Falcons ‘Confident’ in Young CB Set to Take Over Casey Hayward’s Role

Falcons

Getty Darren Hall of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons will be without starting cornerback Casey Hayward, who is on injured reserve, for a least the next four games.

That means another player will get an opportunity. In this case, it’s the second-year corner, Darren Hall.

Hall, 22, entered the league in 2021 after the Falcons selected the San Diego State product in the fourth round (108 overall) of the NFL Draft.

Hall didn’t see much action as a rookie, playing in 14 games and making one start. He ended the year with just 27 tackles, two for loss, one QB hit and three pass breakups.

Now, just six weeks into the season, Hall has logged nine tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two pass breakups.

“Darren is a guy that is in the second year in our program,” Falcons head coach Arthur Smith told reporters Wednesday, October 19. “We have a lot of confidence in Darren. I think he had a pretty good season up to this point. He had a really good camp.”


Hall Faces Tough Task vs. Cincy

On Sunday, we caught a glimpse of what Hall can do when his number is called.

He was able to keep the ball away from the hands of Niners’ wideouts Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel for a pair of pass deflections.

His outstanding performance didn’t go unnoticed by coach.

“We’re confident in our guys; guys stepped up and played really well – and Darren did,” Smith following the Falcons 28-14 win. “Darren’s had a good camp, and his number was called (Sunday). He made a huge play on that deep ball to Aiyuk; really good patience and body control (to) get up there and make that play.”

Taking down the San Francisco 49ers was not an easy job, but the Falcons face what might even tougher task in Week 7 when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals’ passing attack, which ranks eighth in the NFL.

However, according to Hall, every week is the same week.

“Every week is a big week in the NFL,” Hall said. “We are playing a competitive team every single week, so I’m going in there with the same mindset that we want to win another game. Go 1-0 every week.”


Hall Has Been Prepping For This Moment His Entire Life

Hall is well aware that Cincy’s receivers are some of the best in the league, featuring Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins.

“They have a good receiving corps,” Hall said. “We have DB corps. We are both young. Going out there and playing within the scheme of the defense this week.”

To Hall though, he’s been prepping for whoever is on the other side of the ball since he started playing ball.

“It’s just football,” Hall said. “I’ve been playing football my whole life. So, going out there and playing within the confines of the defense. Doing my job.”

Smith isn’t the only one confident in Hall. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees is on the same page.

“The good thing about Darren, going into the games in earlier games, going in for a few plays for Casey or somebody, got him ready to play last week,” Pees said on Thursday. “When he went in last week it wasn’t like the first time that he’d been in all year….. I’ve got total confidence in Darren Hall.”

 

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