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DeAngelo Hall Is Encouraged By Last Year’s Defense (In A Roundabout Way)

Posted by Matt Terl on August 30, 2010 – 12:47 pm

DeAngelo Hall intercepted Mark Sanchez in the second quarter of Friday night’s game, just stepping in front of Dustin Keller and taking the ball for what looked at the time like a sure pick-6. Then he cut to the inside of the field instead of the outside to beat Sanchez’s tackle and wound up caught from behind by Jerricho Cotchery. (The video is below.) This earned Hall some ribbing from his teammates, but he shrugged that off.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Hall told me. “The cutback looked good. I didn’t know Jerricho Cotchery was gonna be running me down full tilt — I didn’t even see him around.”

Now we get to the part of the story where I make myself look dumb.

I asked Hall — whose pick was his second of the preseason, and very nearly his third after a near interception on a third down during the first New York drive — if he felt good about the team’s new, attacking 3-4 defense given his increase in takeaways, and he looked at me like I had sprouted an extra head.

“The first pick I got was playing man to man,” he said, patiently. “Wasn’t anything special about the defense, just man to man. Second pick was in a defense we ran last year. So people ask me that question, and ….” He trailed off, then restarted himself.

“I think this defense is gonna present itself with a lot more opportunities,” Hall said. “You know, in training camp we saw that — but we haven’t really run any of it in a game. We’ve been real vanilla, real plain, just trying to go out there and let the guys play. We’re not trying to beat nobody with schemes right now. We’re just trying to pick the best 53.”

Which seemed like a good thing to me. If the team isn’t scheming, and they’re keeping things vanilla, and the turnovers are STILL on the upswing … is it possible (I asked Hall) that the defense could be something special once they start gameplanning?

“Oh, definitely,” Hall said, confidently. “I think that’s what has so many people around here excited. We’re out there playing vanilla, [and] our 2 defense was out there holding their own against their 1 offense. So that’s definitely encouraging.”

For right now, though, Hall — and the rest of the starters — are just like you and me. “Everybody’s looking forward to Sunday night,” Hall said, “when we break out what we’ve got, Dallas breaks out what they’ve got, and we lock it up.”

Until then, we just get to enjoy the vanilla version of the defense — which seems to be doing pretty all right for itself.

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