First-round pick from 2007 draft returned to his starting RCB role in ’14, after a ’13 season in which he started strong but missed the last nine games due to right Achilles tear ... Already known for an exceptional work ethic in rehab, he was ready to practice at beginning of ’14 training camp and went on to start and play 15 games, plus the Wild Card playoff ... Had suffered a left Achilles tear in 2011, and stands as a rare example of player making a full comeback from tears on both sides ... Has 107 career Bengals played and 101 starts, plus three more starts in postseason play ... Has 24 career INTs, fifth in Bengals history and one short of fourth-place Lemar Parrish ... 119 career passes defensed ... Made key plays in late season in 2012 drive to playoffs, and in the playoff game.
Career transactions: Selected by Cincinnati in first round of 2007 NFL Draft (18th overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 7-28-07 ... Signed contract extension with Bengals on 9-2-11.
2014 highlights: Started at RCB for Games 1-8 and 10-16, and inactive for Game 9 (concussion) ... Also started Wild Card playoff ... In regular season, logged 67 tackles (two for-loss), an INT, eight passes defensed and one QB hit ... Six tackles Sept. 14 vs. Atlanta, and his two passes defensed included INT of Matt Ryan pass deflected by LB Vontaze Burfict at Falcons 40 in the third quarter, setting up TD drive for a 24-3 lead ... Four tackles and a passed defensed on Oct. 19 at Indianapolis, before leaving game with lower back strain ... Tied for team lead with seven tackles on Oct. 26 vs. Baltimore ... Returned from game missed due to concussion on Nov. 16 at New Orleans and logged five tackles ... Tied for secondary lead with four tackles, and also recorded a pass defensed, on Nov. 23 at Houston ... Six tackles and a pass defensed on Dec. 7 vs. Pittsburgh ... Three tackles and a QB hit on Dec. 22 vs. Denver ... Had six tackles (one for-loss) and a pass defensed on Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh ... Two tackles and a pass defensed in Wild Card playoff on 1-4-15 at Indianapolis.
Joining a small club: Hall is one of only two Bengals players to score a defensive TD in postseason. In the 2012 season Wild Card playoff at Houston, his 21-yard INT return for a TD against Matt Schaub gave the Bengals a 7-6 lead before Houston came back to win 19-13. The only other Bengals defender to score a TD in postseason was S Neal Craig, whose 45-yard INT at Miami in a 1973 season Divisional game was the first TD of any kind in Bengals postseason history.
More from 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 on Sept. 23 at Seattle, against 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 won 14-0). 2009—Tied for team lead with career-high six INTs, tied for second in AFC, as Bengals won AFC North title ... Led team in passes defensed (career-high 27) ... Two forced fumbles ... Had the most special teams tackles (seven) of any regular starter ... 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 Ravens’ 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 on 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 on 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 on 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 left 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 ... Fourth-quarter INT helped seal Bengals win Oct. 16 vs. Indianapolis ... One INT, one tackle and two passes defensed Nov. 13 vs. Pittsburgh before leaving in second quarter with Achilles injury. 2012—Started 14 games at RCB (Games 1-2 and 5-16) ... Inactive for Games 3-4, due to a calf strain suffered Sept. 16 vs. Cleveland ... Kept improving as he distanced himself from 2011 Achilles injury and made big plays down the stretch ... His INT turned momentum in Week 14 win at Philadelphia, as his 44-yard return of a Nick Foles pass set up go-ahead TD in third quarter ... His 17-yard pick-six off Ben Roethlisberger in Week 15 at Pittsburgh was Bengals’ only TD in playoff-clinching 13-10 win, giving Cincinnati 7-0 lead in first quarter ... In Wild Card playoff on 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. 2013—Started five games (Games 1-3 and 6-7) at RCB ... Inactive for Games 4-5, due to hamstring strain suffered Sept. 22 vs. Green Bay ... Suffered Achilles injury in first quarter of Game 7, Oct. 20 at Detroit, and placed on Reserve/Injured list prior to Game 8 ... Closed his season with 20 tackles, one INT and seven passes defensed ... Was tied for team lead in passes defensed through the six games he fully played ... On Sept. 8 at Chicago, logged a secondary-high seven tackles and two passes defensed ... Intercepted an Aaron Rodgers pass at Bengals five during fourth-quarter comeback on Sept. 22 vs. Green Bay, and had three total passes defensed.
Ed Block winner: The Bengals named Hall as the team recipient of the 2012 season 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.
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 three children (Leon Jr., Christien Blake and Graham Alexander) ... General studies major at Michigan ... Active in community service with Bengals, and has established the Leon Hall Foundation ... Favorite hobbies are golf and traveling.
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.