Monday, October 9, 2006
Sources: Kicker Hall on thin ice with Redskins
By Len Pasquarelli ESPN.com
Despite converting nine of 11 field goal attempts in the first five games of the 2006 season, the job of Washington Redskins veteran kicker John Hall is in jeopardy, ESPN.com has learned through league and team sources.
The Redskins, 2-3 after Sunday's road loss to the New York Giants, will audition potential replacements on Tuesday at their complex. One candidate to replace Hall is 12-year veteran Todd Peterson, who converted 23 of 25 field goal attempts for the Atlanta Falcons in 2005, but was not re-signed. It is believed former Maryland kicker Nick Novak, who was in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals this summer, is among the candidates invited to Redskins Park as well.
Hall, 32, joined the Redskins in 2003 as an unrestricted free agent, after spending the first six seasons of his career with the New York Jets. But the 10th-year veteran is frequently injured and only once since signing with the Redskins, during the 2003 season, as Hall been able to kick in all 16 games. Because of injuries, Hall appeared in a total of just 18 games in 2004-2005.
Sources agreed that, because some team officials feel they can't always depend on Hall from a physical standpoint, a change could be coming.
The veteran kicker did not appear on the Redskins' injury report following Sunday's game. But coach Joe Gibbs said Monday afternoon that Hall had experienced fatigue in his quadriceps and that it became worse as the game wore on. In the past, Washington officials have been frustrated by Hall's lack of availability because of injuries. He suffered a hamstring injury that limited him to eight games in 2004 and in 2005 played in just 10 games because of a quadriceps injury.
The issue with Hall's leg, Gibbs said Monday, is a "real concern" that the Redskins
"will have to address." Asked if the team planned to audition other kickers, Gibbs said: "We will do whatever we have to do to get ready for [next] weekend."
Gibbs said that, on Saturday, Hall informed him that he was "a little bit tired with his leg." That prompted the Redskins to use punter Derrick Frost on kickoffs, a chore he has handled in the past. Hall hit one of two field goal tries, missing from 42 yards. In addition to his nine field goal conversions, Hall has made all nine of his extra point tries in 2006.
For his career, Hall has connected on 203 of 272 field goals and 280 of 286 extra points.
Peterson, 36, is believed to be the most veteran kicker who will take part in Tuesday's audition. He has converted 235 of 296 field goals and all but three of his 341 extra point attempts, for 1,043 points. He has scored over 100 points six times in his career.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.