The Redskins have made a fairly regular habit of making spectacles of themselves when things haven’t gone as scripted, from wide receiver Josh Morgan throwing a football at an opponent in retaliatory anger to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and cornerback DeAngelo Hall having late-game meltdowns directed toward officials.
Washington Redskins’ loss of composure has been a problem this season
A few of the team’s locker-room leaders said, on the heels of Hall’s outburst at head linesman Dana McKenzie that earned him an ejection from last Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh, that while they understand emotions can boil over on the field, they believe the conduct is a bad reflection on the team and must cease.
“I think it does reflect badly just because you want to always have your composure,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “Nothing against those guys. Obviously when you’re in the moment of competing at the highest level and you’re trying to win games and things don’t happen your way or you see something that you thought is totally wrong or obscene, you’re going to act out. But guys have got to continue to learn from it.”
Said linebacker London Fletcher, the team’s defensive captain: “The thing you talk about since day one is keeping your poise regardless of the situation, always maintaining your poise. It’s football and sometimes emotions do run high. But there’s no excuse for it. We’ve still got to maintain our poise in whatever situation it is.”
Hall and the Redskins were waiting Friday to see how much Hall would be fined by the NFL. Hall said in a radio interview Tuesday, two days after the incident, that the official “was equally at fault” and was “dishing it out just as much as I’m dishing it out.”
Hall yelled, appearing to use profanity, and gestured at McKenzie, and said later he was upset that no penalty was called on Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a tussle at the end of a play. Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan also said he thought a penalty should have been called on Sanders and the episode would have ended there, in Shanahan’s view. But Shanahan also said Hall should not have lost his composure.
“Of course when those things start to cost you games, it puts the focus on it,” former Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot said. “Until we know what the ref said to D-Hall, I’m not going to be too hard on him. But we know D-Hall. He’s a hothead. I think the Josh Morgan thing showed a lack of discipline, especially from a guy who was supposed to be one of your top free agents. Everything starts from the top. When somebody at the top like one of your coaches does it, everyone else says it’s okay for me to do it too.”
In the second game of the season in St. Louis, Morgan threw the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan after Finnegan had shoved him following a play. That drew a 15-yard penalty that pushed the Redskins back and left them trying a 62-yard field goal to tie the game. It missed and the Redskins lost. Morgan received threatening messages on Twitter and was fined $7,875 by the league.