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Leon Hall Hopes to Be Active on Sunday, Make an Immediate Impact for 49ers

Posted Oct 12, 2017

The veteran defensive back is eager to make his 2017 NFL debut as the newest member of the 49ers secondary.

The past few months have been uncharted territory for Leon Hall. Instead of enduring another training camp and embarking on a new season, as he’d done for the past decade, Hall trained on his own in Cincinnati.

Hall is a 10-year NFL veteran who was selected in the first round (18th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. The defensive back has spent most of his career at corner and owns 27 career interceptions. After nine seasons with the Bengals, Hall spent 2016 with the New York Giants.

As this past offseason came and went, Hall was left unsigned. There were a few benefits to his unemployment, namely the extra time to spend with family and work on his golf game. But as Hall’s handicap dipped into single digits, his anxiety level continued to rise.

The veteran defensive back was eager to get back onto a football field, and John Lynch gave him that opportunity on Tuesday. According to Hall, the San Francisco 49ers had been in contact previously, but it wasn’t until this week that those discussions had amounted to an offer.

“We’ve been talking for a few months now,” Hall said. “It’s just been about finding the right timing for both parties. It all came together. Lynch gave me the call, and I was happy about it, obviously. I’m glad I’m here.”

Hall’s biggest source of frustration went beyond impatience. It was the belief that he still had good football left in him. He wasn’t ready to spend Sundays on his couch.

“I know I can still play,” Hall said. “The tape that I put out last season can attest to that. That’s why I’m anxious to get in here, learn the playbook and then go from there.”

Hall, who is currently 32-years-old, is at least six years older than every other defensive back on the 49ers roster. His 27 career picks are 10 more than the rest of San Francisco’s secondary combined (17).

Despite the defense’s void of established NFL stars, Hall sees a crop of promising young talent that isn’t far away from taking the next step. The veteran has been keeping tabs on the 49ers due to their ongoing talks. He’s seen the string of narrow losses.

“They’ve got some talent here,” Hall said. “I can see it. There are some things that can be tightened up. That’s what makes me excited to come here – to try and come help them get in the win column.”

Hall bounced around the secondary last year in New York. The coaching staff is yet to tell him where he’ll be playing in San Francisco. Regardless of his position, Hall hopes to be active on Sunday against the Washington Redskins and have the opportunity to make an immediate impact.

“First thing’s first, I’ve got to learn the playbook,” Hall said. “I’m going to take it one step at a time and see what happens.”

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