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Healthy Hall Putting His Best Foot Forward

John Hall had missed two-of-three field goal tries in the Aug. 5 scrimmage against the Ravens, but suddenly there was concern among fans about his reliability.

Hall wasn't about to dwell on it, though.

"I've kind of forgotten about it, and I think everyone else should," he said the day after the scrimmage. "I'd rather it happen in a scrimmage than in a crucial time. We went out there to find out where we are at and work on some things"

Since the scrimmage, Hall has connected on a 38-yard field goal and two extra point kicks in two preseason games. It's not exactly the kind of proving ground that Hall and the Redskins coaches were hoping for this preseason, but still the results have been positive.

"We would definitely like to score a bunch of points and get John some work in preseason, but we're not," head coach Joe Gibbs said on Sunday. "But John has been around for a while and he's a real seasoned veteran. We've gotten him a lot of work in practice."

Hall is facing a crucial preseason. The 10-year veteran has battled injuries each of the last two years, sidelined with a series of leg and groin injuries. He is aware that there are questions about his health.

Hall is confident that his injury concerns are behind him. The 6-3, 240-pounder was a regular participant in off-season work, but the team brought in NFL Europe kicker Tyler Jones to compete with him, but Jones has yet to make an impact in preseason.

Gibbs has maintained confidence in Hall.

"I think John has had real good work in training camp," Gibbs said. "He's healthy."

Coaches have been concerned that Hall tends to overwork himself in the weight room. They monitored his workouts regimen more closely this offseason.

"I've always been like that," Hall said. "I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I just go in there, work hard, try to show everyone else that I'm working hard and that I'm not just sitting there messing around."

Added Gibbs: "All the injuries he's had have come when he was covering a kick where got hit in the side or during the kickoff. We've taken a different approach this year and we'll see where it winds up."

Hall is expected to serve strictly as a field goal kicker this year. He has maintained that he is willing to kick off, but coaches want to try either Derrick Frost or David Lonie in that role. In last Saturday's preseason game against the Jets, that produced mixed results, according to Gibbs.

Last season, Hall finished the season strong on field goals, connecting on 12-of-14 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 playoff 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 Seattle 20-10.

Entering the 2006 season, Hall isn't concerned about his consistency or reliability.

"I've played for nine years and I've been put in a lot of big situations, a lot of pressure situations," he said. "You just try to take something from every situation and just try to get better."

Nor does Hall feel he has anything to prove. He remains team-focused.

"I'm anxious to prove this team, and take another step with this team--that's our goal," he said. "That's how we've gotten this far. We've remained a team and we've worked hard. We have a bunch of guys with a lot of heart out here. There is nothing to prove--it's just about getting better and getting to our goal."

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