Q&A With: DeAngelo Hall

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The newest Redskin met with the media today, with topics ranging from what he thought of Bobby Petrino and what happened in Oakland. He also talked about why he wanted to come to Washington.

Q: What happened with the Raiders? Are you glad to have a fresh start?
A: I am. The team is definitely in the hunt for a championship and it's a team I felt comfortable with the whole time. I was so eager to get out of Atlanta that I didn't take my time. If I had, I would have been here from the jump. But I was so eager to get out that I ended up going to a situation that probably wasn't the best for me. But at the end of the day I'm where I wanted to be from the jump.

Q: Why didn't it work out in Oakland?
A: It wasn't so much that it didn't work out. Al [Davis] is a great guy, an honest guy. He told me, ‘We're not as good as I thought we were as a team so we need to free up some room.' I was the last guy to come in. That's the kind of person he is, very honest and straight forward. He said I was the last to come in so I was the first to go. He's a standup guy and true to his players. That's what makes him so likeable.

Q: How many teams wanted you?
A: Um, every team in the league wanted me as far as coming in to help them out. But for me it came down to what team did feel I had a future with. I didn't want to hit the free agent market again when the season is over. Washington was here from the jump last offseason and I thought we would work something out.

Q: Were you given any promises?
A: I just feel it in my gut that this is the place for me.

Q: What changed for you in Atlanta? Was it Petrino?
A: It had a little to do with Petrino. He's a different kind of guy. But all that is in the past now. I don't blame anything. Every lesson you learn from it; it only makes you stronger as a person and as a player.

Q: The Redskins have Carlos Rogers, Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot; there's no starting job here so why did you want to come here?
A: Like I said, this team is close to winning a championship. I felt I did fit in whether it was right away or in the future. I don't mind working for what I get. I've had to do that since day one. I'm just out here to help this team win, whether it's off the bench or starting.

Q: Will it be weird coming off the bench?
A: Not at all. In this league you play so many great receivers. And anything can happen out there and you're one injury away from being on the field.

Q: Do you feel you have something left to prove?
A: Yes and no. I feel like that situation in Oakland left a bitter taste in my mouth. I feel I have to have a great rest of the season, but I feel I've done so much already that all I have to do is go out and do what I need to do.

Q: There are always critics and one thing yours say is that you have great talent but need to mature. Is that fair?
A: I don't know if it's unfair. Everyone has their own opinions. The biggest thing I took in Oakland is that it wasn't me. A lot of media speculated that I came in there and I was all over the place running rampant and doing whatever I wanted to do and that wasn't the case at all. That's one thing I wanted to clear up is that it wasn't me. It was a numbers thing. I'm 24 years old and had a lot of success early, going to Pro Bowls. But I am still young. I still have learning and maturing to do. That all comes in time.

Q: Do you feel you've gotten a bad rap?
A: Not necessarily a bad rap. A lot of owners and GMs know who I am. The media doesn't matter when it comes to keeping a job or getting a job. It's the owners and GMs and they know who I am. That's why I had 31 phone calls.

Q: What didn't fit you in Oakland and why does Washington fit you better?
A: It wasn't that it didn't fit me, it didn't give me the best chance to have success and make plays. I like to make plays. I like to get in the end zone and I like to get the ball in my hands. When you're playing so much man to man it's hard to get interceptions. It's hard to make plays. I like to look at the quarterback. You look at the quarterback too much and you'll get beat on comebacks. I was suffering giving up those plays to try to make plays. I was trying to do too much. I feel good about this situation. I don't have to do too much, just come in and play football and be another piece to the puzzle. They already have playmakers.

Q: Did you admire Darrell Green growing up? Was he someone you looked up to?
A: He was. My old coach, Emmitt Thomas, put me in touch with Darrell Green a couple years ago. I've been talking to him. I'll reach out to him in the next couple of days.

Q: What did your family and friends think of you coming here?
A: Everyone wants tickets. I want to keep them at bay right now.

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