Hall brings attitude to Raiders defense

Forget about DeAngelo Hall's athletic skills for a moment. Forget the possibilities that pairing Hall with fellow cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will give defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. A shutdown cornerback whose talent is dwarfed only by his view of himself, Hall brings something entirely else to the Raiders' secondary, something that's been missing for the better part of a decade now.

Attitude. Swagger. Cockiness. All of it seems to ooze through his pores like sweat beading out after an intense workout.

Hall is all of that and then some. Just ask the Falcons and former coach Bobby Petrino, who were caught in the Hall crosshairs in 2007. Or ask Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith, with whom Hall has a developed a love-hate relationship that tends to stay on the hate end of things more often than not.

But for a Raider team that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2002 and whose defense lost its only true leader when Sapp retired, Hall is the perfect fit.

"His attitude and everything about him … you can't wait for the season," Ryan said. "I'm a positive person and things like that but you can really feel good about what you have in front of you when you see the eyes of DeAngelo and what he brings to the table. I'm excited because know what he's going to bring and what it's going to mean for us on defense."

Hall will pair with Asomugha to form the cornerstone of Oakland's secondary, a unit that was ranked No. 1 in the NFL two years ago before dipping to 8th in 2007.

The Raiders have been searching for a complement cornerback to Asomugha ever since Charles Woodson left for Green Bay following the 2005 season. They used their first two picks in the ‘06 draft on Fabian Washington and Stanford Routt and gave veterans Duane Starks and Tyrone Poole brief auditions, but no one ever distinguished themselves enough.

So far, though, Hall and Asomugha haven't been able to get on the field together. Asomugha was hit with the franchise player tag in the offseason and has yet to sign his one-year tender. The two sides are continuing to talk about a long-term deal but so far nothing has been completed. Until he signs the tender or a deal is reached, Asomugha is prevented from taking part in Oakland's offseason workouts.

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