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Hall: Zorn couldn't get the Redskins to scrap

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Albert Haynesworth's broadside against Greg Blache and the Redskins' coaching staff last month included the insinuation that other players on the defense were also fed up with the scheme.

"We got great corners and safeties here that can play if they were used right," Haynesworth said. "They make a million checks before the ball is snapped. Guys are sitting there thinking instead of reacting. Guys are sitting there thinking instead of playing. When you're sitting there thinking about what you're going to do when you're trying to run, you don't go as fast. When it's natural and it comes to you, you do it. You know? It's instinct. You know what I mean? What they want us to do is think and be robots. This is just ridiculous."

I hadn't seen or heard many players publicly agreeing with Haynesworth, but DeAngelo Hall seemed to second those comments in an appearance with Sporting News Radio's 2 Live Stews.

"We just got to put players in position to make plays," Hall said, via Sports Radio Interviews. "Not taking anything from the coaching staff that we had or the play caller we had, but you know I think we were more so trying to keep the wound covered as opposed to hitting people in the mouth and trying to take the fight to them. I mean, we were successful doing it at some points, and at some points we were definitely susceptible to big plays, to giving up points. I think as a team, especially as a defense, we need to make plays. We need to make plays so we can get off the field more and we need to try to get the ball back. As much as we did stopping guys, I don't think we had nearly as many turnovers as a lot of these other teams in the league. Ultimately it's going to be us getting the ball back to our offense and letting those guys go to work is what's going to put points on the board."

A lot of fans, I suspect, would agree with that; huge numbers of them agreed with Haynesworth's assessment of the defensive scheme, if not his delivery method. Hall also seemed to criticize Jim Zorn's approach when asked about the departed head coach.

"You know what, he was a guy who wasn't a very vocal person," Hall said. "His demeanor was real laid back. He wasn't going to jump up or scream in your face, so it was kind of hard to get some of those guys who need that kind of motivation factor to get going. Ultimately we couldn't get guys to I guess fight and scrap like we needed them to with him as the head coach."

Hall even endorsed the playcalling switch that left Zorn with a blank clipboard and two smashed knees.

"We kind of felt like something needed to happen, we felt like we weren't being able to put points on the board, we weren't getting an opportunity to win games," he said. "When Jim addressed us about the situation you could sense the tone in his voice that it was something he definitely wasn't happy with, wasn't pleased with. But at the same time it was something that he had to do in order to remain as the head coach of the Washington Redskins."

Hall, though, strongly endorsed Jason Campbell, saying he would give the quarterback an 8 on a scale of 1 through 10 for the 2009 season.

"For the simple fact that I don't think there's been a tougher guy on our team than him," Hall said. "I joke with Haynesworth all the time about toughening up some. He could learn to do a couple things from Jason, man, because Jason's a guy who's gonna be beat up, bruised up, can barely walk and he's gonna go out there and lay it on the line for you. And I don't think we did a great job of putting enough people around him in order to protect him and get the full array of what he can do. If he's our quarterback, I'm excited to see the guys we put around him to help protect him, to help make him a great football player."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 7, 2010; 4:39 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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I agree with our "superstars."

I would much rather have the Giants shove the ball down my throat over 15 plays compared to giving up long TD plays like in the NO or Denver games.

Wait... what?

Posted by: peterandmeredith | January 7, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

DeAngelo, were you in the right position to make a play when you stood right in front of Jake Delhomme a moment before he ran over you for a first down?

Posted by: rooster75 | January 7, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

dhall is a punk and is one of the horrible signings left from snyderatto. does anyone remember how randy moss played this fool like a rag doll in preseason. how about mario manningham able to stay in bounds after dhall's weak arm tackle? the reference above to jake delhomme trucking dhall is a good one to note as well. this guy is as much as a moron as he is a "good" football player. hopefully he brings guns into the locker room and gets suspended indefintely so the skins can void his contract.

Posted by: BMACattack | January 7, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Hall is such an expert in the NFL. I'm also glad the players need someone in their face to perform at a high level. The check means nothing to them, and they clearly aren't self motivated. I sure hope Bruce Allen and Coach Shanahan are taking notes on which players have big mouths instead of big success. I know he can't cut all these loud mouth whiners, at least not yet, but their day will come. Punks are punks in all walks of life. The NFL is no different. At least Zorn can enjoy his time off now that he has escaped the soap opera in DC. Meanwhile we fans are stuck with these unmotivated cry babies.

Posted by: bfjam | January 7, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Isn't all the money these retards making motivation enough to go out and play? You need someone screaming in your face to get you to do your job? Ok.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 7, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Although I agree that Campbell is one tough mofo, and with some serious protection I think the guy might be just fine.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 7, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

It's always great to read comments where instead of discussing what the person said, posters attempt to take shots at a man's character and skill without any base. It's hard to disagree with anything Hall said.

Posted by: sitruc | January 7, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The only thing I disagree with are his thoughts of Campbell. People need to lighten up on this dude, he's a skins fan from VA who went to VT. He is basiclly what most of us wanted to be.

Posted by: AnthonyMix | January 7, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm not convinced that D-Hall is that great of a CB, yet he has had the ball in his hands in his short time here, at least according to my memory, more than most Skins have in 3 or more years. He may have some sort of playmaking point.

Face it: We haven't scored a D TD in two seasons (and only 1 PR/KR TD) t-32 w/Oakland. Every other team has at least 1. In that time the Eagles have scored 9, 4 this season. Imagine 28 extra points this season!

Some of it's plain dumb luck; the Steelers had 1 more pick and forced an equal amount of fumbles yet they had 3 def. TDs. We recovered less than half of our FF, they recovered over 70% of thiers. Dumb luck.

Still, we lack the big game changing play which from time to time, sometimes even several times a season, wins games.

We had 18 TOs, lowest in the league: the best team had 40. Assuming an equal % of our 18 resulted in short fields as their 40, think how many more chances that team had to score. Great job Aaron Rodgers!

PS. We were as bad on D this year as O. I said it.

Posted by: OrganicWater | January 8, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Grown men, professionals no less, needeing another adult to get in their face so that they can be motivated to do something they're getting lots of $s for. Zorn was too laid back vs say Gibbs. Yeah, makes sense. Guess that explains why DAngela Hall did NOT tackle anyone this past season.

Posted by: TheDubb | January 8, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

D'Angelo know what he's talking about! His stellar career definitely gives credibility to what he's talking about!!!

Um yeah.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | January 8, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who's played a sport should know that some players DO need to be motivated by others to play to their full potential. Even in the pros. Yeah, in theory someone making millions should have all the motivation they need to play at 100% all the time. In reality, however, an athlete has to be in the proper MENTAL state as well as physical state to perform at 100%. Sometimes getting a player (adult or child) in that proper mental stat requires some passionate words from another player or coach.

Let's not kid ourselves though, Joe Gibbs wasn't a coach to scream at his players (although on occasion he did ream his team out). Other successful coaches like Dick Vermeil aren't known for screaming at their players either, but they knew how to garner respect from their players. You knew that when the Redskins took the field under Gibbs, the players did not want to disappoint the man. Zorn seems like one hell of a nice guy, but I never once got the feeling (even during weeks 1-8 of 08-09) that he had the respect of the locker room that a head coach should have. I do believe he was too laid back as Hall said.

I also agree with him that Campbell is the toughest player on the team. I'm still not sure if he has the skill set (throw a catchable ball Jason!) to lead us to the promised land, but I have no doubt in my mind he's got more heart than anyone on the team. Well, I'll put him and Fletcher on the same level - 5 levels above the next closest Skin.

Posted by: MillBurray | January 8, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: delfranklin4 | January 8, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Not to take anything away from the coaches," but it's really all their fault. Oh, and the O line sucks, too. Love, D Hall.

Posted by: RIP-21 | January 8, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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