This case is not meant to compel me. The case against MeAngelo was made for me when his teammates in his own locker room beat his ass in Atlanta. If that wasn’t telling enough, he was too cancerous for the Oakland Raiders organization. Please, let that wash over you. And, even if let’s say, a duck isn’t a duck, and he was tabula rasa upon his arrival at Redskins Park, I’d merely remind everyone of 9/28/2011. That’s not ancient history. That’s taking into account how he’s “changed”, assuredly. In case you don’t recall, that glorious September evening, let me paint the picture for you:
The Skins are on MNF against nemesis Dallas. Skins are 2-0, looking for control of NFC East. Tony Romo has cracked ribs. He throws for 0 TDs. The defense holds Dallas to 3rd and 21 late in the game. DeAngelo gives up a 30 yard 1st down to Dez, and gets flagged for a facemask, even after he was beaten. Cowboys kick a FG, Cowboys win. DeAngelo’s response was to blame Haz’s defensive playcalling, blame the ref for throwing the flag… Hell, I think he blamed global warming. This is the reflex response for MeAngelo, which is the opposite of what we need in this locker room.
But, like I said, a stroll down memory lane will not compel the Fredericksburgers. I know that. For the five seasons that he has infested the organization, his apologists have become Legion. I encounter them every day. Criticize DHall or, God forbid, mention cutting DHall and they go into a full body spasm. And their memory, or conceptualization of events, is like 3 weeks. Why is this? Why is this guy sacrosanct? Is it generational? Do these young’uns prefer a guy who’ll talk shit on a tackle, even after he’s missed the last five? Is it geographic? Will Skins fans support a guy from VPI or The 7-5-7, no matter what a turd he is? Is it his semi-celebrity status? I’m sure I’ll never understand. But, realizing that, I will try to make a compelling case to the apologists, strictly upon his performance in 2012-13. Here’s a week-by-week rundown of the season that was:
* This recitation of stats comes with the caveat that FSAAMT’s – “failed strip attempts after missed tackles” - were not included. Although valuable for this discussion, the PR Slappies at Redskins Park are only on Week 13’s tape. They hope to be done counting FSAAMT’s by the NFL Draft. Safe to say though, this is one category where D-Hall can proudly say he led the league.
The self-titled “Ball Hawk” came out of camp, with the intent of filling the role of “Charles Woodson 2.0”. He did a decent job of filling that role in the opener in N’awlins. He was utilized as a pass rusher on 10 of 43 plays where he lined up in the slot. This resulted in a sack and three hurries of Drew Brees. The Saints were playing catch up most of the day, but the rushing DeAngelo was not an impediment to the team’s gameplan.
Sam Bradford, 310 yards. Danny Amendola, 15 catches, 160 yards. So much of that was caused by the Rams’ abuse of our zone. But there is no doubt that DeAngelo Hall deserves a royalty for the millions he helped Amendola make that day. No doubt.
On the first play from scrimmage, a guy who hadn’t thrown a pass since October of 2011 against the Syracuse Orangemen, hit A.J. Green for a 73-yard TD pass. Guess who was covering Green? Yes, I know. DeAngelo was quick to assert blame upon himself for giving up the play, but that doesn’t really help for me. The defense gave up 478 yards at home. The team lost by a touchdown. DeAngelo Hall’s touchdown.
This game highlighted the poise of our rookie sensation RGIII, and the ineptitude of now departed kicker Billy Cundiff. What gets lost in those highlights is how the Buccaneers got back into this one. The home crowd was booing QB Josh Freeman in the 1st half. It was 21-6 Skins at half. That all changed when Vincent Jackson beat Hall, and Freeman hit him for a 65-yard gain, with the drive ending in a Bucs touchdown. RGIII and Cundiff saved a day that DHall desperately tried to give away.
Through Week 5, DHall had given up 268 yards of offense to opposing teams. That was 7th worst in the NFL. This game was memorable for being the game in which RGIII was first hurt. It was reprehensible for the 123 yds given up to Tony G and the 94 surrendered to Julio Jones. 345 passing yards for Matty Ice. I can’t assign any specific blame on MeAngelo, but there was certainly nothing for the apologists to laud him for.
This was the shining gem in the case against DeAngelo. If the Skins are dead-set on keeping Hall, they had better get him to restructure enough to also sign Percy Harvin, strictly in the off-chance that the Skins will have to play against him. Once again, whatever free agent money that Harvin receives should come with a clause assigning royalties to D-Hall. Of the nine passes Hall was targeted on while defending Harvin, he gave up six receptions for 102 yards. To add insult to injury, he also missed five tackles. The worst of those came late in the fourth quarter, when Percy turned a 4-yd catch into a 22-yd gain at the expense of DeAngelo’s failure to tackle him. Once again, this wart was covered up by the phenomenon known as RGIII, but not to me. If we have to move forward in the future sans Robert, we can’t have this wart on the roster.
There is so much blame that can be placed upon Madieu Williams for his failure on the Victor Cruz TD, that there really isn’t anything that’s left for DHall. But, alas, he helped me out.
“He made the play to beat us, but I don’t feel like he made that play. I feel we gave him that play. We just had one guy set his feet and one guy not do this. I could have thrown that ball and he would have scored. It wasn’t something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible.”
Those were DeAngelo’s postgame comments. Of course, he wasn’t in coverage on the play, so when he says “we”, he really means “Madieu”. I don’t disagree with the overall sentiment of the statement, but throwing your teammate under the bus hardly seems helpful. Not realizing that is so typical of MeAngelo.
DeAngelo got ejected. DeAngelo got fined $30,000. This is a favorite of the apologists, as is every other episode involving Hall and an official, and they have become nearly countless. The retort that it was “the official’s fault” is always the same. I’m less sick of Hall blaming the refs than I am of the Fredericksburgers always falling for that line.
But, okay. Fine. I’ll surrender to the fantasy that the referee was a member of the Klan, and Roger Goodell is complicit in systemic racism. Only involving a washed up 1st-round pick from VaTech, of course, but… okay. We’ll just throw the ejection and tirade and fine out of the conversation.
Through Week 7, MeAngelo had allowed 521 yards of offense to our opponents. Yes, for those counting, that was worst among CBs. Things didn’t improve in Picksburg. The Stillers’ second play
of the game had DHall bite on a fake wide receiver screen, opening up TE Heath Miller. MeAngelo was beaten on five of seven passes for 73 yards, and 60 of those came after the catch. Just pitiful.
Through the first half of the season, D-Hall was giving up 1.83 yards/coverage snap, and was the fourth worst CB in the NFL in surrendering YAC. This is the guy the Fredericksburgers want to move to FS.
Bye Week (Week 10)
DeAngelo tells Mike Jones that Coach Haslett conducted one-on-one interviews with several defensive players. When asked about the meetings, Hall denies knowledge and blames Jones. Jones plays back audio of the quote, and D-Hall decides that he wants to assault a Washington Post reporter. He’s reported as saying, “anybody touches me, I’m knocking them out.” So, to his credit, he has been aggressive with a referee in Pittsburgh, some PR Slappies, and a J-Schooler in Ashburn, but zero opposing receivers. Excellent.
This was a spectacular on-field game for D-Hall. He, along with the rest of the secondary, were truly inspired by the return of Brandon Meriweather. Their play was reflective of his play. I don’t know what this says about Meriweather, but I am hopeful that he is able to return.
Thanksgiving game at Big D. D-Hall gets an interception of a ball that only could have been thrown by Tony Romo. He also gives up merely 36 yards on 5 passes defended. But, the whole thing could have turned out differently. Hall “punched” Dez Bryant in his facemask. If any of these racist, unfair referees had been paying any attention to Bryant and Hall’s little bitch fight, Hall would’ve surely been ejected. That’s okay for a second year WR, but unacceptable for a nine-year veteran, who formerly wore the defensive team captain’s “C” on his chest. In spite of the officials giving him a pass, the league fined him $37,500 for his actions. Well done, sir.
The story of this day was RGIII, who broke Cam Newton’s year-old rookie QB rushing record. The defense held Eli & Co. to 6 points in the 2nd half, and the Skins won. There’s really nothing bad to be said about any of their performances, including Hall.
DeAngelo, although not listed on the injury report, showed up midweek for a radio interview on crutches. He decided to play on Sunday against dem Raybins. I wish that he wouldn’t have. He, once again, played starmaker, this time for Anquan Boldin. Boldin caught two touchdowns against Hall. Banner day. To top that off, Hall had a terribly timed missed tackle in run defense, coupled with an unnecessary roughing penalty. It was one of his single-worst games on record. Another wart covered up by Ray Rice’s fumble, and RGIII/Kirk Cousins.
Through week 15, D-Hall ranks 96th in the league giving up a reception every 8.3 times in coverage. 96th!!! That’s our guy. He also allowed the ninth-most Yards Per Snap in Coverage, at 1.73. I don’t think that I need to add anything to that.
Brandon Weeden made the entire Redskin secondary look all-pro.
Even with Weeden’s help, through week 16, DeAngelo had allowed the second most yards per coverage snap, at 1.7. Against the Iggles, Hall allows yet another receiver to have a banner day: Jeremy Maclin going for 58 yds matched up against him.
Here’s the week the Fredericksburgers love to cite. D-Hall shut down Dez. I’ve heard it more than Gangnam Style. Guess what: back spasms shut down Dez. But, it’s cool… D-Hall is an NFC East Champion, and so are the Redskins!!! Hail!!!
Wild Card Week
Well, the Seahawks utilized the run to upend the NFC East Champs. In doing so, many Redskins were horrendous at missing tackles and stopping the rush. Few were worse than DeAngelo.
As it stands today, the Redskins are approximately $4 million over the salary cap. As Rich Tandler reported back in November, “[D-Hall] gets a salary bump from $6 million this year to $7.5 million in 2013. [T[he Redskins can release him with two years left on his deal and not have to absorb any dead cap hit.”[i] Just off the top, that takes the Redskins from $4 million in the red to $3.5 million in the black. We’re not accountants, but that seems to be a no-brainer. Now, the inevitable question that follows what seems like a financially rational move is always – (breathlessly) “But, but, who will we replace him with?!” First, let’s just put out there that is maddening that the suggestion of cutting D-Hall must immediately be validated, to those who disagree, by naming his replacement. Our question is – does it really matter?
That segment of fans has already made up their mind. No player that is named will quell the displeasure associated with the thought of a Redskins’ universe that does not include DeAngelo Hall. So, what will naming one do to alter their feelings? Nothing. What we want the Fredericksburgers to answer is, who wouldn’t be better, especially given the cap considerations? As a fan base, we give MWM and the regime so much credit for drafting a guy like The Butler in the sixth-round, yet there’s no faith in the same brain trust to replace D-Hall with a younger, more cap-friendly option? We’re not talking about replacing Darrell Green here.
Then there’s the (breathless) “But, he’s going to re-structure!” crowd. Again, so what? What has he done on the field that still justifies pledging millions of dollars against the salary cap to bring him back? As evidenced by opposing teams’ propensity to consistently throw the ball to his side, DeAngelo Hall is not an elite, nor near-elite corner anymore. He is simply average. Yet, the plan D-Hall advocates support is to pay him millions of dollars, even with a re-structure, to be an average corner. Even foregoing the on-field reasons laid out above, that decision makes zero economic sense.
So, dismissing the $67,500 in fines, the ejection, and the safety of Mike Jones, let’s just look at what DeAngelo Hall did on the field. He missed 10 tackles. He was penalized eight times, most of them causing damage to the team. He allowed two out of every three passes thrown at the player he was defending to be caught. And he gave up 1,050 yards of offense to our opposition.
There’s no reason that we can’t find someone who can produce better than that at CB and/or FS and save the $7,500,000 owed to DHall.
And think of how much safer all of the PR Slappies will be.