Smith leads Falcons in game — and rumble against Hall

This look says it all: Mike Smith is not a man to be messed with (AP photo).

This look says it all: Falcons coach Mike Smith is not a man to be messed with (AP photo).

If talent alone determined success, DeAngelo Hall would be destined to have a bust of his head stuck on a shelf in Canton, instead of his actual head so obviously being stuck somewhere else.

If football was a game determined by things other than character, work ethic and certainly leadership, we could debate who had the better the team Sunday, the Falcons or the Washington Redskins. Fortunately, Mike Smith doesn’t have to ask that question.

The Falcons responded to their first two-game losing streak under Smith by doing what good teams do. They beat a bad team. They left them doubled-over. They jumped out to a 24-3 lead over one of the NFL’s bottom-feeders, and when the Redskins showed signs of actual football, they responded accordingly. They won, 31-17. Next?

There was never a doubt. Why? Because the Falcons don’t set up as a crumbling act. It’s the way general manager Thomas Dimitroff wanted to build this roster. Big leads don’t turn into devastating losses. Two-game losing streaks don’t mutate into spiraling, endless slides. Success is defined by how a player reacts in heated moments, like when an opponent is trying to take his head off. It’s not about how fast he glides on an empty track.

And it’s about leadership.

The Falcons will be fine because they follow their leader. That is Mike Smith.

When Hall, who has gone from Atlanta to Oakland to Washington but still dresses for games in big shoes, a red nose and a squirting flower, tried to turn Sunday’s game into a second-grader’s rumble, it was Smith who stared him down.

Late in the second quarter, with the Falcons’ leading, 21-3, Matt Ryan scrambled for a first down out of bounds to the Falcons’ sideline. He was hit late by LaRon Landry, who drew a personal foul. The matter would’ve ended there. But when Landry walked away, Hall walked into the center of a scrum. Match, meet dynamite. Hall found himself in the middle of a circle of players who probably wanted to knock him out even when he was in their locker room. Yelling, pushing and swinging ensued.

Smith led the charge

Center Todd McClure laughed about it later. “When Smitty pokes that lip out, you know he’s pretty heated.”

“He got me juiced,” said Curtis Lofton.

“I know he’s a head coach now,” said Mike Peterson, who played for Smith in Jacksonville. “But he was a [defensive] coordinator and a linebackers coach before that. It’s still in him – that fire, that emotion. I love that man.”

Funny. While Hall later stopped just short of saying he feared for his life when confronted by the 50-year-old Smith, the Falcons’ coach denied even knowing it was Hall.

Play along. I guess Smith always wanted to be a defense attorney.

“Our quarterback was hit late and there was a skirmish over there and all I was trying to do was restore order,” Smith said. “I did not want to get into a situation where any of our guys were injured.”

Did he realize who it was?

“There were a bunch of guys on that sideline,” Smith said. “Some of them were wearing black helmets and some were wearing maroon helmets. I can’t tell you any more than that. It was very, very hectic on the sideline.”

Hall wasn’t confused. Deluded, maybe.

He rambled on about Smith “talking [stuff] to me, saying he’ll kick my [rear] and all this other [stuff]. … [If] Mike Smith wants to see me, he can find me.”

Hall claimed both Smith and strength coach Jeff Fish put their hands on him “in a harmful way.” He said he’s going to complain to Commissioner Roger Goodell.

He might as well do it in January. He’ll have time, since he won’t be in the playoffs again.

Smith will be busy for a while. The Falcons should be a post-season team again because they fight for their coach, and vice versa.

“He’s got our backs, and we have his,” McClure said. “He’s not going to let anything happen to his guys.”

It’s what leaders do.

238 comments Add your comment

BJohnDawg

November 8th, 2009
6:57 pm

Wished the BullDogs played like the Falcons. But they play more like DeAngelo Hall. Oh Well there is always next year.

Falcons showed some game the last two weeks. You got to love it. They leave it all on the field. Win or lose.Should be a strong Wild Card team.This franchise is on the way to big things.

kate gosselin

November 8th, 2009
6:58 pm

Jeff Schultz you never call me anymore.

Dawgsfan1990

November 8th, 2009
6:58 pm

Mike Smith rules. Meangelo drools.

Aaron

November 8th, 2009
7:06 pm

Who cares if he is DeAngelo, MeAngelo, Meatball or whatever. Why are we wasting print and commentary on this guy. He has no game and doesn’t mean anything to Atlanta. Let’s quit wasting print space on this guy and focus on the really GREAT players that are on OUR team. Not the other team. I’d much rather read about OUR Falcons.

Ike

November 8th, 2009
7:07 pm

Hall has $10 talent and a 10 cent head. Thank god he’s stealing money from Washington and not Atlanta. Nice tackle on Turner’s 30 yd td you puss.

WhopperDawg

November 8th, 2009
7:08 pm

Typical Meangelo, I am so happy he is off this team. What a cancer, he epitomizes what is wrong with the Redskins.

Kudzu

November 8th, 2009
7:09 pm

Coach Johnson and Coach Smith- make me proud to be an American…and a football fan (albeit from Tampa) Hey, they won today too…

DMajor

November 8th, 2009
7:11 pm

DeAngelo Hall is an extremely annoying, inconsiderate person most commonly associated with Harley Riders. Deangelo Hall is a f..

hiramsaint

November 8th, 2009
7:13 pm

WHODAT…………8-0

BOOGER MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 8th, 2009
7:18 pm

MEANGELO T H U G………..GONE FROM ATL THANK GOD…..LIKE MV

TigerSaints

November 8th, 2009
7:19 pm

WHODAT!!!!!!?!! and uck D Hall, little punk need his ars whipped, by the coach no less!

BOOGER MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 8th, 2009
7:21 pm

MEANGELO THUG …..LIKE MIKE V…….GONE WITH THE WIND THANK GOD

Larry

November 8th, 2009
7:21 pm

Last spring I met Hall at Disney World. Let me assure everyone this is a man’s body being piloted by an 11-12 year old mind. He reminds me of a preadolescence boy just starting to enter puberty and kind of emotionally stuck between a man and a boy.

Yes, he’s that immature, not very bright person, has an constant angry edge about him, and don’t be surprised to read one day where he has pull an OJ Simpson type act on a man or even a woman.

This guy needs an intervention!

Matt

November 8th, 2009
7:22 pm

Hall is just the epitome of an idiot. When has he EVER backed up anything he said? All I remember is him getting torched like Charles Dimry and melting down against the Panthers and Steve Smith. World class MORON. Good riddance MeAngelo. Hope you BOUGHT your ticket to Hawaii this year.

Leebo

November 8th, 2009
7:24 pm

Mike Smith did find you, MeAngelo. Be glad his boys were pushing him away from you. No class punk.

Eric C.

November 8th, 2009
7:24 pm

Great win Falcons…I underestimated them. It’s time to start thinking about the game at Carolina, which looks like a much tougher game now than it did a few weeks ago. Don’t waste any more time thinking about Hall.

BugKiller

November 8th, 2009
7:26 pm

Where’s “Choke”?

Didn’t he tell all of us that MeAngelo was going to intercept Matt Ryan multiple times and own the Dome?

Where you at, “Choke,” you miserable, pitifull excuse for human excrement?

And how’d your boy Joe Fluke-O do today? How’s his team doing so far this year?

Isom Philips

November 8th, 2009
7:27 pm

He got cut by the Raiders. Enough said

gary 32

November 8th, 2009
7:28 pm

Coach Smith is a big bully and could have done serious harm to D-LO. I hope D-lo calls Goodell and put’s a stop to this bully Smith. I bet Smitty was a bully in school to.

"Chef" Tim Dix

November 8th, 2009
7:30 pm

Strait up I’m saying Coach Smith would beat D (Barney Fife,”Nip it, nip it, nip it!”) Hall pillar to post. It was as close as he got to Falcon’s receiver… standing on the sidelines. What a tard.

Roy Firestone where are you?

November 8th, 2009
7:31 pm

We have a top drawer NFL team in this town now. Smitty is the kind of coach/boss everyone wants to go into battle with. Once they get the defense caught up with the offense we will be in the hunt for the division and beyond every year! I was at the N.O. game Monday night and thier fans had nothing but good things to say about the Falcons other than wanting to kick our butts that night which was cool. BTW, if you have never been to a Saints game put that on your to do list. Great time despite the game’s outcome. D-Hall – your a disgusting player and person! I wish you would move your off season home from our great city. Ike makes a great point about that missed tackle on the burner. Your team still had a slim chance but you, as always, proved your alligator mouth can’t back up you chicken/Hookie a**. Go falcons!!!!!

NRBQ

November 8th, 2009
7:31 pm

My biggest gripe about DeNothing was always his pansy tackling. He specializes in hanging back till somebody else engages the ball carrier, then piling on.

Not to be negative about a win, but I noticed our wideouts were open a lot, but got no throws. Did Washington generate that much pressure? I don’t think so, and today’s game was not the first that our talented receivers were under-used.

If Ryan could find those guys, Atlanta has one loss at most.

BOOGER MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 8th, 2009
7:35 pm

DEION TAUGHT HIM HOW TO TICKLE- I MEAN TACKLE

Chattanooga Chuck

November 8th, 2009
7:37 pm

I almost feel sorry for DeAngelo Hall. I wonder how he would have turned out if he had begun his career under Coach Smith rather than Jim Mora.

jerry

November 8th, 2009
7:37 pm

“Choke” is dining on Crow…….. or Raven……… or Falcon.

Love Coach Smith

November 8th, 2009
7:38 pm

I love our coach and I’m loving these new Falcons! The coach is the kind of leader all of us want to work for/with, and the players never give up (unlike the Falcons of years past). I’m so proud of them all!

Hall_Is_A_Joke

November 8th, 2009
7:40 pm

O Line does not give Ryan enough time to throw the deep ball. He was on his Butt all day. Sometimes his fault, but most of the time the lines fault. But Wash has pretty good D line….

"Chef" Tim Dix

November 8th, 2009
7:40 pm

Oh, congrants on your awesome fair catch Mr. Bud nipper.

I want to play for CMS!

November 8th, 2009
7:41 pm

Can you believe a grown man in the NFL, oh wait….that’s not true. OK, someone who is supposed to be an adult, given a NFL body and helmet, pads, etc…. who is scared of a head coach who is not in a uniform, and is many years older? This idiot is obviously scared of what might happen to his talentless–missed tackling–loud mouthed–washed up–team killer-and a shell of what could have been a real football player.

But wait…..breaking news just in….Instead of playing football, Me-angel-no-no has just perfected the art of put your foot-in-mouth ball!

I could not be happier that he is gone, he was probably as much of a cancer to the team as MV became in his downward spiral. Can you hear what the horrendously bad redskins are saying about him in their locker room right now? I can, and there is no way that anyone playing in the NFL can take him seriously. He’s lost any respect that might be left with anyone who is connected with the NFL–either on the buisness side or the fan side.

At the same time, every free agent next year circled this incident and just raised the Falcons on their short list of places they want to come. Heck, even I would want to play for Coach Mike Smith!

The only thing that would have been better about this would be if he had hit the fool with a right cross and dropped him like a bad habit. Oh yeah, we did drop him like a bad habit, and have gone up ever since. Nice.

GA Alumni

November 8th, 2009
7:41 pm

MEangelo Hall needs to SHUT IT.

JTH

November 8th, 2009
7:46 pm

MeAngelo-You start a fight and then a man 20+ years older than you, a supposed world class athlete, threatens to give you the beating your parents never did and you’re going to go tell on him?

Bah-hahahahahahaha!!!! and BOOO-F’N-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

sidslid

November 8th, 2009
7:47 pm

Didn’t miss a beat after Sam Baker went down for the umpteenth time in a year and a half

Quite frankly, other than Ryan, Dimitroff has whiffed in the draft

StingerSplash

November 8th, 2009
7:52 pm

DeAngelo Hall plays football in a harmful way too — to his own team.
and somewhere, Pedro Martinez has next with Mike Smith.

Vick Supporter

November 8th, 2009
7:52 pm

Dec 6th………

Vick Supporter

November 8th, 2009
7:54 pm

Choke = NRBQ = Falcon Hero = welikebaseball2 = noodle arm = vick supporter

This moron criticizes Ryan and then answers himself. Sad.

RobbE33

November 8th, 2009
7:56 pm

Hey Chuck, Smitty wouldn’t have been able to change the damage VaTech inflicted on MeAngelo; that’s why he’s playing in DC now.

George Holman

November 8th, 2009
7:56 pm

You gotta love a guy with that kind of fire.

Bob Dylan

November 8th, 2009
7:56 pm

sure sid. Like Lofton, Bierman,Douglas, DeCoud, Good teams don’t havs thier rookies playing anywhere but special teams.

I want to play for CMS!

November 8th, 2009
7:57 pm

This just in from Me-I’m a stupid idiot Hall of shame…..”I’m gonna tell, I’m gonna tell, hey he’s looking at me! Tell him to stop!”

I guess it’s not enough he’s scared to tackle and cover anyone, now he’s scared of head coaches tool. See what happens to a good defense when you add a team-killer? You lose AND you get embarrassed by your big mouthed player with no cahones. If he’s interested in acquiring some, CMS and CPJ at GT have enough to spare.

Oh yeah, you still have to pay him too.

Wah-Wah.

Bozydeco

November 8th, 2009
7:59 pm

Did you notice that none of the Redskins came to DeAngelo’s rescue immediately?

James

November 8th, 2009
7:59 pm

Gotta love the look on Coach’s face. He looks ready to murder somebody…
…Unless calling DeAngelo Hall “somebody” is giving him to much credit.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 8th, 2009
7:59 pm

I like swarthy men

BOOGER MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

November 8th, 2009
8:01 pm

PEDRO DOESNT WANT ANY OF CMS ILL ASSURE YOU-HES NO OLD MAN ZIMMER

Jim007

November 8th, 2009
8:03 pm

Thank God we have a Great Coach who has his players back 100% of the time.

Deangelo Hall is simply a loser.

Bet the Redskins are glad they have him NOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vick Supporter

November 8th, 2009
8:04 pm

You clowns beat the weak ass Redskins,lol. Act like you’ve been there people,lol

Maddog

November 8th, 2009
8:25 pm

So DeAngelo Fall, a speedy athlete in his physical prime, and in pads and helmet no less, felt “threatened” by a middle aged man with a gut wearing street clothes? WAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Hermans

November 8th, 2009
8:25 pm

Hall does not realize how lucky he is that Mike Smith got no closer to him, and then to complain that Mike “put his nands on me in a harmful way. Next he will blame Turner for his inability to tackle a runner.

jimmy

November 8th, 2009
8:26 pm

coach please strike first we can’t afford to have you even touched

EW

November 8th, 2009
8:26 pm

Hall might want to think twice about calling Goodell. After seeing the video again, he might be suspended for his actions in that altercation. How delusional can a person be to think he was trying to pull people away when he was the only person left in the scrum and kept trying to go at them? There is seriously something wrong with him in the ehad.

Humbug

November 8th, 2009
8:30 pm

DeAngelo Hall keeps telling us how great he is at football but has never showed us. Even his body does not support his mouth.