A first-round pick in 2007 draft, Hall returned to starting RCB role in ’12 after missing final seven games of ’11 with an Achilles tear, the first serious injury of his career ... Kept improving as he distanced himself from the injury and had two key INTs during stretch drive for the playoffs, plus a pick-six in playoff game ... Had key INT to turn momentum in Week 14 win at Philadelphia, and his 17-yard pick-six in Week 15 at Pittsburgh was Cincinnati's only TD in playoff-clinching 13-10 win ... Scored only Bengals TD in playoff loss at Houston ... Tied for second on team in passes defensed (11) ... In his first four seasons, led team in INTs three times and tied for team lead once ... Over his Bengals tenure, leads team in INTs (22) and passes defensed (105) ... Now stands fifth on Bengals all-time INT list, after passing CB Tory James on Dec. 23 at Pittsburgh.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Selected by Cincinnati in first round of 2007 NFL Draft (18th overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 7-28-07 ... On 9-2-11, signed four-year contract extension (through 2015) with Cincinnati.
ED BLOCK WINNER: The Bengals named Hall as the team recipient of the 2012 Ed Block Courage Award. The award honors one player from each NFL team who shows “commitment to the values of sportsmanship and courage.” Hall’s 2011 season was cut short when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Game 9, but his intense rehabilitation efforts sped his recovery, so he was able to open the ’12 training camp on time, well ahead of the initial forecast. “Leon set a great example of what it takes to be able to overcome a challenge, which was recognized by his teammates in being selected to represent the club for this award,” said Paul Sparling, Bengals head athletic trainer.
2012 RECAP: Started 14 games at RCB (Games 1-2 and 5-16) ... Inactive for Games 3-4, due to calf strain suffered Sept. 16 vs. Cleveland ... Totaled 43 tackles, with two INTs and 11 passes defensed (tied for second on team) ... Led team in passes defensed (two) Sept. 16 vs. Cleveland, and tied for secondary lead in tackles (eight) ... On Dec. 13 at Philadelphia, had game’s key play when he intercepted a Nick Foles pass at Cincinnati 16 in third quarter and returned it 44 yards, setting up Bengals go-ahead TD drive ... On Dec. 23 at Pittsburgh, intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass and returned it 17 yards for 7-0 lead in first quarter ... In Wild Card playoff 1-5-13 at Houston, scored on 21-yard INT return of Matt Schaub pass to give Bengals 7-6 lead in second quarter ... Also at Houston, posted 13 tackles ... Started all four preseason games at RCB as he completed comeback from 2011 Achilles injury.
PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2007—Played in every Bengals game as a rookie, with 10 starts, and led team with five INTs, tying Bengals rookie record set previously by S Tommy Casanova, CB Ray Horton and LB Odell Thurman ... Also tied for NFL’s ’07 rookie lead in INTs ... Ranked fourth on Bengals in tackles (career-best 85), leading secondary ... Started in NFL debut Sept. 10 vs. Baltimore, subbing for injured RCB Johnathan Joseph, and had five tackles and two passes defensed ... Snagged first NFL INT Sept. 23 at Seattle, against QB Matt Hasselbeck ... On Nov. 11 at Baltimore, intercepted a deflected Steve McNair pass in end zone just before halftime, preserving 6-0 lead in eventual Bengals win.
2008—Posted team-best totals of 26 passes defensed and three INTs ... Led DBs in tackles (84) for the second straight year ... Named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for performance Dec. 21 at Cleveland, when he made all three of his INTs, tying Bengals game record and scored on a 50-yard return ... His TD return at Cleveland gave Bengals a 7-0 lead on a cold, blustery day when offensive scores were tough to come by (Bengals went on to win 14-0).
2009—Tied for team lead with career-high six INTs, tied for second in AFC ... Led team in passes defensed (career-high 27) and had 73 tackles, ranked sixth on team ... Tied for team lead in forced fumbles on defense (two) ... Had the most special teams tackles (seven) of any regular starter ... His 11 solo tackles Oct. 18 vs. Houston were most by a Bengal on the year ... On Oct. 4 at Cleveland, forced a Jerome Harrison fumble that teammate Robert Geathers returned 75 yards for a TD ... On Oct. 11 at Baltimore, intercepted a Joe Flacco pass at Bengals 17 with four seconds left to end Baltimore's last comeback bid ... On Oct. 25 vs. Chicago, had two INTs (48 yards in returns) ... Seven tackles and an end-zone pass defensed in key win Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh, when Steelers were held to three-for-15 on third-down conversions ... On Dec. 13 at Minnesota, intercepted a Brett Favre pass ... Logged his sixth INT Dec. 27 vs. Kansas City, with leaping grab at Bengals 19 to kill Chiefs last offensive threat as Bengals clinched division title ... Posted seven tackles in Wild Card playoff 1-9-10 vs. N.Y. Jets.
2010—On Sept. 19 vs. Baltimore, intercepted a Joe Flacco pass in third quarter, with 22-yard return ... Recorded INT in second straight game Sept. 26 at Carolina, picking off Jimmy Clausen at Bengals five to thwart Carolina scoring threat ... Recorded an INT in his third straight game Oct. 3 at Cleveland, intercepting Seneca Wallace in second quarter at Cleveland 37 ... Six tackles, four passes defensed (Bengals game high for the season) and an INT Oct. 24 at Atlanta ... Four tackles Nov. 8 vs. Pittsburgh, and had two forced fumbles, including FF from Hines Ward at Pittsburgh 39 in second quarter, recovered by Bengals and leading to TD drive.
2011—Ended season with 38 tackles and fumble recovery, and despite missing final seven games, still ranked tied for second on team in both INTs (two) and passes defensed (10) ... Missed Games 10-16 due to Achilles tear suffered Dec. 13 vs. Pittsburgh ... Injury brought end to streaks of 74 consecutive games played (including postseason) and 66 starts, which both had been current team bests ... Tied for team lead with three passes defensed Sept. 11 at Cleveland, including batted ball in end zone that helped force Browns to settle for FG ... Returned fumble Sept. 18 at Denver 10 yards to Broncos 41, setting up FG ... Fourth-quarter INT helped seal Bengals win Oct. 16 vs. Indianapolis ... Eight tackles (led secondary, second on team) Oct. 30 at Seattle ... One INT, one tackle and two passes defensed Nov. 13 vs. Pittsburgh before leaving in second quarter with Achilles injury.COLLEGE:Played four seasons (2003-06) at Michigan, and was a consensus ’06 All-American ... Left Wolverines with school record for career passes defensed (43) and ranked tied for fourth in INTs (12) ... Was finalist as a senior for NCAA’s Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back) and Bronko Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player) ... Set UM record with 83-yard fumble return (for TD) as a junior in 2005.
PERSONAL: Hometown is Vista, Calif. ... Played CB, WR and QB at Vista High School, earning All-America honors from SuperPrep and PrepStar, and also lettered in track ... Married (wife Jessica) with a son, Leon. Jr. ... General studies major at Michigan.
Leon Hall, the Bengals throwback cornerback who doesn’t have a Twitter account or dabble on Facebook, talks about himself in the missing person instead of the nauseating third or the relentless first.
Former Michigan Wolverine and current Bengals CB Leon Hall joins "NFL AM" to discuss the NCAA basketball championship game and the Bengals 2013 defense.