Tuesday, December 28, 2010, 7:29 p.m. UPDATED 7:55 p.m.
By Ryan OHalloran
REDSKINS PAGE REDSKINS VIDEO
Despite starting the season with a bang, returning a fumble for a touchdown against Dallas on national television, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall wasnt harboring any Pro Bowl aspirations around the mid-point of the season.
Sure, he liked Jim Hasletts defense, which put him in position to make more plays. But Hall had just one interception in the first six games.
The picks werent coming, Hall said. And then that Chicago game, it all came together.
Hall tied an NFL single-game record against the Bears in Week 7 with four interceptions, part of a six-interception season that has made him a Pro Bowl player for the third time in his career.
Hall was the only Redskins player to be named the NFC roster for the Jan. 30 game in Honolulu.
I definitely think Ive played at Pro Bowl level, he said during a conference call with reporters. I think Ive left a couple plays out there that I should have made that would have made this an easier decision for a lot of people out there voting.
Hall hasnt intercepted a pass in seven games but his eye-popping performance against the Bears undoubtedly earned him votes.
The Redskins have five alternates for the game: Fullback Mike Sellers and linebacker Brian Orakpo are first alternates, and Cooley, linebacker London Fletcher and special teamer Lorenzo Alexander are second alternates. For the second consecutive year, the game is the week before the Super Bowl so players for the two conference champions will be ineligible, creating more open roster spots.
Hall will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance with the Redskins. He is tied with six other players with six interceptions, second-most in the league, and his eight total takeaways are tied for the NFL lead.
Im extremely excited, he said. I can remember going out there with Atlanta and seeing Chris Samuels and Chris Cooley and it was always a dream of mine to play with the Redskins and to wear a Pro Bowl jersey with their logo. Im extremely humbled.
Hall is one of three corners on the roster, joining starters Asante Samuel (Philadelphia) and Charles Woodson (Green Bay). He is headed to Hawaii despite the Redskins being 6-9 and ranked last in yards allowed per game and second-to-last in pass defense.
Throughout the off-season, Hall was one of the most vocal supports of Hasletts system, thinking it would play to his play-making strengths. He is one interception away from setting a career high.
Corners always love to let their hair down and the scheme kind of gives you the opportunity to not just play man to man, Hall said. To be in this scheme and have the chance to play deep or jump a route the staff understands where the opponents weaknesses are and what that allows us to do.
Regardless of his confidence entering the year, Hall wasnt thinking about a return to the Pro Bowl.
When I first started the season, it was the last thing on my mind, he said. It was during the middle of the season I started thinking about it just to be in that category as a Redskins Pro Bowler.
Hall is the first Redskins Pro Bowl cornerback since Champ Bailey in 2004. He has 14 pass break-ups, 104 tackles (according to the coaching staffs tape review), two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Hall joined the Redskins midway through the 2008 season after being released by Oakland. He has 12 interceptions in 35 games for Washington.
Contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org