DeAngelo Hall, you may have heard, had four interceptions on Sunday. And — you also may have heard — this did not immediately earn him respect and plaudits from Jay Cutler, the quarterback who threw those interceptions. “There’s no reason to shy away from him,” Cutler said (as transcribed by the DC Sports Bog). “I mean, that’s hard for me to say, throwing four picks at a guy, but I’d still, if we had to play them tomorrow, I’d go at him every time, if we could.” And, as also transcribed by the DC Sports Bog, Hall responded fairly calmly on ESPN yesterday morning.
Yesterday afternoon, though, Hall appeared on NFL Network, and his response this time was a little bit brasher.
“You know what, when I first heard it, man,” Hall told NFL Network host Randy “Not That One” Moss. “I was a little bit kinda, just … I was shocked a little bit. You know, Jay’s a guy, obviously he has a lot of confidence, lotta swagger. But like I told you before, I played against this kid once before, you know, when I was in Oakland for that first Monday night game. He completed a couple of passes on my side and, you know, I guess he was still riding high from that, man. I have no idea what’s wrong with this kid, but, you know, I think he learned his lesson.
“But after those comments, that makes me think that he still hasn’t learned his lesson. So, you know, if I had to play Jay Cutler every single week, man, I’d be in the Hall of Fame.”
I suppose this is true. Four picks every other week in this league — even interspersed with games where the wide receiver performs well — would probably be a Hall of Fame worthy career.
Joking aside, Hall also pointed out that it didn’t actually appear that Cutler was singling Hall out. “It really didn’t feel like he was even targeting me, man,” Hall said “If you sit down and you really watch the game, he was going back and forth, back and forth. But on my side, I was making plays. I was making plays, had the opportunity to make a couple, had some good reads, some good breaks, and it just all came in to me.”
Also of note were Hall’s comments on the defense and the yardage they’re giving up.
“If you look at us on stats and on paper,” Hall said, “we don’t look too good. We’re sitting right at 32, 31 in the NFL as a defense. But somehow these guys find a way to win games, man, and yesterday was the perfect storm of that happening.”
Moss (still not that one) asked Hall what had changed since 2009. “I think a mindset,” Hall said. “A toughness that’s been instilled in us since day one. Since day one when this coaching staff got in here, their mindset has been to compete and try to win games. And if that’s defensively giving up a lot of yards and making big plays to give the ball to the offense, or scoring points and getting turnovers, then that’s what we have to do to win games. Obviously we wanted to be like a Pittsburgh defense where you don’t give up hardly any yards, you get a lot of turnovers, you do those things right. But truth of the matter is, we’re still learning this. We’re still learning this 3-4, we’re still learning how to compete in it, what’s asked of us, our responsibilities. So defensively, we still have a long ways to go. But when you’ve got a guy like Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan on that offense, those guys are gonna find a way to win, and it’s just been showing so far this season.”
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