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Panthers defensive end Daeshon Hallís in for comeback season
Recovered from knee injury, he's ready to contribute
 
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 12:03 pm
by Herbert L. White

PHOTO | CAROLINA PANTHERS
Carolina Panthers defensive end Daeshon Hall, who missed all but one game as a rookie in 2017, is back for another go. Hall was a third-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Daeshon Hall’s rookie season with the Carolina Panthers didn’t last long.


The defensive end played nine snaps in the season-opener against San Francisco before a knee injury in practice the next week forced him to injured reserve. It was a new experience for Carolina’s third-round draft pick, as was the way he handled what amounted to a redshirt year.

“I’d never really been hurt before,” Hall said. “My knee, it is what it is. I just soaked things up, got myself better, got my body right and stronger and I took a year to understand the playbook as fast as possible.

As devastating as missing virtually an entire season is, Hall turned  down time into a learning experience. The year was lost, but the personal and professional growth proved valuable.

“When I was hurt last year, of course I was disappointed, but it’s part of the game,” he said. “In football, there’s injuries when it comes to the game, but it was positive last year. I got a chance to sit back and watch the vets and they brought me under their wings.

“I got familiar with the playbook and how we play football as a D-line for the Carolina Panthers. It was a blessing to be hurt, even though I didn’t want to be hurt. I got a chance to learn a lot of things and I feel good coming into the OTAs and minicamp.”

Hall, who is 6-5 and weighs 265 pounds – scrawny for a defensive end – is raring to go. He soaked up knowledge on professionalism and tactics from veterans such as franchise sacks leader Julius Peppers, which Hall is eager to put into practice.

“Usually in college, you can beat people with pure talent, but at this level you’ve got to be more technical-savvy,” Hall said. “Coach [Eric] Washington and coach Sam [Mills III] helped me along the way and the vets helped me along the way. I learned a lot, and I’m putting things together now.”

Expectations follow Hall, who the Panthers are counting on to develop as viable support for Peppers and Mario Addison, their most consistent pass rusher over the last couple of seasons.

“There’s a group of these young guys who need to step up and he’s part of that group,” coach Ron Rivera said. “Last year’s draft class can be a big part of what we do going forward. Daeshon has that kind of ability. He’s long, he’s lean, he’s got a good first step; he’s got good hand usage. He’s a young man who can help impact our defense, and hopefully we can get some good out of him.”

Although Hall is virtually a rookie in terms of games played, he does have a year of learning the nuances and routine of the NFL. Part of that process involved improving his training and conditioning as well as becoming a better student.

“Any time you put a guy on IR, that’s pretty much how you’ve got to look at it,” Rivera said. “You get an opportunity to learn, and what we try to do is make sure these young guys are around. We don’t want them to take off. We want them to be around and be a part of what we’re doing so they get a sense and a feel for what it’s like for a full year even though they’re not on the field.”

Now that he’s back on the practice field, Hall has an opportunity to make an impact. His goal is to prove worthy of consideration when training camp opens next month in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

“Whatever my team needs me to do – special teams, being an every-down guy, third-down guy,” he said. “I’m willing to do whatever to make this team better.”

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