Last Sunday may have been the start of a new chapter in DeAngelo Hall's NFL book, as the three-time Pro Bowler played at safety, where he could see more action at as the year moves on.
DeAngelo Hall insists that the move isn't about extending his career just to do so.
If he's going to be playing safety, which is something he did last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints in the Washington Redskins' 44-17 victory, it's with the intent that he'll "try to be a damn good safety."
"I'm not in the business of just trying to tack on years," Hall said on Wednesday. "I can go home and hang with my kids and my family before I do that. But I think I can make a difference at safety somewhere. They kind of mentioned it to me and I was like, 'Alright, cool. Let's do it.' And we've been in the lab trying to draw different schemes and different things. Try to get me on the field, so it's been interesting, it's been fun."
For 12 years, Hall has consistently been one of the more recognizable cornerbacks in the NFL. That comes in part from his output on the field – 43 interceptions, 10 fumbles forced and nine defensive touchdowns – and his ability to get in opponents' head through his infamous trash talk.
But at a time in which his career is starting to hit the twilight years – he'll turn 32 years old tomorrow – and with the Redskins having more depth at the cornerback position than they have in years, Hall may not get as many reps on the outside as he usually does.
So safety may be his route to the field for now.
"We wanted to find a spot for D-Hall because he's a big leader for this football team and a heck of a player, so we put him out there — as he's recovering — at safety on scout team and he did some good things," head coach Jay Gruden said. "It's a transition that I think he can make. How much of it moving forward, we'll determine that later."
To get a better perspective on the change, Hall said he's talked to Charles Woodson, who moved to safety in 2012 after 14 seasons at cornerback.
At 39 years old, Woodson is currently enjoying one of his best seasons, as the University of Michigan product has amassed eight passes defensed and five interceptions in nine games.
A look back at some of Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall's interceptions through the years.
"I've definitely talked to him about it, reached out to him, but I don't go [talking] to different guys who've made the transition just to kind of figure out if I could do it or not I think I can," Hall said. "I understand football enough to understand what's required. I think the biggest thing as a safety, is understanding what you're asking your corners to do and where you're supposed to be for the help so it's nice to have a different point of view. To come from corner to go to safety, you kind of really understand the coverage and what's going on. I enjoy it a lot."
Hall added that it "helps a ton" to understanding the cornerback-safety relationship on the field from the cornerback's vantage point.
"I sit there and tell D-Gol [Dashon Goldson] something from my perspective as a corner, and now I can make the association myself," Hall said. "It's fun. I remember when I was in college and I ended up going to receiver one spring and just knowing what that defensive back was thinking and attacking his leverage and different things like that. Didn't catch a whole lot of passes in the season, but it helped me to be a better corner, because I understood what a receiver was thinking when they're lined up. What are they reading, what kind of looks can I show them. It all kind of works hand in hand and the same things happening playing free safety."
He also said that at cornerback, a player has to be "quick-triggered," but at safety its more about being a blanket for the defense.
With his years of experience, practically seeing everything a defensive back could possibly encounter, playing safety could be in his favor.
"At free safety you've got to worry about everyone on that offense, all eleven," Hall said. "You've got to be the safety valve. If something pops, you've got to make the tackle. You're the last line of defense. You're making a lot of checks, lining guys up, you kind of got to be the quarterback of the defense. It's real different but I enjoy it, it's fun, I'm embracing it and I'm enjoying the challenge."