Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: the outspoken Hall talks football and other more important matters.
Hall joined 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. to talk about his recent gambling escapades at the blackjack tables, how he could have paid for all of the recent vacation he took with (lots of) family to the Atlantis casino and resort in Reno, seeing Jason Kidd's ex-wife on the trip, how he can confirm that Jason Kidd's son still has an abnormally large head, not being worried about a new CBA being reached in time to avoid missed games in 2011, how his prior contract negotiations with Washington - when things came down to the very last minute of the final hour - convince him that a deal will ultimately be reached in time, how most players will have failed to prepare for the lockout financially despite knowing they should have been, how he's been blessed to have gotten paid handsomely thanks in large part to the millions he stacked from the Raiders for playing in a whopping nine games, the ‘Skins' recent player-organized workouts, last year's Albert Haynesworth vs. Mike Shanahan saga, and picking off that ‘clown' Jay Cutler four times during last season's Week 7 win over the Bears.
After talking about a recent trip to The Atlantis Casino and Resort, Hall was asked if a wealthy man like himself was still taken aback by how expensive food and drink items are at places like that:
"Yeah, yeah. And that's probably why I gamble - just to get the free stuff. It was like, I was up so much at some point I'm about to just stop playing and play for my trip because I had all my family out there - my brother, my cousin, their family. They ended up paying for it, but if I had just stopped gambling, which I probably what I should have did…"
On how many people recognized him at Atlantis:
"You know what? You can kind of go under the radar. I actually had a cabana beside Jason Kidd's ex-wife, and his kids actually recognized me and they kind of spread the word a little bit. But it wasn't until Mike Sellers got down there, I guess he's huge, and you know Mike - he loves to tell everybody he plays football. So it was kind of like ‘hey, are you DeAngelo Hall? Hey, hey, hey, seen Big Mike. I've seen Big Mike the other day. And I didn't even know he was down there, because we didn't plan it or anything. I was just sitting in the lobby one day and I saw him walk in. And he was running around telling everybody he played football, and that's kind of how the secret got out. But I don't look like nobody. I got a little bit of tattoos, but…"
Hall was then asked an admittedly inappropriate question - if Jason Kidd's son still has a huge head:
"That's how we knew who it was. And I'm like, I'm telling my cousin that couldn't be him because the kid was 5'10″ and….I'm like that kid couldn't have grown into that, because I remember her holding him at the game. But he's 12 years old and he's 5'10″– the dude is taller than me - but the head is still there."
On a scale of 1 to 10, how worried is he that games might be missed at the start of the 2011 NFL season:
"Zero, zero. I don't know if I'm being naive about it or what, but I just feel like it's so much money out there. You know what I mean? To be honest, to be giving these fans, you know, releasing the schedules on time and having the draft, and having all these things and all this buildup, you're not going to buildup, buildup, buildup and then pfffft, nothing. I mean, the deal - like any other deal - it always gets done the last minute, the last second. I remember the year I came here, that half a year, and I was about to go to free agency, and I'm like ‘man, the Redskins haven't called me and we're trying to get this deal done', and I literally had flights booked to other teams to start visiting because free agency hit at 12 o'clock, and finally at like 11:59 with seconds left we reached a deal. That's how it happens."
Was his agent in his ear telling him to not worry and that a deal would get done:
"I was just open to…I mean, I was just open. After that experience in Oakland I had, it ain't much worse you can get than that, so I was pretty much open to really kind of do my homework this time around. Because for Oakland, obviously the situation I was coming from, I was coming from Atlanta - I was like I gotta get out of Atlanta, send me anywhere, and I gotta get paid, period."
On how much he earned for how many games played in Oakland for the listeners who aren't aware:
"I played eight games, or nine games - we had a bye week somewhere in the there. So I played nine games and got a little over $9.5 million. But I came to Washington and played nine games for $200,000. You know what I mean?"
If he knows any of the players that hired their own law firm to represent them through this labor mess:
"I haven't even saw the list of the guys who were on there. But like I said, I feel like it is going to get done, and I've been fortunate and I've been blessed to make a lot of money in this league, but there are guys who haven't. Whether that's they haven't been in the league long enough to really make money and stack it up, or if it's just some of those bottom-tier guys, middle to bottom-tier guys, that are clawing and fighting every year. Of course, we kind of knew in the back of our minds that this was going to happen, but you still never prepare for it like you should have. You know, kind of like somebody tells you a earthquake is coming or a tornado is coming, and you never really save the food you're supposed to save and all that until you're like ‘man, I should have done that.' And that's kind of how you feel bad about it."
On just how frustrating last season was for him and the ‘Skins:
"It was a little frustrating, definitely frustrating at times. And it always is, especially when you have new systems, new coaches, new personalities, trying to build chemistry, it's tough, it's tough. And it's tough for me personally to go from a top-five ranked defense to a defense that's ranked dead last. It was rough, it was rough at times out there. I can remember coaches trying to justify at times why we were so low - ‘well, you know, we played 80 more snaps than anybody else; that means we've played a whole another game.' I'm like all that sounds good, but at the end of the day there's no reason the same group of guys who were 10th or 9th or 8th, were dead last. So hopefully we can with the upcoming draft and free agency, we can grab some players help fit this scheme and system better than the guys we have or the guys we don't have because of they don't have contracts or things like that. So hopefully we can get the right pieces in place to help us make plays."
How many showed up to the players-organized informal workout recently:
"It was about 25, 25-30 people. Me, Fletch, Lorenzo Alexander."
Who ran things on the offensive side of the ball - the quarterback?
"Yeah, yeah, the quarterbacks did. But they only ran it for a short amount of time, and that was just to kind of warm up, get their group install in, kind of walk through plays. And then we went straight into 7-on-7."
After confirming that Albert Haynesworth was unsurprisingly not in attendance at the workout, Hall was asked about being one of the few guys who somewhat stuck up for the disgruntled Haynesworth throughout the course of last season:
"I tried to, tried to. But you could just tell by the middle of the season, you could just tell those guys weren't going to get along. Those guys were like two bulls in the middle of the ring, and it was kind of like get out of the ring, get out the ring and let those two guys do what they're going to do."
On last year's game when that ‘clown' Jay Cutler kept throwing him interceptions:
"Jay is definitely a clown. I played against the kid one other time, and it was when I first went to Oakland, first game of the season we played on a Monday night. And Shanahan was actually coaching. He's played against Al Davis so long, he knows what we're going to be in - man under, it ain't no help, just go out and play football no matter what they come out in. You can tell Shanahan was scheming us up - max protection, double/triple move. And Eddie Royal had caught a couple balls against me that game. And I tell you what, I don't know if Jay was like ‘I'm going to keep going at him, I don't care what's going on.' And the first half, I didn't have an interception, a pass breakup or nothing, and then to come out in the second half against those guys and get four interceptions. Man, I've never had more than two in a game, so to go out and get four in a half, I was like ‘man, this is unreal!' I'm on the sideline like ‘wow, this is pretty amazing!'"
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