Savvy veterans know how to lie in wait, then pounce on a potential job opening when their market becomes robust.
With the injury to Cincinnati Bengals jerseys first-round rookie William Jackson, suddenly the market for Leon Hall is heating up.
The free agent is meeting with the New York Giants on Wednesday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of his plans. It’s Hall’s second visit with Big Blue, after a stop over in May.
The news comes on the heels of Bengals coach Marvin Lewis acknowledging Tuesday that Cincinnati has had conversations with Hall and there is interest from both sides.
Hall had a solid 2015 campaign, including nine passes defensed and two interceptions. With three first-round corners in the pipeline, however, the Bengals decided to move on from the 31-year-old veteran who underwent back surgery this offseason. The injury to Jackson could change that.
The Giants could swoop in and snap up the veteran to solidify their defensive backfield first. In either destination Hall would be a depth addition. Big Blue paid Janoris Jenkins a ton of money this offseason, still has Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as a veteran leader and drafted Eli Apple in the first round.
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Cincinnati’s defense keyed on C.J. Anderson jersey and the ground game, forcing Siemian to make tough intermediate and downfield throws for the first time this season. After watching Siemian attempt fewer passes of 20 or more yards than any quarterback through two games, the Broncos made a concerted effort to get the ball to Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas with a chance to make plays. Siemian obliged, dialing up chain-moving throws to Sanders to go with touchdown bombs of 41 and 55 yards for Sanders and Thomas, respectively.
Jeremy Hill jersey gashed the heart of Denver’s defense for more rushing yards on the opening drive (65) than the Bengals had managed in either of the first two games. With the exception of a series of contested catches by A.J. Green, the offense went to sleep thereafter. A third-down drop by Green came back to haunt Cincinnati when Siemian responded to Andy Dalton’s 15-play field-goal drive with consecutive touchdown drives to pull away late in the fourth quarter.
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Broncos edge rusher Shane Ray, last year’s first-round draft pick, was already playing more snaps per game than veteran DeMarcus Ware. With Ware sidelined, Ray stayed on the field in obvious pass-rushing situations, tallying a career-high three sacks — including back-to-back sacks in a two-play sequence late in the third quarter. In the last five games going back to the 2015 playoffs, the Broncos have held Tom Brady, Cam Newton (twice), Andrew Luck and Dalton to a collective passer rating under 70.0.
Veteran cornerback Adam Jones was in the middle of the action. His fumble on a punt return led directly to Denver’s first touchdown, when Sanders burned Jones in coverage. He came back to force a fumble on Demaryius Thomas late in the third quarter of 16-14 game, but the Bengals were unable to capitalize.
The intermittent rain was a big factor in a game that featured at least eight drops and several blatant misfires. Roethlisberger did much of his damage during stretches in which the rain subsided. He stared at his throwing hand with annoyance after overthrowing Antonio Brown on one third down. Brown had one bad drop and was on the receiving end of a couple of cheap jerseys and errant Roethlisberger throws. Credit goes to the Bengals’ secondary for minimizing his damage, though. In four games since the start of last season, Brown has averaged six receptions, 73 yards and 0.25 touchdowns versus Cincinnati compared to 8.6 catches, 119 yards and 0.8 touchdowns versus the rest of the league.
Although emotions were kept in check throughout, the most intense rivalry of the past couple of years did produce one controversial call late in the game. Down eight points and driving with a chance to tie, Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd jersey lost a fumble on a hit from ageless linebacker James Harrison jersey. It appeared on replay that Boyd’s knee was down when the ball came loose, but the officials allowed the play to stand. That ruling effectively eliminated any chance of a Cincinnati comeback.
The Bengals will be tasked with getting their ground attack on track against Denver’s dominant defense in Week 3. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have combined to average a meager 3.2 yards per carry thus far. In fact, neither back has topped 40 rushing yards in a game. If Hill moved the chains versus the Broncos, defensive play-caller Wade Phillips will unleash his full squadron of vicious edge rushers led by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.