Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall told told ESPN 980′s “Inside the Locker Room” on Wednesday that he believes defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was held back by former head coach Mike Shanahan
“Defensively man, I just feel like we played so bad last year, we’ve got some unfinished business to definitely take care of,” Hall . “I’m excited after talking to Haslett about the possibility of him being able to just run his defense without anybody in his ear telling him what to call or what not to call. So I’m really excited to see Haz unleash his full arsenal of play calls.
“I mean, he’s been in this league for so long for a reason,” Hall said. “It’s not because he’s the best-looking guy; it’s because he can call plays and have a great defense. No disrespect to Mike Shanahan, he’s a great coach, but he liked to micromanage things. He kind of liked his hands on everything. Jay [Gruden’s] kind of like look, I’m gonna let Haz kind of do his thing. Obviously if I see something that I feel like as an offense we can stop or we can’t stop, I’ll definitely let him know, give him a heads-up on some things to help us get better as team. But Haz is going to get to do what he does.
“And like I told Haz years ago, when I was kind of getting handcuffed as a player, I told him I understand you’re getting handcuffed as a coach,” Hall continued. “Imagine how I feel as a player being told that I have to do something a certain way, because I’ve always stressed to people that playing corner, it’s chess. It’s not let me stand right here and you catch this ball. I’m sorry, it’s not checkers, it’s chess, where you have to strategically play that chess match with your opponent. I have to play off, I have to fake like I’m going jam, I have to kind of mix and match with some of these top notch receivers to kind of keep them off balance.
“So Haz definitely understood where I was coming from as a player,” Hall concluded. “And I felt him, because he definitely as a coach needs to be able to kind of play chess with the other coordinator too.”
It will be interesting to see how the Skins defense looks in 2014. I’m not sure I’m ready to believe they couldn’t cover because of Shanahan.