The Atlanta Falcons, by and large, are an organization that is trying to get over the Michael Vick drama. But after a particular episode during the Falcons-Carolina Panthers’ game which involved Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall and team head coach Bobby Petrino, this could be yet another distraction for a team that can ill afford another one.
To bring you up to speed, here’s what happened: Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith had been shut down by Hall most of the game. With the Falcons leading 17-10 in the third quarter and momentum going their direction, Hall was called for a 37-yard pass interference penalty. A play later, Hall was whistled for roughness after he tried to jam Smith at the line of scrimmage; shortly thereafter, Hall was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as he was leaving the field. Hall, visibly enraged, engaged with an “animated” conversation with both Petrino and assistant coach Joe Whitt, Jr. and had to be restrained by 3 Falcons players.
What was said between Hall and Petrino was never divulged, but one thing is certain – Hall crossed the line when he did the unthinkable – he yelled at the head coach. Petrino would only say regarding the incident to Charles Odum of the Associated Press, “We certainly don’t like the actions that took place on the field and do not like the actions that happened on the sideline and that’s something that we’ll deal with. There will be substantial discipline. It will be handled in-house.”
Hall on Monday, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, said, “I made a mistake. I promise you it won’t happen again, no matter what. It don’t feel good to be the reason your team lost the game, whether it’s giving up a touchdown pass or you get a stupid penalty. It all feels the same. … Ultimately, I let the team down.” Whatever punishment is rendered against Hall should come down I would think no later than Wednesday, so team practices can continue to be seamless in their execution.