Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CB DeAngelo Hall makes the Pro Bowl
(UPDATED at 7:45 p.m.)
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall this evening was the only member of the Redskins named to the Pro Bowl.
Hall’s penchant for big plays helped him earn the third Pro Bowl nomination of his 7-year career and his first with Washington. He has six interceptions and two touchdowns this season. He will go as a reserve.
“To finally have the honor of wearing that Pro Bowl jersey with that [Redskins] logo on it, man, I’m extremely humbled,” he said tonight in a teleconference.
Hall has endured an up and down season, which is part of life for a player who often takes risks to make big plays. He has made the highlight reel this season for positive and negative reasons.
His six interceptions rank second in the NFL; four came in a record-breaking second half against Chicago on Oct. 24. His eight takeaways are tied for the NFL lead.
But as Hall pointed out tonight, he could have several more. For example, against Tampa Bay two games ago he dropped a potential interception that he probably would have returned for a touchdown.
“I think I left a couple plays out there on the field that I probably should have made that I guess would have made this an easier decision for other people out there voting,” he said. “I definitely think I played at a Pro Bowl level.”
Hall has given up his share of big plays—deep touchdown passes against Philadelphia and Indianapolis during nationally-televised games—but he also started the Redskins’ season with a fumble return for a touchdown in a nationally-televised victory over Dallas.
Hall credited first-year defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s scheme for putting him in position to make plays on the ball.
In his first two seasons with the Redskins, coordinator Greg Blache required cornerbacks to mostly play man-to-man, Hall said. Haslett’s scheme involves more zone, which provides Hall opportunities to read the quarterback.
“This year you have a chance to just play deep or jump the inside route,” he said. “To have a coaching staff that understands that and doesn’t mind when the other guy catches the ball because they know where the weakness are and what the defense allows the other team to do, it’s nice. It’s nice to, what we always say, let your hair down.”
Hall will represent a defense that entered last night ranked last in the NFL in total yards. The Redskins rank 31st against the pass and 28th in yards allowed per pass.
Fullback Mike Sellers and outside linebacker Brian Orakpo are first alternates. Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (special teams), linebacker London Fletcher and tight end Chris Cooley are second alternates.
Because those who play for the Super Bowl qualifiers will not play in the Pro Bowl, Sellers and Orakpo have a real chance at playing in the game. Sellers would go to Hawaii if Atlanta fullback Ovie Mughelli can’t play. Orakpo would go if Green Bay’s Clay Matthews or Chicago’s Lance Briggs can’t.
The Pro Bowl is Sunday, Jan. 30, in Honolulu.