Will Blackmon

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DeAngelo Hall texted advice to Redskins secondary before five interception game

DeAngelo Hall texted advice to Redskins secondary before five interception game

DeAngelo Hall knows a thing or two about intercepting Bears quarterbacks. Back in 2010, Hall tied an NFL record for most interceptions in a game when he picked off Cutler four times. The Redskins won that contest 17-14. 

Fast forward six years and Hall was watching Washington play Chicago from his couch at home. Hall was voted a defensive captains this year but suffered a season-ending ACL tear back in September. That didn't stop him from talking trash on Twitter, though. 

With his team traveling to face the Bears in a must-win game, Hall texted members of the Washington secondary with some words of advice. And it paid off: the Redskins finished the game with five interceptions.

In the postgame locker room, safety Will Blackmon shared what Hall had said.

"He told us, it's not about X's and O's, that's just a game plan. For us, at the end of the day we just have to go out there and play together and be on the same page," Blackmon said. "So that was a text that he sent to us before the game and we executed."

Blackmon finished the game with one interception. Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman had two picks each. 

"As far as today, [Hall] just told us to go out there and do what we do," Breeland said. "As long as we're playing together we got a good chance of winning this game."

He was right. The Redskins beat the Bears 41-21.

MORE REDSKINS: The story behind Kirk's Christmas suit

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Bonus #RedskinsTalk: Will Blackmon talks replacing D-Hall and Game of Thrones


Bonus #RedskinsTalk: Will Blackmon talks replacing D-Hall and Game of Thrones

Bonus session of #RedskinsTalk the podcast this week where JP Finlay caught up with new starting safety Will Blackmon for Part 2 of their interview. With DeAngelo Hall done for the year with a torn ACL, Blackmon talked about stepping into the starting role and dealing with a hurt teammate. Blackmon also talks Game of Thrones, Chappelle Show and more. 

Click here to listen on iTunes, here for all other options, or just press play below. 

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Redskins' Blackmon happy with progress in conversion to safety

Redskins' Blackmon happy with progress in conversion to safety

Will Blackmon is making the switch from cornerback, where he has played for his entire nine-year NFL career, to safety.

The change involves more than moving back several yards or more and moving to the center of the field. Blackmon says it’s going well because he has to slow down how he plays.

“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “Frustrating at first because you want to be able to make plays right off the bat and make something happen. But this is a process and I think for me it was more of you really have to slow down.”

It means more reading and less reacting. At cornerback, your basic responsibility was right in front of you, the receiver you are covering. At safety the assignments are more varied and spread all over the field.

“Here, I see everything, I communicate to the defensive backs, I have to communicate to the safety, I have to make sure I’m on my marks, know my run fits,” he said. “So there’s a lot of mental stuff.”

He thinks that things are coming along fairly well.

“I think that process-wise I’m getting much better now so I’m actually happy with where I am,” he said.

Blackmon will continue to spend the offseason program learning the safety position. In training camp he will earn his spot on the depth chart. For right now, DeAngelo Hall and David Bruton are the starters but both Jay Gruden and Joe Barry have emphasized that the safety depth chart is written in pencil, not with a Sharpie.

Blackmon will have to contend with the two current starters plus Duke Ihenacho, Deshazor Everett (another corner to safety convert), and possibly rookie Su’a Cravens for playing time. One possible scenario is that Blackmon will not really have a role when the season starts but as the season goes on and some injuries pile up he will work his way into a key role. He probably won’t start 10 games like he did last year but he will contribute.