DeAngelo Hall thanks Mike Shanahan, Jay Cutler in retirement presser
RICHMOND One night when DeAngelo Hall was a prospect in the 2004 draft, the Redskins coaching staff took the cornerback and linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams out to dinner.
All three were candidates to be drafted by the Redskins with the fifth pick and Hall recalled Williams and Vilma boasting about going to the University of Miami. It was then Hall, with his well-known fiery personality, interjected.
“I’m like, ‘Look man end of the day I didn’t go to Miami, but I’m better than all of y’all,’” the Virginia Tech product said. “Period.”
The Redskins ultimately didn’t draft Hall. But 14 years later, Hall held his retirement press conference with the team he spent the majority of his career with. The 34-year-old officially announced his retirement Wednesday, months after telling two outlets he was done playing football.
Hall, who was with the Redskins from 2008-2017, thanked the organization that took him in after a nasty split with the Oakland Raiders. He also credited coach Mike Shanahan for extending his career, thanks to some choice words of wisdom that helped Hall realize he needed to be a mentor for younger players.
Over the last four years, Hall battled a string of injuries, leaving him unable to suit up on most game days. But during that stretch, Hall developed a strong repertoire with his teammates which would have been unheard of at the start of his career.
“Coming into this league, I never thought I’d be talked about as a guy who’s instrumental in helping mold other young corners and other young football players, and you know, having guys follow me,” Hall said. “Until Mike Shanahan, like I said, sat me down, I never thought I had that kind of influence.”
Hall said he will now focus on a business venture and appearing more on TV as a football analyst.
In 2017, Hall appeared in just five games. He started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list and ended up being benched shortly after his return. While the season was difficult for him, Hall said he knew he couldn’t make the same types of plays as before.
In his prime, Hall made three Pro Bowls (twice with the Atlanta Falcons and once with the Redskins in 2010). He finished his career with 43 interceptions, tied for 63rd all-time.
Hall’s best game as pro came in 2010 when he picked off then Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler four times.
“If I could have played against Jay Cutler more, I probably would be in the [Pro Football] Hall of Fame by now, but it didn’t quite work out,” Hall said, promptinga room full of laughter.
Besides the Redskins, Hall spent four seasons with the AtlantaFalcons, who drafted him eighth overall, and eight games with the Raiders in 2008. Oakland released him just halfway into the season after signing him to a seven-year, $72 million contract that offseason.
Hall’s release cleared the way for the Redskins to sign him and Hall, a Chesapeake native, was grateful to play for his hometown team.
“Its been a dream to put on the Burgundy and Gold for the past 10 years and try to win football games,” he said. “You know, that championships eluted me in every facet of my football career, but I still feel blessed, I feel fulfilled.”