August 29, 2009

Hall ready for his shot

Georgia Tech defensive end Robert Hall has waited patiently for three years to get his shot as a starting defensive end. Hall is now one week away from fulfilling one of his goals, but he has a lot more on his mind than just starting. Jacketsonline caught up with the talented defensive end to find out how he is preparing for the challenges of being a starter and leader of the Jackets' defense.

You are a week away from starting and being the guy finally. What are your thoughts about that?

"Finally, I have been waiting in the ranks for three years and now is my time to step up."

Are you excited about showing the world what you and Derrick Morgan can do and that there is no let down from last year at the defensive end position?

"Yes definitely. It is not our job to prove the doubters wrong, but we want to show everyone that our defense is as sound as it has ever been without those returning starters from last year. As far as the defensive line goes, we are just as sound if not better than last year's team."

What was the biggest thing you needed to work on to get ready for the season?

"I focused a lot on passing rushing this summer. I did a lot of pass rush drills. I also worked on getting my hands better, so I could get a better pass rush."

How different is the preparation for a full game versus the 20 to 30 snaps a game you got last year?

"It is probably a couple of pounds by the end of the game. Obviously it will be a lot more strenuous and taxing on the body, but this is my time and that is all I can say."

How much do you think it will help having been in the rotation last year in terms of adjusting yourself for a significant jump in snaps?

"I coaches have done a great job of incorporating us and getting us snaps in the camps and throughout the year. I feel like that is a tremendous help heading into this year given the fact I got 30 snaps a game last year. I always felt like I belonged on the field and that I was a pseudo starter."

How are the guys behind you looking?

"Izaan Cross is looking really good and we have a lot of depth. We have a lot of guys this year with 18 defensive linemen. We have pretty good depth."

Does seeing all those guys other there push you even harder in practice?

"I want to be a role model and show them the ropes because that is how I learned how to play hard and play fast. I am trying to show them the right way to do it and how to do it fast."

Did anybody take you under their wing when you were coming up?

"Definitely, as a defensive lineman we all say that we are family, so who ever comes in we always take them in and show them the ropes before hand and throughout the summer to help them get acclimated. By using that process you help the whole team and they don't have that lag of having to learn everything."

Who is someone you are trying to help make that adjustment to college and to college football?

"I would say all of them because they are all eager to learn. We all have little study sessions over camp and stuff like that. They are all really eager to learn so I have taken all of them under my wing."

What will the feeling be like when you run out there for that first game as a starter?

"It is going to be great and I cannot wait to hear all of the fans in a full stadium, I will be great."

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