The 'Hall' of fame game
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter
Believe it or not, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall was having a difficult season until Sunday.
Hampered by a back injury, at odds with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett over pass coverages, a starter on the lowest-ranked defense in the NFL and just last week he was burned for a 57-yard touchdown by Peyton Manning.
But he had a feeling he was coming to the right place at the right time.
"We knew from watching Jay Cutler all week that we were going to get some opportunities," Hall said. "I didn't think they were going to come in bunches like that."
Did they ever. Hall looked like Cutler's favorite target Sunday, incercepting an NFL-record-tying four passes and returning one of them 92 yards for a touchdown in the Redskins' 17-14 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field.
"I've never had more than two picks one game, six in a season," said Hall, a seven-year veteran from Virginia Tech who had one interception this season and just two in his last 14 games. "To be sitting here with five - four in one game - is kind of mind-blowing.
"I had my mom, my aunt [and] my two cousins in the stands. The first ball went to my mom. The second ball to my aunt. Next thing you know, everybody had a ball."
He should have saved one for Cutler, who accomodated Hall by overthrowing Johnny Knox on a deep ball in the fourth quarter and throwing off his back foot in the face of pressure to give Hall plenty of time to step in front of Knox for a nifty one-handed catch along the sideline. With cornerback Carlos Rogers and several teammates leading the way, he coasted into the end zone for a touchdown that gave the Redskins a 17-14 lead with 1:36 left in the third quarter.
In fact, Hall said he thought that Cutler pass was tipped, because it "hung up a little bit in the air [and] I was able to get a break on it."
Hall's career day showed just how quickly things can change in the NFL. Jim Haslett sounded like his favorite coach every Sunday.
"Coach [Mike] Shanahan gave me the ball at the end of the game," he said. "I had to give it to coach Has," Hall said. "Has called a great game plan. He tried to give [the ball] back. I'm like, I got enough balls. This one's for you. Just keep it. Keep calling defense the way we know you can do and we'll keep executing."'