The Redskins hired veteran NFL defensive coordinator Ray Horton as their defensive backs coach this week, but only after the team considered a much more familiar name for the position. On Friday, 106.7 The Fan host Grant Paulsen reported that former Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who spent 10 of his 15 NFL seasons in Washington and retired after the 2017 campaign, “was legitimately considered” as Torrian Gray’s replacement after meeting with team officials this week. It turns out that wasn’t Hall’s only interview for an open coaching position this offseason.
“It’s true,” Hall said Friday during an impromptu Friday appearance with Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan. “I interviewed with the Redskins Tuesday for the DB job. I actually interviewed at the University of Maryland, as well, for the DB job. I actually had the DB job at Maryland, but when I found out the Redskins was a possibility, [what] I’m finding out in the coaching world, nobody’s going to wait for you. Everybody thinks their job is the best job, so [Maryland Coach Mike] Locksley, he gave me a couple days, but it wasn’t enough time for me to actually figure out if I had gotten the Redskins job or not. So, consequently, I get neither, and I get to continue to join you guys in the media world. Not a bad consolation prize at all.”
Hall, who spent the 2018 season as a regular guest on 106.7 The Fan and an analyst for NBC Sports Washington, said he reached out to the Redskins to express interest in the defensive backs coaching position when he heard that Gray was interviewing for other jobs. Gray eventually accepted a job as the defensive backs coach at the University of Florida.
Hall said that Redskins Coach Jay Gruden and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky sat in on his interview.
“[I was] able to answer a lot of their questions, present kind of what I felt like I brought to the table as a coach,” Hall said. “I don’t want to get into the particulars of kind of how that meeting went, but I felt like I did very, very well. I think those guys, as well, echoed the sentiments that I did very well. That was very encouraging. Like I told them during it, it’s my first time. Once I got in there and got to talking, it was easy to be myself and just let it flow.”
Hall’s interview with Maryland came after an endorsement from a somewhat surprising source: Nick Saban. Hall, who starred at Virginia Tech, said he reached out to Saban after the 2017 season and “almost went down and worked” for the Alabama head coach last year. While Hall ultimately decided to turn down that opportunity, he said Saban put in a good word for him with Locksley, who served as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator before taking the Maryland head coaching job. Maryland officially announced the hiring of Cory Robinson as the Terrapins' defensive backs coach last week.
During the interview process, Hall said, he was upfront with Locksley about his interest in a potential job with the Redskins.
“I didn’t want it to be a Kliff Kingsbury situation where I tell Coach Locksley, ‘Absolutely, I’m going to take this job,’ and then obviously I interview with the Redskins and I get that one, and then I have to tell him, ‘Coach, well, I can’t coach for you’ and he’s already told certain kids that I’m going to be the coach, and he’s recruiting,” Hall said.
After being fired as the head coach at Texas Tech, Kingsbury was hired as the offensive coordinator at Southern California in early December. A month later, he was named the head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
When he retired, Hall expressed interest in getting into coaching or becoming an NFL front office executive. He said he didn’t miss playing the game during his first year out of the league, but he “missed being mentally challenged by offenses” and offering pointers to make his teammates better.
“I want to coach," Hall said Friday. “I want a chance to win Super Bowl rings. Seeing other coaches do it, it just definitely lets me know that I have what it takes. I have what it takes to motivate men, I have what it takes to be a leader. I’ve always been known as a really good leader. I’ve always said it’s so hard to lead as a peer. I was jumping at the opportunity to actually be in a coaching position and try to lead, because that, to me, would be a little bit easier.”
The Redskins still have to replace inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, who left for a similar job with the Green Bay Packers.
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