DeAngelo Hall will cover Steve Smith on Sunday for the first time since 2007. The Redskins’ Pro Bowl cornerback is eager for the matchup with Panthers’ Pro Bowl receiver despite their falling out in 2007.
Here are some highlights of the interview with Hall:
On covering Smith
“Any time you get a guy who’s going to push you to the brink of insanity on the football field, you got your job cut out for you. I’m sure he wants to go out there and try to dominate me, catch every ball. I’m going to try to do the same thing, not let him smell the ball.
“He can make you miss and he can strike up the band. He can take a 1-yard route, turn it upfield and get 15-20 yards. Whenever you get a good receiver, you want to go out there and dominate, kind of let everybody know, ‘Hey. I’m still good at what I do.’ That’s going to be my mindset. That’s going to be his mindset.”
On their relationship:
“We went from being good friends to [enemies] to don’t talk. We might have met on a Rebook photo shoot. We were pretty good friends, talked a lot, went to over his house for one dinner one time we played down there the night before the game. Some words kind of got exchanged through the course of the next game [in 2007] and it just went downhill from there. [But] I’m not going into this thing trying to kill him. I’m not going into this thing for war, for blood, anything like that. You gotta help your team try to win a game.”
On the 2007 incident that ruined their relationship:
“It wasn’t anything he did to get under my skin. I think it was late in the first half. He went downfield, kind of got behind me, got a pass interference call cause I just pulled him down, couldn’t stop the route. Next play, quick jam, the referee said I probably didn’t need to him that hard. Got another penalty. Me and him going back and forth talking trash and I get singled out again, get another penalty.”
On seeing Smith for the first time in almost two years:
Steve’s [weird] He’ll come out one game, trying to bite your head off, aggressive, crazy. When we played in Carolina [the game after the incident], first thing he say to me was, ‘Hey man. I love you. Let’s have a good one.’ Not knowing what to say I’m like, ‘Awright.’ If I see him [before this game], I’ll say ‘Hey wassup,’ but I ain’t going to go out of my way. Maybe we’ll ‘fistbump and say have a good one.’
— David Elfin