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DeAngelo Hall's Fingers (And Shoes)

Posted by Matt Terl on September 14, 2009 – 3:26 pm

DeAngelo Hall talked at length in open locker room today, largely revisiting the themes on which he held forth last night: taking responsibility for things that went wrong, and vowing to improve next week.

For example, on a question from the Washington Times’ David Elfin about the defense’s failure to get the Giants off the field on third downs:

“Didn’t do it. Didn’t do it at all. And we knew coming into the game that we had to do that in order to win this game, so I think in the first half they were — what, 5-for-8 [on third down], something like that? We knew at halftime we had to stop ’em. We had to stop ’em and give our offense a chance, and we didn’t do that.”

Or on if the secondary was more responsible for the third down lapses than the rest of the defense:

“I guess so. I mean, we’ll take it. I don’t know every third down situation, but they were able to mix it up a lot on us. They were able to mix in the run and the pass, and we knew once they got up they were gonna pound us and we were pretty much at their mercy. That’s why we knew it was crucial for us to stop ’em early and get points on the board early, and we didn’t do it.”

And on if he still has confidence in the defense after the somewhat lackluster showing yesterday:

“Got to. Got to. [Heck], we gotta do better; we’ve gotta make plays. We left a lot of plays out there. So that’s definitely a little bit discouraging knowing you left ’em out there, but you got something to look forward to next week.”

The whole time he was talking about this, though, I found myself staring at his fingers. Read more »

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A High Point From Yesterday

Posted by Matt Terl on September 14, 2009 – 2:24 pm

During open locker room today, I had a chance to ask talk briefly with London Fletcher, and I asked him about his league-leading eighteen tackles.

“It’s one week,” he said, shaking his head.

True. But still … eighteen tackles.

“Eighteen is a good amount of tackles,” he said. “I obviously wish it was in a win. Felt like I was pretty active in the ballgame, trying to run to the football, try to just be around and play the defense. Lot of times it was just the way the defense was called that I ended up being the tackler on a lot of those plays.”

Yeah, I’d call that “pretty active,” sure.

(UPDATE: For the flipside of Fletcher’s numbers, see Barry Svrluga’s piece here.)

(Thanks to commenter BrianNjRedskinsFan for the link.) Read more »

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Monday, September 14: More Of What You Think

Posted by Matt Terl on September 14, 2009 – 10:37 am

Well, I’ve been hearing about this game from you guys pretty much since the final gun went off, and the consensus seems to be that the game was much, much worse than I thought. (The consensus in the comments here, in fact, seems to be that everyone affiliated with the team should be immediately fired, but even among more rational heads the feeling is not favorable.)

Despite Jason Campbell‘s favorable statline and decent quarterback rating — 10th best from the week’s NFL games so far, if you care about such metrics — general opinion has focused on his more questionable decisions: the fumble that went for a TD, the remarkably unlikely illegal-forward-pass-three-yards-over-the-line + interception combo, and the peculiar audible to Ladell Betts in the third quarter.

Or, as Ben Folsom put it writing at The Curly R:

Quarterback Jason Campbell was much worse than his line, 19 of 26 for 211 yards, one touchdown, one interception; this line does not represent his tentativeness at times and also does not represent the boneheadedness of tossing an illegal forward pass past the line of scrimmage AND THEN having it intercepted. Gots to do better.

The defense is also getting plenty of blame. The positives for their performance included:

  • only giving up one offensive touchdown, and only six points in the second half
  • a strong day from London Fletcher, currently leading the league in tackles
  • solid work from some of the less-heralded defenders, including Lorenzo Alexander, Rocky McIntosh, and Reed Doughty

The downsides? Tackling, tackling, and tackling. With the cornerbacks playing as far off as they were, the tackling had to be absolutely sure; it was anything but. This allowed the Giants to extend the drives, which increased their time of possession, which tired the defense further and prevented the offense from establishing itself, and so on and so forth through the game. To his credit, DeAngelo Hall completely owned up to this — “couldn’t make a play to save my life,” he said; now he (and the rest of the team) need to act on that realization moving forward.

There’s still the consolation of knowing that it was the Giants, a game that most prognosticators expected the Redskins to lose. But in the end, a loss is a loss, and this was a loss in a winnable game. But enough from me — let’s hear some more from you.

[UPDATE to note that there are additional polls after the jump. Click “Read More” below.]

More polls after the jump. Read more »

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