As you’ve probably heard, a couple of Mike Shanahan’s Broncos greats — Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe — came to Ashburn last week and addressed the Redskins.
As you might not have heard, DeAngelo Hall said this was a seminal moment.
“You can feel something special’s about to happen,” Hall told ESPN 980’s The Sports Fix after the meeting last week. “You know, we had Shannon Sharpe come in here and Rod Smith the other day just to talk to us about what it takes to be a champion, what it takes to be great. And you could tell what those guys said really resonated with a lot of guys in this locker room, myself included.
“You know, Shannon kind of called me out a little bit, looked me in the eyes a couple times during his speech,” Hall continued. “And everybody was like ‘Yo, do you know Shannon?’ I’m like, naw, that’s my first time meeting him. But he looked like he was staring at me the whole time. It was fun, it was fun having those guys around, it was fun picking their brains, it was fun having them watch, coach us up a little bit. You know, like I said, there’s definitely an excitement going around out here.”
Kevin Sheehan wisely asked in what way Sharpe kind of called Hall out.
“He wasn’t specifically calling me out,” Hall clarified. “Like I said, he was staring at me the whole time, making eye contact with just me through the better part of his whole speech to us.
“But the things he said that really resonated with me was the things that it takes to be great. You know, you can’t buy greatness. You have to do things that other people either won’t do or they can’t do. You have to approach practice as if it’s a game.
“And that’s something that I have a hard time doing sometimes. I kind of like to kind of coast in practice, make it look at easy as possible, try to save it all for the game. But Shannon made the point that if you’re going so hard in practice that you feel like you’re playing in a game, then by the time you get to the game, everything’s easy. You never feel pressure in the game, you never feel like it’s a game, just because you’ve done all that preparation in practice. So there’s a couple things he said that really resonated with me, and re-focused me to go out there and give it my all to practice, and I’ve been doing that.”
So, uh, practice hard, kids. Shannon Sharpe would want you to.