He didn't see this coming, but DeAngelo Hall was worried. Going into that Monday night game against Michael Vick and the Eagles, the Redskins cornerback was concerned that his teammates hadn't properly assessed the threat they were facing. They'd knocked Vick out early with broken ribs in their first matchup of the season, and so Vick hadn't really shown them all he could do.
"The thing I wanted guys to realize was, this guy's dangerous, and we didn't get a chance to really see it the first game because we put him out so early," Hall said. "It's a lot different from what you see on film. I think those guys didn't really have as much of an appreciation or a respect for what he does on the football field as they do now after being in that game.
"I wish that wasn't the case, but he definitely proved me right."
Hall's college career at Virginia Tech piggybacked on Vick's, and the two were later teammates with the Atlanta Falcons. They are friends, and Hall believes Vick is a special player. As he watched Vick torch his defense on that now-famous night, there was one thought that kept flashing through his mind.
"He's back," Hall recalled thinking. "Everything was clicking. He was throwing to receivers with pinpoint accuracy. He was scrambling out of the pocket, still finding guys downfield. He was making guys miss. He was back to his old self."
Hall found his old friend when it was over and they were walking off the field. And while he surely wasn't thrilled about what the scoreboard said behind them, he took time to let Vick know he was proud of him.
"I've got a great amount of respect for him, especially the journey he's been through these last couple of years, man," Hall said. "I just hate it happened against us. I wish it happened against Dallas or somebody else. But you take those beatings sometimes. You take those beatings and you get up and you fight again."
-- Dan Graziano, ESPN.com
Michael Vick, Jason Peters, Nick Cole, Todd Herremans, Andy Reid
DeAngelo Hall, Andre Carter, Lorenzo Alexander, Rocky McIntosh
Vick, shown scoring a second-quarter TD,
said it was a "perfect game," the best of his career.
Photo: AP Photo/Nick Wass