- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is planning to target quarterback Tony Romo’s broken rib on Monday night. That sounds good to Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

“Well, you think about it: He’s not allowed to hit him in the head. And he can’t hit him below the knees. So he’s only got one place you can hit him,” Haslett said. “It’s such a shame he’s hurt.”

Haslett quipped when asked to respond to what Hall said Wednesday. Romo suffered a fractured rib and punctured lung when he was hit during Dallas’ overtime win over San Francisco last Sunday. He left the game but ultimately returned to engineer the victory.

Hall said: “I want to get a chance to put my helmet on whatever is hurting, Romo’s ribs. I’m gonna be asking for some corner blitzes.”

“I think [Hall] was joking more than anything,” Haslett said. “He was kind of chuckling about it, but realistically it’s the only place you really can hit a quarterback now. I know Romo. He’s a tough guy. He’s a tough-minded guy, so he’ll be ready to roll.”

Hall’s comments prompted a popular line of questioning in the Cowboys locker room on Thursday.

Cowboys receiver Kevin Ogletree, a University of Virginia product, attributed Hall’s statement to his Blacksburg roots.

“Yeah, a Virginia Tech guy,” Ogletree said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “That’s why he said it. I think of the classes they took over in Blacksburg versus the ones in Charlottesville.”

Haslett said he won’t try to test Romo’s health by calling more blitzes early in the game than usual.

“I’ll try to put us in position where we can get off the field as much as we can,” he said. “Obviously, we’ll have to plan for guys who are playing and not playing, and you have to adjust as the game goes on, but I’m not worried about those type of things.”

Romo did not practice on Thursday. In case he plays, the Cowboys have fitted him for a protective vest that contains Kevlar, a material used in bulletproof vests.

Grossman going batty?

Six of Rex Grossman’s 43 passes last Sunday against Arizona were batted down near the line of scrimmage. He’s not overly-concerned about it, though.

Neither Grossman nor offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan believe Grossman’s height (he’s listed at 6-foot-1) is a factor.

“It’s almost like they were dropping eight into coverage at times when they would try to rush and they wouldn’t instantly win and they’d back up and try to time it up,” Grossman said. “Six-foot-eight defensive tackles with long arms right in front of the checkdown, what are you going to do? In my opinion, you’d have to be 7-foot to throw over that.”

Shanahan believes the Redskins would alleviate the problem by creating better lanes for Grossman to pass through. That involves maintaining a spacious pocket in which Grossman can seek them out.

“You want to keep the push in the pocket,” Shanahan said. “It’s better when the quarterback can stay a little deeper. But you can’t always do that the way these guys rush up the field.”

New-look Cowboys ‘D’

The Redskins are familiar with much of the Cowboys’ defensive personnel, but their scheme has changed under new coordinator Rob Ryan, brother of New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan.

“He’s aggressive,’ Kyle Shanahan said. “He’s all over the place. He’s going to try to confuse you. They do a lot of different things. You really never know what to expect.”

One of the most notable changes Ryan has implemented involves moving outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware around in the defensive alignment. Ware, the NFL’s leading sack leader, won’t always be opposite Redskins left tackle Trent Williams.

“Everybody is going to know where Ware is, and everyone is going to know where [linebacker Anthony] Spencer is,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “They are easy to find, but they’ll blitz inside or outside.”

Extra points

• Strong safety LaRon Landry (hamstring) was limited in practice. He said practice was “great” for the second straight day and added “You’ll see me Monday night.” Mike Shanahan would not say whether Landry will play. Landry has not tested his hamstring at full speed, but he plans to as soon as Friday.

• Cornerback Josh Wilson (back), fullback Darrel Young (hamstring), fullback Mike Sellers (ankle) and safety DeJon Gomes (hamstring) were limited in practice.

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