From ‘Fast Week’ to the 53, Deiondre’ Hall is Here to Help
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Deiondre' Hall started a crash course in the Eagles' defensive scheme last week before taking a step back on game day due to a substance-abuse suspension.
Hall, a rangy 6-foot-2, safety acquired from the Chicago Bears for a conditional seventh-round draft choice at the cut to 53 was forced to watch Philadelphia's 18-12 win over Atlanta from his hotel room but is now part of the 53-man roster after the Eagles waived Tre Sullivan to make room.
"I don't think you ever really expect anything like that to happen," Hall said of the trade. "It's been a blessing. Getting here, everyone is smiling, everyone has open arms, but you're here to compete. It's a little bit of a different culture but I'm ready to attack it."
One of those with open arms was star quarterback Carson Wentz, one of the first people Hall saw at the NovaCare Complex.
As a Nothern Iowa product, Hall is intimately familiar with Wentz, he of North Dakota Stata, another FCS powerhouse.
"Man, that guy's got like five national championships," Hall joked when talking about their history together.
In reality Hall and Nothern Iowa more than held their own beating NDSU 23-3 in 2014, which might have been Wentz's worst performance in college, before the superstar QB rebounded the next year with four touchdowns in a 31-28 win.
"It's just catching up. Football keeps you with that brotherhood whether it's a rivalry or not," Hall explained. "... Now I get to practice against him every day. That's awesome."
Hall, who will be wearing No. 36, practiced with the Eagles for the first time Monday.
“I want to bring my personality to the room and play good ball,” Hall explained. “At the end of the day, that's all that matters, playing good ball and getting wins. I just want to bring as much personality and good play into the room."
Hall spent his downtime immersed in Jim Schwartz's playbook in an attempt to hit the ground running.
“I paid as much attention as possible, getting in the playbook and getting the calls down,” Hall said. “I couldn't go to practice, stuff like that. So, it was a fast week."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen