The Redskins never stop trying to improve. I don't know if every organization works this way, but the only time that you can truly let your guard down a little bit is when you know that Mike Shanahan is on vacation.
Even then, players can always do something and rumors can always send you on a wild goose chase.
Wednesday was a day where the Redskins were on the front burner. For many reasons. Some that are now complete, and some that are very much still in progress.
The Redskins appear to have been able to retain not only a overwhelming part of their core, but also have been able to add to it. Washington will very likely not bring back starting free safety Madieu Williams. ESPN 980 had first reported that news a few weeks ago. If that situation remains, the Redskins will have been able to retain 21 of 22 starters.
They lost their special teams captain, Lorenzo Alexander and risked losing DeAngelo Hall. However to think that they could bring back Kory Lichtensteiger, Tyler Polumbus, Darrel Young, Logan Paulsen, Nick Sundberg, Sav Rocca, Bryan Kehl, Chris Baker, Rex Grossman and Hall after releasing him would have required you to have 3-D rose colored glasses on while pounding burgundy and gold kool-aid down your throat and yet the Redskins accomplished just that.
Think about it. The Redskins, with an 18 million dollar salary cap hit were able to retain all but one starter and their special teams captain while at least for now, not mortgaging any of the future. They lost more assistant coaches (Danny Smith and Ike Hilliard) than they did starters from the 2012 NFC Eastern Division Championship team.
On Wednesday, the Redskins retained more of their core by agreeing to terms with Rex Grossman. While not a popular move, it was a necessary addition. Here's the bottom line reality that most Redskins fans do not want to face. The (strong?) possibility exists that Robert Griffin III is not ready for Week 1. Kirk Cousins would be the starter, but it is very likely that if Griffin is not ready to start that he would not even be active on the 46 man game day roster. You need a competent, quality and experienced backup and you can do A LOT worse than Grossman.
Grossman took his time before coming back, a move that was made official on Thursday morning. He told ESPN 980 via phone "the real opportunity wasn't out there, so I wanted to be here."
Grossman was a key figure behind the scenes for the development of Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in their rookie years. It's a good move.
The Redskins also officially signed Pat White to a one year contract, a source close to the situation confirmed to ESPN 980. The former West Virginia product was a second round pick in 2009 and was quickly out of the league, partially due to health reasons and partially due to a bad skill set fit.
Plenty of questions remain on White, and if he can actually play the position. As ESPN 980 first reported on Tuesday, White has worked with noted quarterback guru, George Whitfield Jr. to prepare for this opportunity.
He was also busy taking care of legal matters, as Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times first reported here http://wtim.es/10z6YdM.
Then there's the Kirk Cousins dynamic to this four-headed quarterback monster...He was on ESPN 980 on Wednesday after it became known that White would be signing, but before Rex Grossman's agreement became public.
Per Steinberg's transcript, Cousins told the "Sports Fix" - “I felt like with Robert’s health where it is right now, to be able to have a guy who can do some of the thing Robert does athletically would be important, especially in this offseason time when you’re trying to stay sharp and develop your base playbook and improve your base playbook. While I believe can to some degree run those kind of things, the zone-read stuff is gonna be much better with a Pat White-type athlete in there who’s closer to Robert’s skill set."
“I think that’s a no-brainer to have a guy like that in at least for OTAs, if not longer,” Cousins said to Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro.
That's all fine and good, and makes perfect sense. The Redskins will have at least four, if not five quarterbacks during training camp and pre-season on the roster because Griffin will be extremely limited, if he is even able to do anything in August.
Anybody that thinks Kirk Cousins would be traded to the first team that has an opening in camp (due to injury) is just a flat out space cadet. Sorry. It's just NEVER going to happen, and I strongly believe it would not have happened even if Robert Griffin III had made it through his rookie season completely healthy.
DeAngelo Hall is officially back in the fold, signing a one year deal. Now the interesting part is can the Redskins somehow still reel in Antoine Winfield?
Hall is an interesting case. He's another guy who clearly doesn't have a lot of popularity in the fan base, which is the nature of the position. I have always thought he was a above average pure cover corner and that's as far as I can go. This goes back to his days in Atlanta, and it was laughable that an organization as dumb as the Oakland Raiders gave Hall the kind of money they did and cut him halfway through his first year.
The Redskins are anything but dumb under Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen and Eric Shaffer. As a result of their 2010 creativity which landed them in hot water with the National Football League, the Redskins saved three million dollars in cap space in 2012 - as Hall's cap hit went from 9.5 to 6.5 million. The move also allowed the Redskins to have no dead money if they chose to whack Hall in 2013 or 2014. His base salary and workout bonuses was a simple 8.0 million in 2013 and 9.5 million in 2014, all non-guaranteed.
So when the Redskins released Hall last month, they technically saved a total of 17.5 million additional dollars over the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Washington made it official on Thursday morning, signing Hall back to a reported one year, 2.5 million dollar deal with a likely incentives based package for him to make more.
If you combine the on books savings of 2012 - 2014, it adds up too a whopping 20.5 million dollars, and for salary cap accounting purposes if you add the 3.0 million (high side w/ roster bonus projection) - the Redskins actually saved a total of 17.5 million as a net.
They were stripped of 15 million, but gained back the flexibility to have 17.5 million in credits spread over three years. Even if Hall is brought back for 2014 at a similar structure to this year, the Redskins would still have saved about 15 million dollars in cap space over the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons.
As far as dealing with Hall, and still retaining his services for at least 2013 - you could not ask for any better than that.
Especially if somehow, the move to bring back Hall still allows you to secure the services of Antoine Winfield. As we have reported several times, strong mutual interest still exists between both sides with Minnesota and possibly another suitor still in the mix (Denver?).
Winfield visited Redskins Park last week, and the Redskins tried to initiate contract discussions about 15 times to Winfield's representatives. The two sides briefly spoke that night and have remained in contact, with Winfield reportedly out of the country.
How do the Redskins accomplish such a move? That's the multi-million dollar question. As I write this, we are all still trying to figure out exactly how the Redskins with less than 700,000 in cap space as of Wednesday night, made the signing of Hall, Grossman and White all official https://www.nflplayers.com/reports/RunPublicReport.aspx?report=top51.
Clearly, they have some work to do and it very much seems that Winfield and his camp are more than willing to be patient in the process. Sure, returning to Minnesota is an option but he has to see what everybody sees and that is Christian Ponder is going to be hard pressed to take a team to a Super Bowl, something that has eluded Winfield during his career.
Based on multiple conversations with multiple sources, I have been able to rule out as of Wednesday a re-structure for Pierre Garcon. His base salary for 2013 is guaranteed anyway, and a provision does exist that would allow the Redskins to convert that base to "bonus" to allow them to re-distribute the cap charge. That move had not been executed as of Wednesday per sources.
Trent Williams is another likely candidate. He's coming off his first Pro Bowl year, and done with year three of his rookie contract that spanned five years. An extension is much safer and more likely in my eyes, and could be in the works. I would stay tuned on this front.
Other than that, the Redskins will very likely have to release a player or two to have the flexibility needed to create enough room to not only have a chance to sign Winfield, but also to ink their 2013 draft class.
Another option would be to trade a current contract to an interested party for future draft picks & flexibility. Two names that would come to mind in my eyes, are Josh Wilson and Brian Orakpo.
**Finally, a note on Fred Davis who re-signed earlier this week officially. The Redskins gave him a deal that will count initially at 2.5 million against the cap, but could count as much as 3.0 million under the 2013 limit. Davis got a 1.5 million signing bonus, a 1 million dollar base salary and a 500 thousand dollar incentive clause that he receives (and the Redskins are charged for) if he is on the gameday 46-man roster for a minimum of 12 games. Davis also can earn another 750,000 in incentives that are tied to snap count and a possible Pro Bowl selection.
The Redskins essentially got a franchise tag free agent that cost them over 5.5 million last year, for a significant discount with no long term liability. Of course, they really had the leverage because of Davis' blown achilles.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) A person familiar with the situation says DeAngelo Hall has been fined $30,000 for his confrontation with an official in the Washington Redskins' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last month.
The person said Wednesday that Hall will not be suspended for the incident late in the Steelers' 27-12 win Oct. 28.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL hasn't announced the fine.
Hall removed his helmet and berated an official after being pulled to the ground by Pittsburgh receiver Emmanuel Sanders during a running play. Officials whistled Hall for two 15-yard penalties and ejected him from the game.
Coach Mike Shanahan later said Sanders should have been flagged for wrestling Hall to the ground, but that Hall also needed to show better restraint.
Could DeAngelo Hall's days in Washington DC be numbered? It appears so. But not for the reasons that you might be thinking, after another meltdown on Sunday.
The Redskins will NOT in my opinion suspend Hall or release him for his double unsportsmanlike conduct foul and ejection in the waning moments of Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh. However, that doesn't mean he will be with the Redskins next year, and I would never rule anything out for this week.
A league review is still pending as of Tuesday night, with the issue further complicated because of the league office closure over the last two days.
While Hall is a hot head, it was pretty clear that a double foul should have been called at the minimum, and perhaps that would have prevented Hall taking off his helmet and jawing with the official. He said in a local radio interview on Tuesday, that he was not flagged for taking the helmet off because the Redskins had taken their third and final timeout.
It was obvious that Hall was upset and verbally going after the official and that's when two officials threw penalty flags. What is unclear is why Hall was penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected all for the same incident, if the helmet removal was not part of penalty call.
League spokesman Greg Aiello, via e-mail did respond to ESPN 980's inquiry on Wednesday about the situation, saying "He was not flagged for his helmet being off. The helmet came off during a time out."
Either way, Hall has to have better control of his emotions, despite all of the frustration and whatever he was trying to point out to the officials.
That's just one issue, and again - I do not believe that Hall should be disciplined by the Redskins, because the game was essentially over and as Mike Shanahan pointed out on Monday via tele-conference -- he felt a flag should have been called on Emmanuel Sanders to begin with. Whatever.
For what it is worth, the Redskins have a recent history of blowing their cool in pressure moments (Josh Morgan, Kyle Shanahan) and they were absolved by the team for their conduct.
The more interesting question becomes -- do the Redskins move forward with Hall in 2013? That's the loaded or 8 million dollar question.
Per league sources, Hall has no guaranteed money in 2013. You can thank the Redskins brain trust for that, despite the hot water they landed in with the NFL.
Hall currently is on the books for 6.5 million in this current year (2012) and 8 million in (2013) in base salary (including a 500 K workout bonus). His 2014 base salary is 9.5 million, which is a figure that is almost unthinkable.
If Hall is released prior to June 1, 2013 - the sources confirmed to ESPN 980 that Hall's entire 8 million dollar cap number will come off the Redskins books, assuming that the off-season workout program has not begun (April). If the program does begin, and Hall is released subsequently, the Redskins will have to absorb the 500 K workout bonus.
In other words, if Hall is released in March - the Redskins can save 8 million dollars in cap money in 2013 and of course, the 9.5 million. Period. Done.
That's especially important considering that the Redskins will serve another 18 million dollar cap hit in 2013 for their alleged cap violations in 2010 that centered around Albert Haynesworth and of course, Hall. Essentially, they can reduce that hit to 10 million dollars or so, if they release Hall.
Here's again how it went down, in the Hall situation, according to the sources. When the Redskins re-structured his long term contract signed in 2009 with the team, he was given a 1.5 M signing bonus (proration over five years 2009-2013 - 300 K per year). Our sources clarified our original story, and have told ESPN 980 that even the 300,000 cap charge in 2012 & 2013, was rolled into the 2010 accounting. Hall's 2009 salary of 5 million, was guaranteed base salary. His 15 million dollar option bonus was calculated into the 2010 un-capped year, which meant that there was no proration. Hall also had 1 million of his base salary in 2010 guaranteed. Essentially, he was guaranteed the same 22.5 million he originally agreed on, but the Redskins were creatively able to absorb it in the early years and of course, the un-capped year.
While the cap penalty sucks, the Redskins essentially would have had about 3-4 million dollars worth of 'dead money' to account for next year, if they released Hall.
Essentially, it means they can kick Hall to the curb in 2013 with really no ramifications, other than having to replace him. At this point, that's not exactly a hard thing to do.
According to the staff at ProFootballFocus.com (@PFF on Twitter), Hall has played the 5th highest amount of snaps in 2012 for cornerbacks. His total evaluation score, based on that groups analysis is a staggering Minus 8.9. Just to put it in perspective, the top four in that group grades like this.
Green Bay's Tramon Williams is # 1 in terms of snaps played, and grades at + 8.2, while Tennessee's Jason McCourty is # 2 in snaps played and graded out at +9.9. Alterraun Verner of the Titans is # 3 and grades out at a + 12.0, while Minnesota's Antoine Winfield is # 4 in terms of snaps played, but ranks first in terms of composite grade, according to ProFootballFocus.com at + 18.6.
Hall ranks as PFF's 98th best cornerback in terms of overall composite score, which does put him above Corey Webster of the Giants and recent high draft picks, Jimmy Smith of Baltimore and Janoris Jenkins of St. Louis.
Hall ranks 5th in targeted cornerbacks (59 times thrown at) and has yielded the most completions (42) of any corner in the league. The completion percentage equates out to 71.2%, which is actually better than that of Tennessee's Verner, who we mentioned above. It's also well below Hall's teammate in Cedric Griffin, who has yielded a completion rate of 81.3% on much fewer opportunities.
Hall is also # 1 in yards allowed (YA) and # 4 in yards-after-catch (YAC), according to ProFootballFocus.com at 594, making his overall numbers look like this (42-59, 71.2%, 594 YA, 199 YAC). In case you're wondering, Josh Wilson ranks # 3 in YAC, ahead of Hall.
Hall, according to Redskins coaches had 57 combined tackles, 1 sack, and two interceptions, along with 4 QB hits and 5 passes defended before the Pittsburgh loss.
The bottom line, barring a dramatic turn-around in the 2nd half of 2012, and despite the fact that he often lines up against the opposing teams # 1 receiver, it's not very likely that DeAngelo Hall will be with the Redskins in 2013 and beyond. His coverage skills this year (as in years past), would suggest it just doesn't make sense.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) The Washington Redskins are finally scoring. So are their opponents.
An offense that's starting to show promise with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is helping Washington average 33 points through the first three games of the season. Keep in mind that last year the Redskins didn't score 30 points in any game all season.
But opponents are putting up 33.7 per game, and the defense is looking ragged. The Redskins are 1-2 because they keep giving up big plays.
"Last year we would argue amongst each other to get 14 points, 10 points. Twenty-one points was a great day (for the offense)," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said Monday. "So to see this offense go out there these last three weeks and put up the kind of points they've put up, and the defense just go out there and totally drop the ball, it's definitely frustrating."
The Redskins yielded touchdown passes of 73, 59 and 48 yards in Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. They've already allowed 16 pass plays of 20-plus yards over three games, second most in the NFL.
"We've got to play much better as a secondary," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Our secondary's got to be much better than we played on Sunday."
The defense went into the game short-handed up front after linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker were lost for the season with injuries, but their subs were hardly the problem. Rob Jackson intercepted a pass for a touchdown starting in place of Orakpo, and Jarvis Jenkins had a decent outing in Carriker's spot.
But the backside of the defense got toasted. Hall said the defense didn't get set properly to defend the gadget play the Bengals used to score the game's opening touchdown. Josh Wilson lost his footing playing man coverage on a blitz, allowing a long touchdown on a simple out pattern. Richard Crawford, a rookie seventh-round draft pick, was left alone down the middle of the field trailing Andrew Hawkins on another big score. Backups Cedric Griffin and Crezdon Butler left the game with hamstring injuries.
"If we keep giving up big plays, week-in and week-out, we're not going to win football games," linebacker London Fletcher said.
Notes: The game added to the Redskins' growing list of injuries, and there's enough uncertainty about them that Shanahan categorized them all as day-to-day. Among the ailing are LT Trent Williams (bone bruise on right knee), RB Evan Royster (strained right patella tendon), RB Roy Helu Jr. (left foot), Griffin (hamstring) and Butler (hamstring). ... Shanahan said it's also uncertain whether WR Pierre Garcon (sore right foot) and S Brandon Meriweather (sprained left knee) will play in this week's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall spoke on ESPN 980 Radio yesterday and weighed in on the new team that is forming at Redskins Park as well as of course newly drafted QB Robert Griffin III.
When asked whether Hall felt that RG III was finally the answer to Washington's perennial QB woes, he responded, "I hope so. We don't want to put all the pressure on him. It's not just going to be RG has to take us to the promise land. It's going to take a total team effort."
But while DeAngelo emphasized team over RG III, he too could not help but offer praise for the rookie.
"You can definitely see specialness coming out of him. You can kind of see the swag and the confidence and his ability to make plays."
Hall also admitted to the fact that he began talking to Griffin 4-5 months ago, a relationship that started prior to the NFL Draft and how he compared Griffin to former teammate Michael Vick.
"I told him the scary part is his progression now as a quarterback and an athlete, seeing Michael Vick, I feel like he's light years ahead of Michael Vick because he understands mentally what it takes to be great. Mike felt like he could go out athletically and be great."
DeAngelo then compared the physical attributes of today's RG III to the Michael Vick of old during his days as QB for the Falcons. DeAngelo played in Atlanta with Vick for three seasons from 2004 to 2006.
"I feel like RG is probably a little more accurate than Mike was. Mike's arm is probably a little stronger. Mike is definitely a little faster, he's a 4.2 guy, real shifty. RG is deceptively fast."
Updated June 8, 2012
You can catch 'Redskins at 1' on ESPN 980 where The Sports Fix talks Redskins at 1pm every weekday.
**First the good news, The Redskins held a full Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice in the brand new indoor training facility, on Monday here at Redskins Park. A light, steady rain never really let up in any way - and while the Redskins certainly could have worked in the weather conditions, it was a decision they no longer have to make. Not to mention, a reduction of potential injuries, is a part of the benefits to having an indoor facility.
***Redskins veteran CB DeAngelo Hall was not in attendence at Redskins Park, for the first day of non-mandatory full team work. He was the only player missing. Per two ESPN 980 sources, Hall had previously coordinated with Redskins management that he would not be present on Monday, but is scheduled to return on Tuesday, which is a workout day. The team returns to the field on Wednesday and Thursday. The sources told ESPN 980 that Hall has been present at every phase of the off-season conditioning program, which was something that London Fletcher backed up on Monday afternoon, saying "D's been here. He's been here."
**As you probably have heard, Mike Shanahan was knocked to the ground in a collision by new WR Pierre Garcon and 2nd year CB Brandyn Thompson. We did not get a very good look at it, as the media was called away just prior to the incident - but Shanahan appears to be fine. He cracked a joke in my direction upon returning to the main building, but he did not meet with the media afterwards.
His new quarterback, Robert Griffin III said "He showed some toughness, got up, stuck it out. It was pretty scary actually to see two guys running full speed smack dab into your coach. We’re glad he got up, glad he was fine. And hopefully he’s fine tomorrow, because usually hits like that don’t kick in until the next day.”
London Fletcher met with the media for the first time since re-signing with the team, and expressed admiration for the head coach, saying "he’s pretty tough, he wanted to stay out there. He ended up staying out there.”
***Stephen Bowen was one of several Redskins veterans that could not participate in the practice, as he discussed his recent knee surgery, in mid April. Bowen says he will be 100% in a few weeks.
Kory Lichtensteiger, recovering from an ACL and MCL tear in mid-October, perfomed individual unit drills and looked fluid, but did not work team drills, and was replaced on the first unit at left guard.
Recently re-signed Tim Hightower who should be 100% by mid July, did not participate in any drills that I saw, but was with his offensive teammates, before getting a good workout after the team practice.
Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, still recovering from labrum surgery, did not participate.
Place Kicker Graham Gano, in a two way battle with veteran Neil Rackers did not kick much, if at all, based on what I saw. Rackers missed a couple of kicks from various distances.
Cornerback Josh Wilson banged up his left arm, and appeared to be in significant discomfort, but returns to the practice.
***Because it was a closed practice to the fans, the Redskins have a policy of not allowing the media to talk about first team and second team units, and who worked where. Suffice to say, this team is already MUCH deeper than they have been in the last two years, and some extra flexibility in terms of new positions with different guys was on display.
**One guy, who we can mention, because he chose to speak about it from a versatily aspect, is rookie Josh LeRibeus. LeRibeus, a natural guard, who had been working exclusively at center in the limited time he has been at Redskins Park, worked all three interior positions today.
"I like the fact that they have me at center, because I'm sitting there and I know all the calls now, when you do go to guard, it makes the transition easier. Just from a technique point of view. It's just a lot different technique when you go from guard to center."
LeRibeus continued, noting that he is getting more comfortable and doesn't have a lot of concerns about learning multiple positions, "No, no, no - just the technique stuff. I did right and left (both guard positions) today."
Still, up until the East-West Shrine game, LeRibeus did not have any experience in the zone blocking aspects of the Redskins scheme, so every day is an adjustment compared to what he was used too. "From SMU, it's huge - especially when it comes to the slide blocking. Assignments are coming along great. At this point, until today -- I hadn't got any reps (at guard)."
LeRibeus needs to have a great connection with his quarterback, Robert Griffin III - no matter where he winds up playing. He has an interesting way of praising the franchise's best hope for success.
"He's a little, uhhhh, you wouldn't expect it, from the bright eyes, big smile - but he's a little mastermind."
****Chris Cooley worked through the first OTA and appeared sharp, while telling reporters that his knee feels great and he is playing at his lightest weight in his career.
Jammal Brownalso worked through practice and appeared to be moving around fine.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) If a team is truly led by its captains, it's not hard to see why the Washington Redskins have already clinched another losing season.
Left tackle Trent Williams missed Sunday's 34-27 loss to the New England Patriots because he was serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The other offensive captain, receiver Santana Moss, was whistled for a crucial penalty late in the game and pulled out the tired loser's lament: "I guess we've got to play against a team and the ref."
Linebacker London Fletcher, a defensive co-captain, let the refs have it when he was called for a personal foul, although his tirade was somewhat excusable because it appeared to be a legal hit. Special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander was his usual steady self, the only one of the five captains not involved in some sort of controversy.
That leaves cornerback DeAngelo Hall, the other defensive captain, who had an especially trying day. Hall gave up on a play, standing and watching from a few yards away while Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was breaking tackles along the sideline for a 49-yard gain that set up a touchdown in the first quarter.
Then, in the third quarter, after he was called for defensive holding, Hall picked up the official's flag and gave it a disrespectful toss - drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct call that gave New England 20 yards in penalties on one play.
"Especially when guys are in a leadership role, I think we understand that you have to keep your cool, regardless if you like a call or don't like a call," coach Mike Shanahan said Monday. "That's your job - to handle yourself in a professional manner. And more importantly not put your team in a hole with a 15-yard penalty. So those are things I talk about with our football team, and if you make too many of those mistakes, eventually you're not with us."
The Gronkowski play was also far from exemplary. Hall said after the game he thought the tight end had stepped out of bounds, but that wasn't the case: There was still plenty of green between the tight end and the sideline when he dragged two other Redskins pursuers past a standing-still Hall.
"That was disappointing, because one of the things DeAngelo usually does is finish," Shanahan said. "A lot of corners don't like to tackle. He's one of the more physical guys in the league. I know he was embarrassed by it, as well as our whole football team."
Monday was a quiet day at Redskins Park. The Redskins (4-9) have clinched another losing season and will have to dig deep to keep themselves motivated over the final three weeks. Neither Hall nor Moss nor Fletcher made an appearance in the locker room during the period it was open to reporters.
"I'm excited about what the defense can do," said safety Reed Doughty, giving a blanket assessment of the state of things. "But at the end of the day, we're judged by wins."
Shanahan touched on the notable moments from Sunday's game, including the offensive pass interference call that got Moss so incensed. Moss caught what appeared to be a 5-yard touchdown pass that might have sent the game to overtime with 1:09 to play, but he was called for pushing off on receiver-turned-cornerback Julian Edelman.
"I agree with the call," Shanahan said. "You can't extend your arms. I'm not sure how many times you're going to call offensive pass interference, but anytime there is an extension of the arms, it's a proper call."
The penalty on Fletcher gets the opposite review. Shanahan on Sunday said he thought the call was "horrible," and the coach stood by that comment Monday. Fletcher was whistled for a blow to the head to Tom Brady after the New England quarterback waited too long to start a slide after a scramble. Replays show Fletcher made a clean hit, his arm hitting Brady in the midsection - nowhere near the helmet.
Shanahan said he doesn't expect Fletcher to the additional punishment from the league office that usually accompanies an illegal helmet hit.
"Anytime you draw a personal foul, there's always a fine involved," Shanahan said. "What they'll probably do is look at that and say, `Hey, that's just a mis-call.' That's what I would guess."
Notes: The Redskins played again with a patchwork offensive line after RT Jammal Brown hurt his right groin during pregame warmups. Shanahan said he's not sure when Brown will return, and that Tyler Polumbus will get another start if Brown can't play Sunday against the New York Giants. ... The coach said Willie Smith and Sean Locklear will continue to share first-team snaps at left tackle during practice, filling in for Williams. ... Shanahan is still seeking clarification from the league as to whether Williams and TE Fred Davis can be at Redskins Park during their suspensions. As of now, they're being asked to stay away. "It's not perfectly clear right now," the coach said. ... The Redskins' turnover margin has dropped to minus-14, last in the NFL.
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
ASHBURN, Va. – The National Football League announced today that Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall has been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a Week 12 win over Seattle.
Against the Seahawks, Hall had a career-high seven passes defensed, seven tackles and a game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter of the Redskins’ 23-17 victory. The Redskins’ defense held Seattle to 126 yards passing and a 46.7 completion percentage (14-of-30 passing), the lowest of any NFL team in Week 12.
This marks the second time that Hall has won NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. He previously won the award after a four-interception performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 7 of the 2010 season. The feat tied an NFL and Redskins record. Hall became the 19th NFL player and third Redskin to record four interceptions in the same game. He became the first NFL player to record all four interceptions in the second half, including returning one 92 yards for a touchdown.
Redskins players have won 80 Player of the Week awards, including 33 NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors, since the NFL started awarding weekly honors in 1984. Before Hall’s selection this week, linebacker Brian Orakpo was the most recent honoree, as he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week following the Redskins’ Week 4 win at St. Louis earlier this season.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Roy Helu is becoming too productive to ignore. Give the Washington Redskins rookie a start, and he's good for about 150 yards of total offense.
At least that's what happened the first two times he got the nod. He piled up 41 yards rushing and 105 receiving against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 6 but found himself back at second-string the following week.
Now he's coming off a 162-yard day - 108 rushing, 54 receiving - and a leap-the-defender touchdown in a 23-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks that broke a six-game losing streak.
Coach Mike Shanahan is dealing with uncertainty at many positions as he heads into December with a team that is 4-7, but the running back position looks settled - for now.
"He's our starter, for sure," Shanahan said Monday.
Helu was part of a day of Redskins resilience.Anthony Armstrong finally caught another pass - his first in five weeks - and it was a big one, a 50-yard touchdown grab that gave Washington the lead in the fourth quarter. It was the team's longest completion of the season, and it more than doubled Armstrong's yardage total for 2011.
DeAngelo Hall, who a week ago said he ought to be cut because of the way he was playing, made the game-clinching interception in the final minute. Rex Grossman completed 74.3 percent of his passes for 314 yards, both season-highs. A defense that allowed 27 points against the Dallas Cowboys a week earlier clamped down, proving the Redskins still have some pride despite the longest losing stretch in Shanahan's head coaching career.
"It's tough," Shanahan said. "That's what you're in this game to do, is to win. But at the same time, when you're around a football team that's giving you everything they've got, you feel good. I've been around some teams that have been on losing streaks and you didn't feel like you got the type of effort that you're hoping for.
"That's why I feel good about the character of this football team, and it was nice to find a way to win because they deserved to win. Our players have been working extremely hard, and hopefully we can keep it going."
To keep it going, Shanahan needs the solid running game that was a hallmark of his Denver Broncos teams. He got it Sunday, when Helu gave the Redskins only their second 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
The fourth-round draft pick from Nebraska found yards when there appeared to be none, and his acrobatic 28-yard touchdown run ignited the fourth-quarter rally. Shanahan called the play "the difference in the game."
"You can see he got some tough yards," Shanahan said. "He broke some tackles. He made some people miss. You could some elusiveness, power, some speed. That's what you look for in a running back. He played with a lot of confidence. He knew he was going to be the guy. We told him he was going to have the workload, and he really took advantage of his opportunity."
Tim Hightower emerged from training camp as the starting tailback, but he was lost for the season with a knee injury five weeks ago. Ryan Torain had a 135-yard game in relief against the St. Louis Rams but failed to tally more than 22 yards in any of his four starts.
Helu set a Redskins franchise record with 14 catches against the 49ers in his first start, but Shanahan kept going back to Torain because Helu was still developing, especially as a blocker in pass protection.
On Sunday, it was Helu all the way - with more to come as the Redskins prepare to host the New York Jets.
"We're going to go with the guy with the hot hand," Shanahan said.
Notes: Shanahan said breakdowns in blocking technique were to blame when the Seahawks blocked a field goal in the second quarter and an extra point in the fourth quarter. The Redskins have had four field goals blocked this season, and injuries have prompted a shuffling of the personnel up front. "Unless you have some guys on the team that I don't know of - there's not a whole lot of options," Shanahan said. Shanahan said Graham Gano was not to blame on either play and will remain the team's kicker. ... FB Darrel Young, who suffered a concussion on Sunday, will undergo tests over the next couple of days to determine when he can return. ... DE Stephen Bowen tore the PCL in his left knee and is sore but will not require surgery. "Hopefully he'll be able to play this weekend," Shanahan said.