For the past couple of seasons, DeAngelo Hall has talked about the possibility of shifting from cornerback to safety.
He even tried it in practice here and there.
But after seeing a handful of snaps at free safety in Sunday’s win over the Saints, it’s starting to look like the long-discussed experiment could become the 12th-year vet’s new reality.
“I haven’t played [safety] a lot,” said Hall, who suited up for the first time since Week 3 due to a toe injury. “[Former secondary coach] Raheem [Morris] kinda threw me back there every now and then in certain situations. It’s fun. I like it. I didn’t get a chance to make many plays [against the Saints], but I don’t mind running up and making tackles. So it was cool. It was fun. Definitely wouldn’t mind doing a little more that. But wherever they need me to play, that’s where I’m going to play.”
Asked if he expects to continue to see spot duty at safety, Hall said: “I guess. I didn’t get too many snaps. I was just in the dime package. When the game kind of got out of hand, they took [starter Dashon Goldson] out and let me go back there and get some snaps. It just kind of depends on the situation. We’ll keep trying to keep growing my knowledge and seeing how much I can handle.”
Several cornerbacks have made a successful transition from corner to safety, including Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson and Ronde Barber. And with Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland now entrenched as the starters at right and left corner, respectively, Hall finds him searching for a spot to play as he returns from injury.
“I made the statement [to the coaches] that [Breeland] is playing so good, don’t take him out,” Hall said with chuckle. “So we haven’t took him out. I’m trying to find somewhere to play.”
Hall said he’s reached out to Charles Woodson to get some tips on making a smooth transition.
“I’ve talked to C. Wood, just because I know C. Wood,” Hall said. “I definitely talked to him about it and reached out to him.”
Hall, who turned 32 today, believes his football acumen and experience could help him become a quality full time free safety, if and when that's what he's asked to do. But he was also quick to say he’s not going to make the switch just so he can play a few more years.
“I’m not going to try to go play safety just to try to extend my career. I’m going to play safety to be a damn good safety,” Hall said. “I’m not in the business of trying to tack on years. I can go home and hang with my kids and family before that. But I think I can make a difference at safety somewhere. They kinda mentioned it to me and I was like, ‘Alright, cool.’ We were in the lab trying to draw up different schemes and different things to try and get me on the field. It’s been interesting.”