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    RealRam's Avatar
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    [DE] Hall Battling Back

    Hall Battling Back
    Monday, July 28, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    MEQUON, Wis. – As though being released and re-signed to your team doesn’t provide enough motivation, James Hall also had to watch as the Rams used the No. 2 overall pick anda reported $29 million in guaranteed money to the man selected to replace him.

    Four days into this training camp, though, it’s Hall that is playing like the big money pass rusher.

    “Every year you have something to prove, especially in this league,” Hall said. “You never know what year is going to be your last year. It’s another opportunity to do something special, especially after last year.”

    The Rams traded for Hall on the first day of free agency in 2007 hoping he could step in and finally give Leonard Little the pass rushing complement he lacked opposite him since the departure of Grant Wistrom.

    Hall had a solid training camp, flashing the ability that helped him to an 11.5 sack season in 2004 as a Lion. But things went awry soon after the season started. Hall dealt with ankle injuries and various other ailments for most of the 2007 season and finished with a disappointing 2.5 sacks.

    Those injuries certainly slowed Hall more than many realized.

    “The one thing that I will say for him,” coach Scott Linehan said. “He had reasons for not being as effective as he would’ve been. But I will tell you this, he showed up every Sunday and was on the field and that was just said a lot about him.”

    Hall’s toughness earned him the respect of the coaching staff but it wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster when the team approached free agency in need of some salary cap space.

    The Rams opted to release Hall on the eve of free agency, a move that created more than $3 million in cap space. Almost a month after that, the Rams brought Hall back on a two-year contract with no guarantees of playing time or even a starting job.

    The hopes of retaining his starting gig vanished when the Rams used the second pick of the draft on Virginia defensive end Chris Long. The Rams and Linehan wasted no time naming Long the starting right end.

    Hall didn’t let the move bother him, though; focusing instead on what he can do to get back to being a double digit sack performer.

    “It’s a business,” Hall said. “That’s the way it goes. You have to maintain a high level of professionalism and do what you do normally. That’s part of sports and part of being an adult.”

    In the early days of this camp, few players have stood out more than Hall. During one on one pass rush drills, he has been almost unblockable and he’s been doing it while lining up on the edge and inside as a tackle.

    Even Linehan acknowledged that Hall has consistently caught the eyes of the coaching staff during their daily film reviews.

    “We draft young guys and from the get go say (Long) is going to be a starter,” Linehan said. “I really like the way James approached it. He’s going to come out and prove himself, reestablish himself. One thing he’s doing is playing a number of positions. We have played him in the different spots, and he is pretty darn effective, which is something we were unable because some of the injury things to do with him a year ago. He did a lot of that kind of stuff in his younger days in Detroit and it is something he is real comfortable with. I think he has been playing very, very well.”

    INJURY REPORT: Not all of the news from the defensive line has been good. The worst came Monday morning when Linehan announced that defensive end Victor Adeyanju would be out two to four weeks because of a fractured middle finger.

    It’s not likely Adeyanju will miss any regular season time but he returned to St. Louis to have surgery on the broken digit Monday.

    “It was a clean break of his middle finger,” Linehan said. “What that means is he probably wouldn’t be available to play for a couple weeks. It’s anywhere from a two to four week injury from being cleared to play. But once he gets that wound healed he’ll be able to get some work done with a club on that hand. He did it with a broken wrist,I think, before, so he’s not unaccustomed to it.”

    Defensive tackle Josh Thompson suffered a torn right plantar fascia and will miss at least the next month. Cornerback Fakhir Brown is doing some conditioning work but is still a few weeks from a return.

    Defensive end C.J. Ah You returned to practice with a brace on his left knee.

    GETTING GRIXBY: Because of Brown’s absence, the Rams felt the need to find a cornerback to add some depth to the secondary. In that vein, the Rams added cornerback Cortney Grixby to the roster Monday.

    Grixby arrived to practice about midway through wearing a blue No. 43 jersey and gold shorts. Grixby was an undrafted free agent who spent some time with Carolina before being released on July 16.

    At 5’9, 170 pounds, Grixby bears a strong resemblance to current Rams corner Darius Vinnett. Grixby played his college football at Nebraska and made his on field debut during the afternoon practice.


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    RealRam's Avatar
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    The hopes of retaining his starting gig vanished when the Rams used the second pick of the draft on Virginia defensive end Chris Long. The Rams and Linehan wasted no time naming Long the starting right end.

    Hall didn’t let the move bother him, though; focusing instead on what he can do to get back to being a double digit sack performer.

    “It’s a business,” Hall said. “That’s the way it goes. You have to maintain a high level of professionalism and do what you do normally. That’s part of sports and part of being an adult.”

    That's being professional. I like it and hope Hall as a succesful season. We're looking decent at DE.


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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: [DE] Hall Battling Back

    Hall used to be a pretty good pass-rusher for Detroit at one point, it would be excellent if he could return to that form and see some time on the field on passing downs. We desperately need more sacks from our D-line, I don't care who provides them, but someone has to step up and do it.

    However, while I thought it was a good trade at the time, so far we haven't gotten much out of Hall, at this point I'll have to be slightly pessimistic about his resurgence until I see it on the field in a real game.

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    Re: [DE] Hall Battling Back

    Blah, blah, blah- I'll be all estatic when I hear & see about how much he's impressing in regular season games- not minicamp drills.

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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: [DE] Hall Battling Back

    Quote Originally Posted by Moloch41 View Post
    Blah, blah, blah- I'll be all estatic when I hear & see about how much he's impressing in regular season games- not minicamp drills.
    Nothing like being cheery about minicamp activities and player efforts, 'ey Moloch?

    To me, minicamp and/or Training Camp drills are a good indication of how players are doing and their work serves to gauge where the team stands, even if only potentially.

    Going back to James Hall, I think he is taking this year's opportunity very seriously in order to vindicate himself from last year's injury. That's what his hard work and excellent, professional attitude tell me. I wish him all the best.

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    Re: [DE] Hall Battling Back

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    To me, minicamp and/or Training Camp drills are a good indication of how players are doing and their work serves to gauge where the team stands, even if only potentially.
    If memory serves me correctly- he impressed at minicamp last season and finished with 2.5 sacks. Injuries or not- I don't really care about how guys are doing in drills- I want to see them perform against real competition before I start getting excited about them.

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