Another Bengals veteran is gone. Leon Hall has decided to sign with the New York Giants.
Cincinnati Bengals fans will either love the situation or curse owner Mike Brown again. With the recent injury suffered by William Jackson III, the Bengals were looking to add a veteran presence to the secondary. Ideally, that experience was to come from former cornerback Leon Hall. His signing with the New York Giants effectively ended all hope.
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Hall becomes the second piece of the Bengals talented 2015 secondary to take a walk. Reggie Nelson decided to test the free agent waters and found a new home with the Oakland Raiders. With the vets leaving and not looking back, will the Bengals secondary face a challenge? Of course, they will. But, it’s not the end of time as we know it.
The Bengals may have anticipated a snag with Hall’s re-signing. Jimmy Wilson was brought aboard and has been forgotten, in the madness that is training camp. He has a history with defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle. The system run by the Dolphins—during Coyle’s stint as D-coordinator—is the same scheme used by the Bengals. The only things different are some tweaks and new terminology.
Can Wilson replace Hall? That’s up to Paul Guenther and the coaching staff. So far, Wilson has been in the mix for a safety spot. The battle is intense. But, his versatility could land him a spot on the roster.
“I can cover, I’m a bigger nickel, I’m a quicker safety,” Wilson said, via the Dayton Daily News. “And I do every special team well. I can block punts. I can cover kicks, cover punts. I can bring a lot of versatility to this team, and knowledge and leadership.”
Coyle likes what he sees in the Bengals new defensive back. He’s quick and smart. His playing time in the Miami secondary went from 585 snaps (2012) to 781 (2014).
Wilson may not be the immediate answer, but he’s an option. Hall would have been a great mentor for the Bengals’ new faces in the secondary. Bengals brass did make an insurance move. They re-signed Corey Tindal.