Make no mistake about it, DeAngelo Hall is who he says he is and then some. His recent outburst after the loss in Dallas triggered tons of reflection that perhaps all the bad seeds hadn’t been booted from Shanahan’s orchard.
You blame him for losing the Dallas game. Has so much time gone by that we forget him single-handedly beating Dallas on opening day last season? Hall scooped up a fumble, that he caused mind you, then raced into the end zone for the game’s only touchdown in a 13-7 victory. This truly is the “what have you done for me lately league.”
Hall is a more eloquent and better dressed version of Clinton Portis. Both are either loved or hated; it’s impossible to be impartial toward them. Both are either considered premier players or has-beens. Both have the uncanny ability to turn heads on the field and every time they open their mouths. However, where Portis’ comments verge on the surreal and comical, Hall’s tend to lean more towards trash talking and provocative. Still, both provide much needed entertainment and candid reactions and emotions, opposed to the ceaseless cliché drivel sputtered by automatons.
You can dislike Hall, but you can’t fault him for his unabashed swagger and tongue lashings. After all, he told everyone why he says what he says. He believes a cornerback needs to convey a mentality of indestructibility and perfection to match up against the top divas in the league. The best way to beat a diva is to join their ranks. I couldn’t agree or disagree here, due to my lack of knowing any divas and/or being one, but if it’s gotten him this far then why change now.
Criticism of Hall’s tackling ability is completely unfounded. Not only are his tackling skills getting better every year, but he rips at the ball every single time he brings a guy down. He’s always looking to create turnovers and get the defense off the field. The only part of his game I can knock is his tendency to take too many chances. Jumping routes and over-anticipating quarterbacks can lead to disaster, but he knows it’ll be on the high-light reel if he connects.
I read a couple comments/articles/blogs/menus that suggested Hall was the new bad seed of the Redskins and that he would dismantle the chemistry that Shanahan is trying to build. I couldn’t disagree more. Hall’s apology about his remarks showed tremendous character and leadership. I agree with everything he said “in the heat of the battle”, but his apology speaks volumes. He’d rather have the team support his coaches than be right, and he’s probably still kicking himself because he knows he could’ve broken up that pass play to Dez Bryant.
Hall will get you the big plays, and he’ll occasionally give up the big plays. He’s one of the best overall athletes playing cornerback in the league. A Deion Sanders with less flash but more toughness. The Redskins are lucky to have him, along with his swagger and tongue lashings, and he’s lucky to have us, along with our exceedingly high expectations that turn into bitter contempt.
Hopefully his newly acquired captain-ship and leadership will motivate the Redskins past the Rams heading into the bye week with a 3-1 record. The Redskins are clearly the better team and actually have more talent, but traditionally they play down or up to their opponents level. Unfortunately playing down has resulted in losses, while playing up results in some close losses and some wins. All that gets you is last place in the NFC East and we’ve all been there before. Who even thought this team would even be 2-2 heading into the bye week? That’s why an attainable 3-1 is so good looking.