DeAngelo Hall and the Rams pass defense

It's not a scientific poll that accompanied our earlier post about recently released Raiders CB DeAngelo Hall, but it is notable that voters embraced the idea of the Rams making a move to add Hall to their roster.

Yesterday, Mike Sando noted in a post at his NFC West blog at ESPN, the Rams lead the league in allowing passes of 30 yards or more. You see the synergy here? Note the Raiders, as bad as they've been, aren't on that list (something that might have as much to do with the CB playing oposite Hall, Nnamdi Asomugha).

Would a CB trio of Hall, Fakhir Brown and Ron Bartell give the Rams an advantage? You'd think it would, but check out this stat (courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser):

According to STATS, he [Hall] gave up 40 completions out of 66 passes thrown in his direction for 566 yards. That's the most yardage given up by any cornerback in the league this season.

Yikes. That doesn't tell the full story. Oakland's rush defense leaks like a paper roof, to the tune of 157.6 yard per game, throwing off the balance of things and forcing the DBs to play a little different.

With Hall, I had been led to believe that one of the issues he had with Oakland was the style of play, i.e. Hall not being a great man coverage guy and gaining his Pro Bowl stripes in Atlanta's zone scheme. Though it doesn't excuse his play in Oakland, it came on a pretty dysfunctional team. Funny enough though, the teams pursuing Hall all play man coverage, and friend of TST, Jason La Canfora at the Washington Post (the Skins are thought to be a favorite for Hall's services) thinks Hall's skills would translate to man coverage.

Would Hall work out with the Rams? The first thng to accept is that he's not a cure all for their problems. Hall is not a shut down corner, no matter what he thinks. That said, his ball skills make him an asset for a team that relies heavily on getting turnovers. A Rams nickle package featuring Brown, Bartell and Hall would no doubt cut down on some of those deep passes that teams have used so effectively against the Rams this season (Arizona passed for 30+ yards four times last week). If Hall played to form, he and Atogwe might be as productive as the Rams offense has been, at the very least those INTs would help the offense out with field position and force teams to think twice about which pass plays to use. Just as an example, think about this week's game against the Jets and Favre's propensity to throw the INT, with Hall and Atogwe the Rams could do some real damage.

One more thing to think about with Hall and the Rams... The Rams aren't competing for the playoffs this season, realistically, so to intice a guy like Hall to come here, they'd almost certainly have to give him a deal extending beyond this season. Is that a move you'd make? Personally, with the Rams needs at CB and almost nobody under contract for next season, I don't see why that would hurt.

The Rams aren't currently cited as one of the teams prusuing Hall, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Don't forget, Billy Devaney and Hall have a connection from their Atlanta days, where Devany worked as assistant GM during Hall's last two years with the team. Of course, that could work the opposite way too...

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