Defensive Improvements: DeAngelo Hall

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

We all know #23 and what he has brought to the field, but he was let go and brought back this offseason. With talented, young guys behind him, he will have to earn his roster spot and prove he is still the playmaker he once was.

DeAngelo Hall is one of the most experienced members of the Washington Redskins, but he was released and then restructured to get back onto the team. This shows that it is a make or break year for DeAngelo, especially with the late emergence last year of Richard Crawford (who can also return punts, ask the Ravens), the signing of E.J. Biggers in the offseason, and the drafting of David Amerson in the 2nd round of this year's draft. Hall has shown flashes of greatness in his time in Burgundy and Gold, but he has also left us scratching our heads at times. We all remember his big game against Dez Bryant to help win the division, but there were times when his name was a curse word. Hall still has the speed and skills to be effective, but he will have to make some changes to be a playmaker in Raheem Morris' secondary in 2013.

2012 Stats: 95 tackles, 4 interceptions, 1 sack, 14 passes defended

Key Improvements in 2013:

While he played well against Dez, Brandon Weeden and Nick Foles, DeAngelo struggled big time against big names. (Danny Amendola, Vincent Jackson, Percy Harvin, and Anquan Boldin, to name a few).

Like anyone who played a snap in the secondary for the Redskins in 2012, there are improvements to be made for DeAngelo Hall.

Limit the big play: A lot of Hall’s struggles came against speedy, slot receivers like Amendola and Harvin, and then those guys who could run vertically and beat him deep like Jackson. This is where Hall can improve, making sure that those guys stay in front of him. DeAngelo has the speed to keep up with these guys, but when you’re even, the receiver is leaving. Unfortunately we saw too much of that against #23 (and the rest of the secondary: Madieu Williams). To the tune of over 1,000 yards to the opposition.

Wrap up after the catch: Some of these yards could have been prevented if Hall could have wrapped up, since he missed 10 tackles on the season. As mentioned in his stats, Hall had almost 100 tackles, but for a defensive back that sometimes means he is giving up a lot of catches to the receivers he was covering. And Hall was notorious for that in 2012. We all remember him watching others try to tackle Rob Gronkowski, and that moved over into 2012 against guys like Boldin and A.J. Green. There were too many times when a receiver got the ball and then was able to get away from Hall. To be fair, Hall did play pretty well in the run game and have five tackles for loss on the season.

If he needs any tackling advice, he could always head down to Sav’s locker...

(http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000119778/Punter-earns-penalty-for-taking-out-kick-returner)

No more MeAngelo: Hall was released and then brought back during the offseason. He said recently that he is motivated and that money is not an issue this year, but that winning and contributing to this team are what his goals are for this season. Hopefully he continues with that mindset, because he was one of the more selfish players on the team in 2012. He was ejected from a game, stripped of the captain’s patch, and smacked Bryant in the facemask on Thanksgiving. These were plays that you cannot have from one of your defensive leaders. Coaches Shanahan, Haslett and Morris will not put up with that for much longer if that continues. So for DeAngelo and Skins fans, let’s hope that he continues that unselfish tone heading into the 2013 season.

Bottom Line: For DeAngelo Hall it is simple. Continue making plays like he has (averaging four interceptions a season throughout his career). But limit the number of big plays, and when a receiver catches the ball, WRAP HIM UP. And help his teammates when he can. No more selfish play, because he is supposed to be a leader on the team with a bunch of young guys, especially on defense. Know that he is down to one of his final chances since he got a reduced one year deal and there are a bunch of young guys gunning for a spot in the secondary in Chase Minnifield, Richard Crawford and draft pick David Amerson. It may be hard for him, but the biggest improvement that Hall can make is to drop the MeAngelo nickname and let his play do the talking in 2013.

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