Earlier this week, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall couldn’t predict the response he’d get in his return to the Georgia Dome, home of the team with which he spent four seasons.
“They are not introducing us in that stadium, so I don’t know if I’m going to bet booed or applauded,” Hall told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Now Hall knows: He was booed.
And it got worse. Hall, who also made an unjustified attack on the credibility of G.M. Thomas Dimitroff, found himself in the middle of a skirmish on the Falcons’ sideline. Hall emerged by whining about the way he was treated.
“It’s different when a coach comes over there to break guys up,” Hall said after the game “When a
coach comes over there to put his hands on you in a harmful way,
something needs to be done about that. . . . I’m going to
call Commissioner Goodell. Ray Anderson used to be with Atlanta. I know
him very well from there. He’s the vice president [of football
operations] over there in the league office. I’ll definitely going to
be calling some of my friends to figure out what we can do about the
Hall specifically directed his complaints at coach Mike Smith and director of athletic performance Jeff Fish.
“[Smith] put his hands on me in a harmful way, talking about how he’s going
to kick my [butt] and all this other [stuff], and that ain’t how you do
things,” Hall said. “It’s a different story if he’s coming in there to break a fight
up. . . . It’s a different thing when you come
in and try to break things up, as opposed to coming in and trying to
put your hands on somebody. Fish had the nerve to signal to me on the
sideline how strong he is. Because he was putting his hands on me, pushing me,
you know what I mean? Pushing and grabbing at me and all this other
[stuff]. Like I said, something is going to be done about it. Trust me.
Trust me. Trust me.”
Smith didn’t specifically deny the allegations, but his explain strongly suggests that Smith’s position is that he did nothing wrong.
“Those sidelines are very, very hectic during a game,” Smith said. “Our quarterback was hit late and there was a [skirmish] over there.
All I was trying to do was restore order to the sideline and did not
want to get into a situation where any of our guys were injured. That
was my view of it. Again, it happened so very, very quickly. . . .
were a bunch of guys on that sideline,” Smith said after being told by a reporter that it appeared he got in Hall’s face. “Some of them were wearing black
helmets and some were wearing maroon helmets. I can’t tell you anything
more about it. It was very, very hectic on that sideline. There were a
lot of things going on and my main goal was for the safety of our
football team and restoring order.”
OK, enough with the words. Here’s the video, from NFL.com. Someone in street clothes grabs Hall by the shirt, and Smith eventually does get in Hall’s face. And Smith is livid at the time.
In fact, it appears at one point that Smith tries to throw a subtle elbow at Hall’s face mask.
So while we think that Hall usually is full of hot air, he actually has a point here. Smith seems to have crossed the proverbial line. Though it wasn’t Woody Hayes revisited, Smith and every NFL coach should be riding a higher road.
That said, the only thing possibly harmed on Hall was his pride. But shouldn’t he be used to that by now?