Carlos Hall: A New Dimension on Defense

Of all of the new faces the Chiefs added to their defense during the off season, no one flew under the radar screen as much as defensive end Carlos Hall. The Chiefs were fortunate to acquire Hall from the Titans through a trade that only cost them a 5th round pick. Now if things work out the way the Chiefs hope they do, then Hall will end up being the steal of the off season.

Hall first made a name for himself as a rookie when he took over duties for an injured Jevon Kearse in Tennessee. That season Hall went on the play in 15 games where he recorded 42 tackles and lead the team in sacks with 8. If you ask Hall he will tell you that his rookie season became the catalyst for where he is as a player today. "That was really the turning point of my career" said Hall. "I took that opportunity and went forward."

Since his sack laden rookie season Hall has been known primarily as a speed rusher. Though he has a strong burst with quickness around the edge you shouldn't mistake him for simply a pass rush specialist. Hall considers himself to be a four down player who despite his size can come up big in the running game.

"I can play any down, I can play the run as well as I can play the pass" said Hall. Don't let my size fool you; I am not afraid of contact. On the defensive line that is what it is all about just putting you hat in there and being physical. If you are a physical guy you will make it on the defensive line so I think that is what gave me my edge."

When Hall does pin his ears back and rush the passer he has a secret weapon at his disposal that is bound to surprise anyone attempting to block him. That weapon is the bull rush and it happens to be the most difficult pass rush technique to employ because it takes the perfect mixture of speed, leverage, and power. Hall does it so well because he has mastered using his long arms and powerful lower body to his advantage.

"A lot of guys don't think I am as powerful as I am, a lot of guys are scared of my speed and I use that to my advantage" said Hall. "When guys try to get back and try to cut me off real fast it gives me a chance to run over them. A lot of guys don't expect that because a lot of ends like myself rarely use a bull rush. I have no problem bull rushing because I am a physical guy, a tough guy, and I do catch the offensive linemen off guard when I do it."

Unfortunately Hall has seen limited action thus far in training camp due to a strained tendon in his elbow. Still, that hasn't dampened Hall's expectations for himself or defense. Like the rest of the players on defense, Hall refuses to set the bar at mediocrity regardless of how well the offense performs. "That's not what our goal is, we don't want to get to the middle of the pack and say we have improved a little bit, we want to be the best."

Now if Hall expects this defense to be one of the best in the league you have to wonder where it is right now compared to some of the good Titans defenses he has been a part of. Surprisingly enough, according to Hall, the Chiefs grade out ahead of the curve. "When we went to the AFC Championship game in Tennessee we were loaded with good players. But we have a lot more players in this defense now than we had on the AFC Championship team in Tennessee so I am looking for big things. I don't know what you guys (the media) are saying or what you guys think, but I am looking for big things to happen for the defense, this offense, and this team."

According to Hall he can already see the tell tale signs that this team is becoming something special. "The camaraderie is coming together; everybody is committed to coming out and practicing real hard. Everybody wants to win and everybody wants to work. This is a tough business, it is tough out it here, it is hot out here, and guys are out here giving it up for the team. Once you see guys practicing like that you know that the guys want it and that is when you have a great chance of winning."

For Hall that's what it's all about. He had success in Tennessee and he knows the importance of being a tight nit group defensively. The defense gave a taste of their new attitude on the offense on Wednesday Night when they did some real hitting. It ruffled a few feathers but nonetheless it was an important statement for them to make for themselves.

"We have a lot of things going good for us and it is all about being a brotherhood, putting it all out there and being one," Hall said.

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