On Thursday night, Deiondre' Hall found himself in his hotel room in South Philadelphia rooting on guys he had known for just a few days.
He was going crazy.
The Eagles traded a conditional seventh-round pick to get the safety on Sept. 1. A few days later, Hall was already fully invested in the Eagles’ season opener, even if he couldn’t be there.
Hall, 24, was suspended for the first game of the 2018 season for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That suspension followed Hall from Chicago and meant he was forced to watch the Eagles’ 18-12 win over the Falcons from his nearby hotel room.
“Seeing those guys go and ball out was crazy, especially in those last two minutes,” Hall said Monday afternoon. “I’m jumping and screaming at the TV.”
For the first time since joining the Eagles a little over a week ago, Hall will be allowed to practice with his new team this week. The safety, with a corner background, was once a fourth-round pick out of Northern Iowa.
He’s already fitting in.
“I came in and I haven’t stopped smiling since I’ve been here,” Hall said. “It’s a little different culture, but it’s a winning culture.”
It’s been helpful that he had a previous relationship with Eagles VP of player personnel Joe Douglas (it’s probably why he’s here) and some members of the team, like cornerback De’Vante Bausby.
Oh yeah, he also knows the franchise quarterback.
Hall and Carson Wentz were frequent competitors during their college days, Hall at Northern Iowa and Wentz at North Dakota State. Including the Eagles-Bears game in 2016, Hall and Wentz have faced each other five times before.
Who has had the advantage?
“Wentz definitely did,” Hall said.
From 2012-15, Northern Iowa was 1-3 against North Dakota State. Add that to the Bears’ loss to the Eagles in 2016 and Hall is 1-4 lifetime against Wentz.
He’s pretty happy to be on the same team now.
“[Wentz] was one of the first faces I saw when I got in the building,” Hall said. “It was great to see him. We used to go up against each other all the time in college. Now to be teammates, that’s awesome.”
Hall is the Eagles’ fourth safety and he isn’t sure yet which special teams units he’ll be on. When Chris Maragos is ready to come off PUP and is healthy enough to play, the Eagles will have a decision to make.
It’ll be up to Hall to make it a tough one.