SNIDER: DeAngelo Hall retires, credits Shanahan for turnaround

Rick Snider
August 01, 2018 - 3:52 pm
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RICHMOND – A hothead who started sideline fights only to become a team elder said goodbye on Wednesday. Probably a year or two too late, maybe too soon.

DeAngelo Hall finally made his long-known retirement official nearly three months after saying he wasn't playing anymore. The former cornerback/safety came to Redskins training camp to say a few goodbyes and maybe some hellos, for he won’t be too far away.

Redskin for life.

Hall was one of my top-10 favorite Redskins. He could be insightful in the locker room, cutting through bad times with surgical precision. And he could be passionate on the field, sometimes starting fights on opposing sidelines. Nobody messed with "D-Hall."

Sure, he was rightfully known as "Me-Angelo" during his early years. The Virginia Tech star was sometimes a me-first player when arriving in Atlanta as the eighth overall selection in 2004. Hall wore out his welcome and was sent to Oakland in 2008, where he lasted only eight games before he was released. When the Raiders don't want you, it's time for some inner reflection.

Washington quickly signed Hall where he played seven games. He was the staple of the defense until 2014, when he played only three games before getting injured. Indeed, Hall never played a full season again, with 11 games in 2015, three in 2016 and five in 2017 wile looking miserable at safety.

Still, the Redskins liked Hall as a player-coach on the field and in the locker room. He mellowed after coach Mike Shanahan pulled him aside in 2010, and convinced Hall that he was a team leader who had an impact in practice as well as games.

It was a life-changing meeting. Hall's anger seemed gone, even if his passion stayed. He mentored corner Bashaud Breeland and any young player that would listen.

Not many players last long enough in the NFL to mature like Hall. The father of six is now planning some national television work. Surely, some local TV will come, too.

But the Redskins will miss Hall's passion. And, Hall will miss not the hitting on the field, but hanging around with fellow players.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks