DeAngelo Hall never played for Mike Smith, and they never had the warmest relationship.
But they apparently patched things up over mai tais (or something) in Hawaii.
Hall was one of the first players shipped out when Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff took over the Falcons in 2008, traded to Oakland.
Then in 2009, when he returned to the Georgia Dome as a member of the Redskins, he was involved in an altercation after a late hit on Matt Ryan, and said Smith “put his hands on me in a harmful way, talking about how he’s going to kick my [butt] and all this other [stuff], and that ain’t how you do things.”
But when they caught up at the Pro Bowl after the 2010 season, everyone was in a better mood.
“We’re cool,” Hall said, via the Associated Press. “We got a chance to sit and reminisce over some drinks out in Hawaii.
“I got a chance to be around that coaching staff and make our amends, me and him and the rest of the coaching staff. I’m excited to see those guys before the game and say: ‘What’s up.’ Make sure that everything is going good and make sure that their families are doing good before the whistle blows. When the whistle blows, he’s going to want to kill me and I’m going to want to kill him.”
Smith said he made a point to approach Hall in Hawaii to start peace talks.
“I went up and talked to him,” the Falcons coach said. “We had a real good conversation sitting out by the pool the first night we were there,” Smith said. “Hey listen, DeAngelo is one of the most competitive guys in this league. You can see it in the way he plays every week. Competition and emotion are a big part of being successful in this league and that’s why he’s been around for nine years and played the way he’s played.”
Of course, poolside drinks in Hawaii would probably set the stage for making any uncomfortable conversations easier.
Maybe the NFL and its officials should have tried that a month ago.