesn’t really understand the game of football. In 2008, when Cutler was still with the Denver Broncos, he had success throwing to Eddie Royal when Hall was covering Royal. After hooking up with Royal several times, Cutler was quick to point out that the receiver had his way with Hall.

There’s no debating that Cutler and Hall have a history, even if they choose to downplay it. When asked about Cutler’s most recent comments on Thursday, Hall took the humble approach.

“I don’t know what you want Jay to say,” he told reporters. “‘Oh my God, I’m scared of this guy!’ He’s trying to say I’m another guy. Whether he believes that in his heart or not, that’s what he has to say. He has gone against some great corners in this league. I’m probably not the best guy he ever has gone against.

“I can’t go into it thinking, ‘This is Jay Cutler.’ But for me personally, I feel good about the matchup. I feel good about the things we’re trying to do, defensively, scheme-wise.”

Neither player is going to get on their knees and worship the other guy, that’s for sure. We always say that players should do their talking on the field. That’s essentially what Cutler and Hall are doing heading into this weekend’s matchup.

DeSean Jackson throws up Crips gang sign at DeAngelo Hall

DeSean Jackson Crips DeAngelo Hall

DeSean Jackson put up a monster first half against the Washington Redskins on “Monday Night Football,” and he represented his hometown crew quite well in the game. In fact, Jackson was seen throwing up a Crips gang sign on Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall after catching a pass in the second quarter.

Jackson caught a 14-yard pass on 3rd and 8 midway through the second, and Hall was penalized 15 yards for making a horse collar tackle. After getting up, Jackson went right back at Hall and pushed him. The two continued to jaw as they lined up for the next play, which is when Jackson dropped the set on Hall.

[Related: DeSean Jackson throws up Crips gang sign on Instagram]

Jackson is from Los Angeles and has been repping Crips as long as he’s been in the league. His record label is called Jaccpot, and it’s not misspelled because he’s a dummy; the Cs are for Crips. Jackson also went to Long Beach Poly for high school, which is the same school where Snoop Dogg, another Crips member, attended. In fact, Jackson recently released a song called “Diamonds on my neck” featuring Snoop Dogg. DeSean was seen throwing up the Cs in that music video:

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DeAngelo Hall: It will be a miracle if RG3 is back opening day

robert griffin kneeRobert Griffin III had total reconstructive knee surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn ACL and LCL. He reportedly is expected to need 6-8 months to recover, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Griffin would be back in time for the Washington Redskins’ season opener. One of Griffin’s teammates feels differently.

Defensive back DeAngelo Hall told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he doubts RG3 will be ready when the season begins.

“I hope Robert [Griffin III] is back on the field next year, trust me,” Hall told Anderson. “But it will be a miracle if he’s back opening day and I definitely don’t think that’s going to happen. It’s interesting the way the ball drops. I want him back on the field like everybody else, but we have to be realistic and he has to be safe.

“[Former Redskins running back] Tim Hightower tore his ACL in Week [7 of the 2011 season] and he wasn’t back for the [2012 regular season] and we ended up having to cut him. That was almost a year. [Vikings running back Adrian Peterson] tore his Week 16 against us but he’s back in time for the start of this season. It just depends. It just varies. Now you consider that Robert tore the same ACL twice, so it could take longer and be harder to come back from. [Peterson] is just a freak of nature. There’s no way around that one.”

Hall was asked if he didn’t consider Griffin a freak of nature like Peterson.

“Yes he’s freakish athletically, but from a recovery standpoint that may or may not be a different story. I don’t know a lot about ACLs. I have never injured one. I don’t know all the details about the process. All I know is that I wish him the best and I want him to come back as soon and as safe as possible.”

Hall isn’t being Mr. Negative so much as he’s giving an honest assessment. As he pointed out, each injury situation is different. And just because Adrian Peterson came back in time for the season to begin and was a stud doesn’t mean everyone coming back from ACL surgery can do the same thing. Derrick Rose tore his ACL in April and still isn’t back for the Chicago Bulls.

I’m not saying that I don’t think Griffin will be back in time for the team’s season opener but, like Hall, I have my doubts.