Notes around the NFC East: A few thoughts on DeAngelo Hall, Mike Patterson visits the Giants, Nnamdi back to the bay

Redskins

• I’m a little late in talking about this, but the Redskins re-signed DeAngelo Hall two days ago. Last year, had they cut Hall, a decision I’d have thought to be a no-brainer, they would have saved $6.5 million. This year, they saved $8 million by cutting him, then signed him back for $2.25 million. I had a few interesting debates on Hall over Twitter yesterday, which I’ll review quickly here:

Evidently, Hall had one of the better (tackle : missed tackle) ratios for CBs in the NFL last season, per PFF, which has morphed into the thinking that Hall is suddenly a good player against the run. It turns out that PFF has him down for 77 tackles, 13 missed tackles. If that’s good, then the state of tackling from the corner position is in a much sadder state of affairs than I thought. I happened to watch the Redskins-Vikings game about a week ago to take a look at Antoine Winfield, and wound up watching the entire game. Hall was atrocious in that game, from a tackling perspective. And then there was this.  And this (from 2011). Those aren’t “missed tackles,” because he didn’t even try to make the tackle.

The other thing that has become a little distorted is the game he had against Dez Bryant last season. Here’s what I wrote in the game recap:

The downside of the Cowboys losing to Redskins: DeAngelo Hall will think he’s good again.  OK, so I bust on DeAngelo quite a bit, but credit where it’s due.  Hall really did have a great game being left on an island 1-on-1 covering Dez Bryant all night while Jim Haslett repeatedly blitzed Tony Romo.  That gameplan required Hall not to be awful.  And he wasn’t.  In fact, he had a great game.

Dez caught 4 passes for 71 yards, all against Hall. If Dez averages that over the course of a season, he’d have 64 catches for 1136 yards. Now, that’s not to say Hall didn’t have a great game. He absolutely did, as I noted above. But I think the perception is that he shut Dez out, or something. My theory is that the bar is lowered for Hall to some degree, because it has become expected that he’s going to give up plays. And when he doesn’t, a very good or great game becomes something of legend.

This is nothing new for Hall, by the way. If you look at Hall’s Wikipedia page, there’s this line:

One of Hall’s finest moments came when he was assigned to one of the NFL’s premier wide receivers, Terrell Owens of the Philadelphia Eagles, on Monday Night Football.

Owens had 112 receiving yards that night.

Giants

• The Giants had Mike Patterson in for a visit. That’s a very interesting fit. I went back and looked at Patterson against the Giants in 2011 (the Vince Young game). Patterson was tremendous. It’s easy to see why the Giants may think highly of him. If they sign him, you’ll be seeing a film breakdown of that game.

Not to sound like a broken record, but the Giants need to be better stopping the run in 2013. That’s priority number 1, in my opinion. When the Giants signed Cullen Jenkins a few weeks ago, my reaction was, “Eh, OK, that’s fine, but what about a DT that can stop the run?” That would be Patterson, who is a guy that simply stands up to double teams and is extremely difficult to move. And if you don’t double him, he’ll be in the backfield, messing up the run. Patterson is one of the more underrated players of the last decade, because it’s easy to look at the stat sheet and say, “8 season, 16.5 sacks?” But he seems like a great fit in NJ. That is, of course, if he’s healthy, which is an enormous “if.”

One last thing about Patt. It feels like he has been around for a looooong time, and in NFL years, he has. But he’s still only 29. The same thing goes for the aforementioned D. Hall, by the way, who is also still only 29.

Eagles

• Jason Peters spoke with the media yesterday. He feels that he would have played in the playoffs last season, if, you know, the Eagles hadn’t lost 12 games. He believes he is 100%.

• Brandon Graham is trying to get to around 260 pounds, which would be down from around 270-280 that he played at last year. Obviously, 260 is more of an “OLB weight” than it is a “3-4 DE weight,” although it comes as no surprise that he’s likely slated for an OLB role.

• Nnamdi Asomugha signed with the Niners yesterday. I got some reactions from QBs and WRs from around the NFC East.

Cowboys

• No meaty Cowboys news yesterday, but here’s a really good Cowboys draft discussion by my buddy Raf at Cowboys Nation.

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13 Comments

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  3. Phillyboijr says:

    If you wanna see the guy who will take the mantle of “worst tackling CB,” look no further than the Cowboys’ own Morris Claiborne. Like Hall, he’s a guy you’ll watch mysteriously get attached to blockers as the ball carrier runs right by them. One of his other favorite moves is “losing his footing” and going to the ground instead of taking on a ball carrier.

  4. Tim says:

    If we’re concerned about Ware/Spencer switching positions on defense and remaining as effective, I would apply that same concern to Graham. 3-4 OLB is by no means a seamless move from 4-3 DE. Some guys excel (Dumervil), while others really struggle (Dwight Freeney). Graham is a big guy to ask to play in space more often.

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      Depends on where he plays. If he plays the “predator” position, he’ll likely be asked to rush the passer 95% of the time, and drop 5%. If he plays SAM (which he won’t), he’ll be asked to drop more.

  5. icdogg says:

    I was kind of hoping the Eagles would consider bringing Patterson back in.

  6. WeGotLinemen says:

    I am not a fan of Hall’s but I am not disappointed that he’s back on a 1-year contract worth around $2m.

    Used properly he can be an effective player. He isn’t good in man coverage and but he can be a ball hawk if the scheme allows him to play off.

    His tackling does get over played by section of ‘Skins fans but, I think, that’s mostly the result of busted expectations. His physical build, his “MeAngelo” reputation and association with Deion Sanders creates the expectation that he wont tackle at all. As a consequence, the fact that he doesn’t actually shy away from contact and can tackle well when he wants to gets translated into him being a good tackler.

    He isn’t a good tackler because he is inconsistant. Like his coverage, he has all the tools to be really good but he just cannot maintain discipline or concentration over the course of a game.

    As you noted, he can have terrible games, but most of the time he is fairly solid against the run. He will occasionally take a rediculously bad angle but his worst habit is a tendancy to stop mid-play. He doesn’t always play to the whistle. If he thinks he is out of it or another player is in position to make the tackle he’ll give up.

    Maybe a one year, “prove it” contract will keep him focused.

  7. ct17 says:

    Patterson was a Giants killer. As was everyone in the front 7 in the pre-Castillo days. Giants had a predictable running game and the Eagles knew it. I spent a few straight years behind the end zone at Giants stadium watching Chris Gocong blow up every single running play.

    1. ultramattman says:

      One of my favorite wins of the Reid era is the 2008 playoff game where the Eagles upset the #1 seed Giants at the Meadowlands. Patterson was tremendous in that game, including a key 4th-and-1 play where he stuffed Eli on a qb sneak.

  8. bula says:

    didn’t dallas sign urlacher yesterday? he’s a declining player, but a big name nonetheless. worth a mention

    1. Gah… Got me to look it up.

      1. A Fine Messi says:

        ha

      2. bula says:

        i wasn’t even doing that on purpose. i think that someone must have false reported it because i saw it somewhere but i guess it’s not true. sorry about that

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