Raheem and the Misfits -- playing in a secondary near you.
"We always joke with each other, just saying we have a secondary full of misfits," Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "We have guys that I feel like nobody else wanted in this league."
And a unwanted former head coach, too. Secondary coach Raheem Morris is reshaping a secondary considered the weakest part of the defense with discounted parts.
Hall arrived in Washington in 2009 after he was discarded by both Atlanta and Oakland in 2008. Brandon Meriweather played for New England in 2010 and Chicago last year. Josh Wilson started for three teams in the past three years. Madieu Williams is also with his third team in three seasons and fourth overall. Reed Doughty and Kevin Barnes are the only homegrown secondary contributors. However, Doughty has only 36 starts in six seasons and Barnes three in as many years.
Individually, Hall would be the only popular free agent. Without Meriweather and Williams, the group was part of a 13th-ranked defense last year. And with Morris seeking redemption after being fired by Tampa Bay in January, the unit lives to prove others wrong.
"Like I said, just having the crew of misfits we have, I don't think another guy could have come out here and coached us," Hall said. "Raheem is just a guy who just coaches unconditionally. He loves us all unconditionally. We'll go out there and make a mistake; he'll pat us on the back. He's not one of those rah-rah, scream-at-you type guys. He's more one of those I'm going to lift-you-up type of guys.'
"Some guys respond to that. Some guys respond well to that screaming, too. The majority of us seem to respond better to the love-me-up type of motivation, and he's definitely one of those guys. ... He's brought his own kind of style just to kind of help tweak our stuff around a little bit, just to try to make it a little better."
The unit has looked stronger during training camp. Meriweather is constantly chirping as he flies across the field. Hall is regularly around the ball. The backups are pressing the starters. Newcomers like Tanard Jackson and Richard Crawford are vying for spots. It's a crowded unit.
"Right now, we're trying to push guys to the limit, trying to see where guys can get to as far as just guys showing different things," Hall said. "But collectively, as a group, we have a bunch of playmakers back there."
With many of the NFL's top quarterbacks -- New Orleans' Drew Brees, the New York Giants' Eli Manning, Carolina's Cam Newton and Philadelphia's Michael Vick -- on the schedule, the secondary will have to prove its mettle.
"Somebody told us we were like the No. 32 secondary or something in the league when somebody ranked us," Hall said. "We laugh at some of that stuff because we all know that at the end of the day you have to go out on the field and prove it."