Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams tight end Cory Harkey (46) runs the ball against Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall (29) in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated St. Louis 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Leon Hall has earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after a standout performance against the St. Louis Rams.
Leon Hall still has it. One of the best cornerbacks in Cincinnati Bengals history, Hall is still making plays at age 30.
Hall earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after a six-tackle performance with a run stuff, two pass breakups and a pick-six. The nine-year veteran was all over the field on Sunday, making plays left and right. His 19-yard pick-six was the nail in the coffin for a Bengals defense that suffocated the Rams offense all afternoon in a 31-7 victory over St. Louis.
Just five months ago, there was speculation of Hall moving to safety as a backup in case one of Cincinnati’s starting safeties suffered an injury. Hall took some snaps at safety during OTA’s, and he even remained open to a switch to safety if that was in Cincinnati’s best interest. He’s even listed as a strong safety on NFL.com.
With 450 career tackles, five forced fumbles, 12 run stuffs, 111 pass defenses, 26 interceptions (261 interception yards and three touchdowns), Leon Hall has compiled a stunning career. He is easily a top-five corner in Bengals history–right up there with players like Ken Riley, Lemar Parrish and Louis Breeden.
It’s great to see Hall earn this award, especially because he has been overlooked and underappreciated throughout his career. Hall has never earned Pro Bowl honors, despite a two-year stretch in 2009 and 2010 in which he recorded 115 tackles, four forced fumbles, 10 interceptions and 35 pass deflections. However, Hall earned second-team All Pro honors in 2009, and he made USA Today’s 2009 All-Joe Team, an honor given to players with standout play that has gone unrecognized. In addition, the veteran received the Ed Block Courage Award in 2012.
Leon Hall is still making plays at age 30, after suffering two Achilles tears. He’s the epitome of toughness, and he has been one of the best corners in the NFL throughout his career. It’s a shame that his career hasn’t received the recognition it deserves, but this award is a start.