MIAMI – DeAngelo Hall was one of those do-it-all cornerbacks coaches love to have. He had the speed and strength to play any coverage and match up against any receiver. The three-time Pro Bowler finished his career with 43 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 10 defensive touchdowns. Lions fans will remember him for some of the battles he had with Calvin Johnson over the years.
As a cornerback who could do it all, Hall has a ton of respect for Lions Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, who Hall says is a similar-style player to him.
"I love Slay's game, man," Hall said at the Super Bowl last week. "I like watching him play because he's a corner who can do it all. He's not just a guy who covers guys. He gets the football. He'll stick his face in there. And just hearing him talk, I like his energy.
"As a corner, you can tell a lot about a guy's confidence by his energy. I saw him doing an interview yesterday and I think Steve Smith asked him a question like, 'What makes it hard to cover a receiver?' and he's like, 'Oh, it ain't hard for me to cover nobody. What makes it hard for other guys to cover X, Y Z, maybe this? For me it ain't hard.' And I'm thinking, 'Dog, you have to cut it out, we all get beat from time to time.'
"But just love his energy, man, because that probably would have been a similar response to me, for sure. Just love everything about his game."
View photos of the Detroit Lions' stat leaders from the 2019 season.
Slay, 29, earned his third straight trip to the Pro Bowl this season and has become one of best cornerbacks in the game. He's defended 104 passes since entering the NFL in 2013, the most by a player in that span. He's totaled 13 interceptions in the past three seasons, also tied for the most by a cornerback in that span. He ranks tied for sixth in franchise history for interceptions by a cornerback with 19, and his 104 defended passes are a franchise record.
Slay is entering the final year of a four-year extension he signed back in 2017, and was asked about his future while down in Miami for the Super Bowl last week.
"Of course I want an extension, but how it'll turn out, we'll see," Slay told a small group of Detroit beat writers.
"If they give me a contract, I'll be blessed and fortunate enough for it. Like I've said, I've always wanted to retire a Detroit Lion, but if it don't happen, it's cool, I'll be alright."