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Quotes: DeAngelo Hall (7.24.14)

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall

On working the rain:

"It felt good. When we first walked out and saw the rain, we were like, 'Man, please cancel practice.' Then when we saw it wasn't raining that hard, we were like, 'OK, let's go ahead and try and get this done.' We had fun. We were all kind of itching to get back out there on the field. We're excited to get out there and get it on."

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On if he saw a difference in quarterback Robert Griffin III this year going into training camp:

"Absolutely… The stress is kind of off, like you said, worrying about reps, worrying about a head coach who you don't really know about – if he likes you or if he doesn't like you – you know, things like that. From the jump, from the moment Jay [Gruden] came in here, I think Robert kind of knew that Jay wanted him, he wanted to coach him and that he could be special and we all see that. It's going to take a lot of work from each and every one of us on that field, but we understand the task that is at hand. We're ready to go out there and battle."

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On how the secondary can improve and the addition of safety Ryan Clark:

"As far as what we need to get better at, a little bit of everything. There wasn't really one particular thing that kind of hurt us. It was a little bit of everything in different games, whether it was tackling, whether it was giving up explosive plays. Having a guy like Ryan, he's just a student in the game. He can not only line everybody up but he can go out there and make plays. He's going to be another physical presence back there in that secondary that as corners that you love to have. Guys aren't going to want to run across the middle knowing that Ryan Clark is going to hit them or Brandon Meriweather is going to hit them. He's a guy that I feel like can just help our young guys. We drafted some young guys last year that can play football, but they didn't have a guy back there who could really teach them and relay to them the things that they needed to know to be a professional athlete. Ryan can definitely do that for us as well. I think our young guys are going to benefit so much from having a guy like Ryan who's just an ultimate pro."

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On how he has grown into a leadership role in the absence of London Fletcher:

"It's going to be the first camp in a long time that I haven't had a guy like Fletch around. So definitely the onus is on me. Meeting with Jay [Gruden] this offseason he kind of stressed that to me and I embraced it. I felt like I was ready for it. London, I tried to stay in his hip pocket as much as possible, so I'm definitely up for the challenge. I understand it's not about me, it's about this team and I'm just trying to get everybody better. If I could have [cornerback] David Amerson or some of these other young guys step up and make plays, that's ultimately what I want to happen. I want those guys to eventually take over when I'm done or I can't do it anymore."

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On if he thinks Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett has been given free reign with the defense:

"You can definitely see it already. You can see it in the offseason program, coming out here today. We got a chance to really just try to put ourselves in position to make plays. We talked this whole offseason about some things we did last year that we could've did better and some things that we probably shouldn't have called that we are going to try and stay away from. We are just trying to put ourselves in the right position to make plays and the coaches have done a great job with just going in the think tank. Everybody is putting their opinions out there and we're laying it all on the table, whether it's the players or coaches, coming back with a formula and hopefully that's a successful one."

On coming off you're a strong season and how he can maintain that level of play in the future:

"Just keep going out there and trying to get better. The goal is to always try to win football games. It's not about my individual success. It's about us trying to win games. You know, for me it's about doing whatever the team is asking me to do. Whether it's go out to follow a receiver, whether it's go to somebody else because David Amerson is playing great ball, then that's what I'm going to do. Mentally I'm just in a place where I know I don't have a lot of football left, so I'm just trying to go out there and have as much fun as possible, lay it all on the line, not leave anything in the tank so when I do walk away from this game I feel good about it. That's kind of been my approach out here in practice this offseason or even last year, I just wanted to go out there and have fun, and try to help us win as many games as possible."

On how he feels physically:

"Oh yeah, I feel great. That run test, I think everybody on the roster was kind of dreading it a little bit yesterday, but to have that done and back to football, everybody feels great. I've never been a guy who got hamstrings and things like that, so I mean no real nagging injuries or anything like that, so I'm about as healthy as I'm going to be right now, so I feel good about it."

On his thoughts about where he stands among cornerbacks in the league:

"As a corner if you don't feel like you're the best, you've got a problem right there. I never said I was the best, I would be a fool to think 11 years in I'm the best in the game right now. I definitely think I'm pretty successful at doing what I do. Like I said, man, if you really watch film, let's go watch film and I put my film against any corner in the league and we'll see what he does and we'll see what I do and we can go from there. I definitely think that if you put me out there against a receiver, anyone of them, I'll take my chances. I never said I was the best, but I definitely feel like I should be in the conversation."

On why he isn't in that conversation more often:

"I don't know, maybe my reputation. My reputation kind of precedes me a little bit. It is what it is. I don't go out there to try to please the media or the guys who are ranking corners. Probably earlier in my career I did, but now I'm all about just – the proof is in the pudding. At the end of the day, I've got to line up against this guy, this is what he did. It's not about me saying I can do this or I can do that. At some point, I'm going to have to face Calvin [Johnson], I'm going to have to face Dez [Bryant] and all these other guys. I let my play speak for itself, but if you sit down and watch film and compare my numbers against those guys – any corner – I'll take myself in a heartbeat."

On the need for improvement in the secondary:

"Nobody wants to be the weak link in any business, any organization, nobody wants to be the weak link. We understand that. We hear that, too, and we work just as hard. We are working even harder because we don't want to be the ones that let everybody else down. You best believe myself, Ryan [Clark], Brandon [Meriweather], we're ready to roll. We're ready to roll. We're ready to go out there and make as many plays as possible. We understand we have got a lot of high-profile guys on that offensive side of the ball. We don't mind putting that hard hat on and going to work. That's what we are going to do. We are going to carry that lunch pail Virginia Tech-style."

On Griffin III's growth as a leader and pro:

"I think he is becoming a pro. He's been in this league, this will be his third year. He has had highs, he has had lows. He's probably came in here and said the wrong thing a time or two. He understands that and he's learned from those mistakes. He'll be better about that that's growing him into the person he is right now. That's like you said, that's a guy who understands what it takes to be a quarterback in the National Football League. He understands he's going to have a microscope on himself, his life, 24/7. He relishes that and we are going to stand behind him. He also understands it's not just about him. I think that's probably the biggest thing. Guys thought he was going to be a certain way. He came here more reserved, wanted to earn that respect and he's definitely earned that from everybody in this locker room. So now he's definitely one of those leaders on offense that can go in there and say what needs to be said and help those guys get it done."

On if the defense has a chip on its shoulder: "Absolutely there is a chip on our shoulder. Seeing Seattle go out there and have a dominant defense, going into this offseason, they're what everybody is talking about. Everybody wants that kind of attention and that kind of love. So we all have got a chip on our shoulder, not just the secondary. We all want to be great. We all want to hold that trophy up at the end of the year. They have what everybody else wants. No matter how high-powered our offense is, you can't win without a defense that's going to get turnovers and get the offense the chance to make plays and keep other teams from scoring. Watching Seattle, the way they approach their team, I think it's the blueprint. Have a pass rush, have secondary players that can make plays, corners that can press guys and frustrate receivers, have linebackers that can run and make plays. Have an offense that can score points when they need to and dynamic players on that side. That's the formula, that's the formula right now in this league. I remember when the Patriots were doing it their way, that was the formula for a while. Myself included, I'm a Peyton Manning fan, so there is no reason I thought the Broncos weren't going to win the Super Bowl. So to just watch the way Seattle didn't care what anybody else said and how they approached it, it was an amazing game to watch from a defensive standpoint. That's definitely going to be our mindset. We're going to go out there and try to let our pass rushers rush, secondary players have got to go out there and be physical and make plays. We have got to give our offense as many opportunities as possible for them to score and that's what we're going to try to do. Yeah, we all have got a chip on our shoulders. As a defense, as a team, to win three games last year, that takes a toll on you physically and mentally. So we're happy right now. We are undefeated and we are ready to roll."

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