Falcons’ coach, Redskins’ Haynesworth, Landry fined for sideline fight

According to ESPN.com, Falcons’ head coach Mike Smith was fined $15,000 for his part in Sunday’s sideline ruckus with his players in Atlanta’s 31-17 win over the Redskins last Sunday. Washington players Albert Haynesworth ($7,500) and LaRon Landry ($5,000) were fined, but DeAngelo Hall wasn’t despite being right in the middle of the melee.

Here’s video of the altercation:

Smith was in the wrong. He should have never touched a player on the opposing team and he should have concentrated on getting his own players under control.

That said, how the frock was Hall not fined? He claims he was going to get Landry, but Landry is clearly walking away from the incident in the video, yet Hall stays to mix it up. Hall was looking for a fight all week (he ripped Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff in the days leading up to the game) and took advantage when Landry laid out Matt Ryan. Yet everyone involved was fined but him.

Regardless, this incident may have hit Smith’s wallet but he no doubt earned the respect of his team for mixing it up with Hall. Again, he shouldn’t have touched a player from an opposing team. But he sent a message to his players that nobody (especially not an ass clown like DeAngelo Hall) is going to intimidate them.

On the other side of the field you have Jim Zorn, who clearly has no control over his players and looked like a deer in the highlights while the incident was going on. No wonder the Redskins have given up.

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DeAngelo Hall calls out Falcons’ head coach

Photo from fOTOGLIF

During the first half of the Atlanta’s 31-17 win over Washington on Sunday, former Falcon DeAngelo Hall got into a skirmish along the sideline with some of his former teammates and wound up mixing it up with Atlanta head coach Mike Smith.

Afterwards, Hall (who is a complete loudmouth) had this to say to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“I ran over there to kind of pull my guy away,” Hall said. “One of their strength and conditioning coaches put his hands on me and started grabbing me. Then it went to various other guys pulling at me and grabbing me. Through the whole time, I’m trying to get the guys’ hands off of me.”

“I can’t wait for guys to sit back and watch the replay. I can’t wait to watch the replay. I’m going to be giving Commissioner [Roger] Goodell a call myself because something needs to be done about that.”

Hall didn’t think that Smith was simply trying to break up a fight.

“When he comes over to put his hands on you in a harmful way, something needs to be done about that,” Hall said. “Like I said, I’m going to call Commissioner Goodell. Ray Anderson, who used to be with the Falcons, I know him very well, and he’s the vice president over there in the league office. I definitely will be calling some of my friends to work out this situation.”

Hall was asked again if he was contending that Smith came after him.

“Oh, yeah,” Hall said. “He put his hands on me in a harmful way. Talking about that he was going to kick my [butt] and all this other [stuff]. That’s not how you do things.

I saw the fight live and in no way was Hall trying to help the situation by, “getting his guy away.” He went to the sidelines looking for a fight and he got one. Smith did grab him, but it appeared that he was trying to get Hall away from the sidelines and his players. I don’t know what words were exchanged between the two, but Hall is trying to play the victim role in this situation, which is an absolute joke.

Now, maybe there’s a rule that coaches can’t touch opposing players and maybe the league will look into the situation. But I guarantee you Smith earned the respect of his players by getting into Hall’s face and the whole situation could have been avoided had Hall not carried on like the punk he is.

Hall has always had attitude problems and this isn’t the first time he’s gotten into skirmishes in the middle of the game with opponents, referees or even his own teammates. He’s a cocky, selfish player and it’s clear that he has a long way to go before he matures.

NFL Week 8 MVP Power Rankings

The race for MVP rages on at the midway point of the season, and it’s loaded with QBs, for good reason. Brees, Manning and Favre have a combined record of 21-1 and show no signs of slowing down. So we’ll give them their due, for now. Things are going to get mighty interesting, though, in the coming weeks as races get tighter and become closer to being decided, including this race for NFL MVP…..

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints—Their games are getting tighter, but it’s not like the Saints just beat a bad Falcons team on Monday night. That was a tough divisional match up and the Saints just keep, you know, marching…oh, forget it.

2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts—No TDs against the Niners, but Manning still had a Week 8 best of 347 yards. Plus, the Colts remain undefeated.

3. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings—Okay, forget that one blemish against Pittsburgh. After another strong showing against his former team, Favre has now thrown for 1925 yards with 16 TDs and just 3 picks. And his team is 7-1. Raise your hand if you expected that kind of success.

4. Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings—Three more sacks against the Packers. Jon Gruden talked about Allen having a “motor that never stops,” and that’s pretty spot on. Allen is not just playing like defensive player of the year, he’s making a strong case for MVP.

5. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals—Sorry Cedric, but while you were on bye, Favre and Allen terrorized the Packers, and Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew racked up a bunch of yards and TDs. We’ll hold you a spot, but let’s see how you do against the Ravens this week.

Honorable Mention–Elvis Dumervil, Broncos; Andre Johnson, Texans, Tom Brady, Patriots; Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars, Chris Johnson, Titans; Reggie Wayne, Colts; Matt Schaub, Texans

The Saints have that Super Bowl feel about them

With their thrilling 35-27 win over the Falcons on Monday night, the Saints are off to their best start in franchise history at 7-0.

They were far from perfect tonight, but it’s hard not to watch the Saints without getting a sense that this team is destined for big things. Their offense is balanced and can beat opponents in a variety of ways, while the defense is incredibly opportunistic and more aggressive under new coordinator Gregg Williams than they have been in years past.

Save for a fumble that led to a Falcons’ defensive touchdown and an interception (what a play by Atlanta cornerback Brett Grimes) that killed a potential scoring drive, Drew Brees was incredible again tonight. Some of the throws he made were so perfect that he couldn’t have walked them to his receivers any better. And speaking of his receivers, Marques Colston, Jeremy Shockey and Robert Meachem made some absolutely athletic catches with defensive backs draped on top of them. The one-handed grab that Shockey made in the fourth quarter to help set up the Saints’ final touchdown was one of the best catches of the year.

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2009 NFL Week 7 Picks & Predictions

Instead of limiting myself to only four games like I have the previous weeks, I’ve decided to channel my inner Peter King and make predictions (with smaller write ups) on every contest on the NFL schedule this week.

49ers at Texans, 1:00PM ET
It had to have been a long two weeks for San Francisco’s players after the Falcons drubbed the Niners 45-10 in Week 5. Mike Singletary will have his team more focused and I think we’ll see a great defensive effort from San Fran this Sunday to slow down a potent Houston offensive attack.
Odds: Texans –3.
Prediction: 49ers 20, Texans 17.

Packers at Browns, 1:00PM ET
This will be a closer game than most think. The Packers could be looking ahead to a home date with the Vikings next Sunday, although in the end Cleveland’s offense is putrid and while Green Bay has been inconsistent defensively this year, I think they’ll do enough to get the Pack a victory.
Odds: Packers –9.
Prediction: Packers 24, Browns 16.

Chargers at Chiefs, 1:00PM ET
Ron Rivera has no clue on how to get San Diego’s defense back on track, but the young, inexperienced Kansas City secondary could have issues slowing down Philip Rivers and the Bolts’ passing game. Still, I think Matt Cassel and company pull off a surprise upset at home against a San Diego team coming off a short week.
Odds: Chargers –5
Prediction: Chiefs 20, Chargers 18.

Colts at Rams, 1:00PM ET
The Rams have given a nice effort the past two weeks, but this is a horrible matchup for them – even at home. Peyton Manning and company is well rested and the Indy defense will harass Marc Bulger all game.
Odds: Colts –14
Prediction: Colts 34, Rams 14.

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