DeAngelo Hall says Landon Collins has 'earned the right to compete'

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DeAngelo Hall says Landon Collins has 'earned the right to compete' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Washington Football Team safety Landon Collins received praise from former Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall on Friday. During an appearance on the BMitch & Finlay Show, Hall shared why he believes Collins has earned a right to compete for a starting spot in the secondary, and explained that what the seven-year veteran brings off the field is hard to replace.

“I think he’s earned the opportunity to compete for his spot, especially with the contract he has," Hall said. "You don’t want that kind of contract just sitting on the bench unless someone has literally went out and won that spot. You don’t want anything given to anybody in front of Landon."

Hall went on to reference the moment Collins went down with a non-contact injury last season against the Cowboys, which ultimately led to a season-ending Achilles injury. At the time, the injury was a hug blow for Washington as Collin had been getting in a groove in defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio's system.“I was probably one of his biggest critics at a certain point of the year, I think the game he got hurt was the game he started to turn a corner and they were putting him in position to go make plays for us.”

Related: Del Rio says Collins will remain at safety

The 27-year-old has played safety his entire career, but after last season there were thoughts by fans that Collins could be better fit in a linebacker-hybrid role in 2021. This past week, Del Rio nixed that idea, telling Washington vice president of media and content Julie Donaldson that Collins will remain at strong safety and that another year should allow him to have more of an impact.

Despite the struggles on the field, Collins possesses the qualities and talent you want on your roster, things that aren’t easily replaceable, as Hall said.

“It’s not only what he brings athletically or physically to the field or to that defense, it’s the mindset too. Landon Collins is a dog, he’s a stud. He’s been in a lot of situations in a lot of big time games and I don’t think you can replace that with just a guy's presence or a guy's playing ability."