Hall wants official look at sideline melee
ATLANTA -- Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall says Atlanta coach Mike Smith cursed at him and a Falcons assistant tried to "get some licks in" during a sideline melee Sunday.
Hall said he plans to file a complaint with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that Smith "cussed me out" and Falcons director of athletic performance Jeff Fish and others "put their hands on me."
Hall said he was trying to pull teammate LaRon Landry away from the Atlanta sideline after Landry was called for a late hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Hall and Landry immediately were surrounded by Falcons players and staff members.
Other Washington players joined in, but much of the attention was on Hall, the former Falcons player who had talked all week of being bitter at the way he was treated when traded after the 2007 season. He played in Atlanta for four years and made the Pro Bowl twice.
Hall said he was trying to get away from Fish and others.
"After that, coach Smith came over to me, talking [expletive] to me, saying they were going to kick my [butt]," Hall said. "I stay in Atlanta during the offseason, so if Mike Smith wants to see me, he can definitely find me."
When asked about Hall's role in the pushing and shoving, Smith said, "There were a bunch of guys on that sideline. Some of them were wearing black helmets and some of them were wearing maroon helmets. I can't tell you anything more about it."
When asked again if he knew Hall was involved, Smith said, "I can't tell you who was on that sideline.
"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 very, very quickly."
Hall said he plans to take his complaints to the league.
"I'm going to get on the horn with commissioner Goodell and we're going to figure out a way how to nip this in the bud," Hall said. "It's different with me coming in trying to break stuff up and as a strength coach, if you coming at me and you're trying to get licks, that ain't how you do things.
"They need to have some repercussions and something needs to happen to them, too."
Ryan had just stepped out of bounds when Landry delivered a blow to the quarterback's back late in the second quarter of the Falcons' 31-17 win. As penalty flags flew, Hall jumped into the middle of things.
Redskins coach Jim Zorn said he thought the melee was controlled.
"I thought everybody kept it together," Zorn said. "I thought the officials handled it very well. I was watching on the big screen and I knew that DeAngelo was over there and I knew that was a bad place for him to be so I tried to get over there and help the situation. But even DeAngelo coming back to me, he had a real sense of control about the situation, too."
Hall appeared to be pulled away before any punches were thrown.
Hall said Landry's hit "probably was uncalled for."
"Their sideline got a little hot," he said. "They started attacking LaRon and I'm trying to pull LaRon out and guys just started coming at me. Guys on their coaching staff. [Fish] was grabbing at me and pulling at me.
"It wasn't any mindset to break the fight up. It was in a mindset to try to get some licks in. Even the head coach came over there. Mike Smith said some stuff, said some words to me, cussed me out. He was grabbing at me, pulling at me."
Said Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, "DeAngelo is a competitor. He's very emotional. I'm glad nobody got hurt."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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