Eagles Had Been Scouting WR Hall Closely for Years
On Thursday, the Eagles made an interesting move that brought young receiver Chad Hall to the team via a 3-year contract. The player’s name had been virtually extinct in the world of football for the last two years, for he had been serving as a lieutenant at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, but still drew interest from the Birds’ organization and finally got his chance to pursue an NFL career when he arrived in Philadelphia earlier in the week and signed a deal. Now that he’s on the team, his background and path to get where he’s currently at was revealed a bit more in detail, and there are strong indications showing that the Eagles have been closely watching and scouting Hall for years.
Once a dangerous offensive star for Air Force Academy in which he set school records and played a variety of positions–notably Running Back and Wide Receiver–Hall (pictured) planned to enter the NFL, but when opportunities arose in the governmental/military field, he pounced on them. The player lacks ideal size for a star at the professional level, but has proven to be a valuable contributor to both offensive and special teams units. He was the only player in the entire collegiate league during the 2007 season to lead his respective club in rushing, receiving, and all-purpose yards; his planned lifestyle as an NFL player was put on hold when he went to serve at the Air Force Base, however.
At the time he was playing ball, the Eagles had a small group of personnel examining game tape of plays he was involved in, and then even had an individual Draft report written up for Hall prior to the 2008 season. Once he turned to a role in the military, many teams seemed to fade away from the idea of adding him to their roster if/when he would be ready to play again. However, Philadelphia held on to their information on him and eventually found the time earlier this offseason to schedule a workout with the WR. At some point in time, Hall was confirmed to have gone through a series of practice routines and tests at the NovaCare Complex in Philly, and finally agreed to a contract with the organization this week.
Anthony Patch, the Eagles’ assistant director of college scouting, is credited with most of the team’s decisioning to watch Hall closely and come to terms on a deal with him. Ryan Grisgon, the club’s player personnel leader, said so himself: “Patch was the main player in this. He was our ‘eye’ out there…he has enough eye confidence to shrug off the fact that the kid hadn’t played in two years. Patch trusted what he saw and he came across loud and clear with his passion about it and got us all fired up.”
“His short-area drills, all the footballs he caught, he did exceptionally well. He looked really good,” said Patch himself. “His three-cone drill time was probably one of the fastest I’ve ever timed [6.36 seconds], his 60-yard shuttle was good [10.70] and his short shuttle [4.0] was strong. As a return guy, his vertical speed isn’t at the level of somebody like a Darren Sproles [of the Chargers] or Mike Logan [from the Steelers], but his short-area speed is outstanding with those times.”
GM Howie Roseman also made some comments on the addition of Hall and how the organization truly believes he has a shot at making the final roster for the 2010 season: “After watching the tape, we saw his quickness, his athletic ability, his toughness and his hands. We’ve had some success here with quick, smaller guys, and so we decided to take a look…we would not bring anyone in here unless we thought he had a legitimate shot to make the roster and make us a better football team. We don’t believe in the term ‘camp body.’ We want everyone to have a legitimate chance to make the roster.”
The acquisition of Chad Hall remains interesting nonetheless, and it seems as if his competition at whichever position he ends up playing will surely be entertaining as the offseason progresses and more players are added and removed from the team. It’s also quite intriguing to know that the Eagles had been watching him closely over the past few years and had originally looked into making a move for him prior to his military career.