For Redskins kicker John Hall, the 2005 campaign was one of frustration. Hall struggled through an injury-plagued season, missing five games due to a quadriceps injury.
Hall returned to finish the season strong, connecting on 12-of-14 field goal attempts overall. He hit his longest field goal of the season in the playoffs, a 47-yarder in Tampa Bay, to help the Redskins win 17-10 in the Wild Card round.
A week later, in the Divisional Playoffs against Seattle, Hall connected on a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter, but his 36-yard, fourth-quarter attempt was wide left. The Redskins lost to the Seahawks 20-10.
Two days after the Seattle game, Hall said he was looking forward to resting and letting his body heal.
It was the second year in a row that he missed time due to injury. In 2004, Hall missed eight games due to hamstring and groin injuries. He first injured his quad late in the '04 season and was placed on injured reserve.
"At this point, I just want to try to get through a year without an injury," Hall said. "The last two years have been tough. I have never had years like that before, so that makes it tougher. I'm trying to figure out what's going on."
The nine-year veteran, who came to Washington as a free agent from the New York Jets in March 2003, has always approached football aggressively. This offseason, coaches and trainers want to spend time with him to make sure his workout regimen isn't causing his injuries.
Said head coach Joe Gibbs: "Our training staff has had a good talk with him. He's so conscientious and works so hard. Their feeling is that he kind of overworked stuff."
Gibbs also said he intends to talk with special teams coordinator Danny Smith about Hall. Given Hall's recent spate of injuries, it's possible that the team will, at the very least, bring in some kicking competition for Hall this offseason.
The 6-3, 240-pound Hall opened the year by hitting all three of his field goals in the Redskins' 9-7 season-opening win over the Bears at FedExField. He re-aggravated the quad injury on his third kick, a 19-yarder that proved to be the winning points.
The Redskins immediately signed rookie Nick Novak, a free agent. He proved to be solid, making 5-of-7 field goals over the next five games, including a 39-yard game-winner in a 20-17 overtime win over Seattle in Week 4.
All the while, the Redskins listed both kickers on the roster. Hall said the six-week period he was out, which also included a bye week, was personally frustrating. But he helped Novak as much as he could.
"That's the way I am, a team guy. Anything else is really unacceptable," Hall said. "So if he had any questions, I would be there for him and try to answer them. If I saw something in his technique that I thought was a bit inconsistent, I would say something. But other than that, I'd leave him alone because he was doing a good job."
The Redskins remained committed to the veteran Hall through the season. He was available to kick in the Oct. 30 game against the New York Giants, but he was not needed as the Redskins lost 36-0 at the Meadowlands.
Hall officially returned to action on Nov. 6 against Philadelphia and showed he hadn't missed a step, making his next six field goal attempts until missing a 52-yarder at the end of regulation in the Redskins' 23-17 overtime loss to the Chargers.
"Everything has got to be perfect on a kick like that," Hall said afterwards. "I warmed up okay and I hit it hard. I had a slight wind in my face. It's tough."