The NFL is an ever-adapting league and the Baltimore Ravens know that they must adapt just like every other NFL team if they want to win football games. Adapting doesn't just stop at the team level, players must adapt as well and DT Bryan Hall is doing just that by losing 45 pounds in the process.
Why such a drastic weight loss? Hall was given the suggestion by Head Coach John Harbaugh this offseason to shed some weight and make the move to inside linebacker, and Bryan listened.
Hall has used a strict diet and training regiment to shed the weight and is feeling like a new man.
“It’s going good, I’m finally feeling like a linebacker now,” Hall said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “I got my weight all the way down. At minicamp, I was basically still a defensive lineman playing linebacker and learning the game. Now that I’ve got all my weight off, it’s time to work."
The move was likely suggested by Harbaugh for two main reasons, one of which, of course, is the wide open competition at inside linebacker, whereas the second reason would be the vast improvement made to the defensive line via free agency and the draft, which would leave Hall out in the cold.
By switching to inside linebacker, Hall is giving himself the best chance at making the 53 man roster because he would have been so deep on the depth chart on the defensive line that he would have been practice squad bound.
“Running is easy, but I’ve got to get back and know where I’m going to be and where to cover,” Hall said. “Now that I’ve done that, I’m going to be flying around pretty fast.”
Moves like this have happened in the past and panned out. Arizona Cardinals linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player, made the move after several stops during his NFL career as a defensive tackle. Alexander showcased himself while with the Washington Redskins as a linebacker and on special teams.
Hall is now listed at 255 pounds, a far cry from the 300 pounds he was listed at last year and has played linebacker in his past. Bryan was a linebacker in high school, but grew into a defensive lineman while in college at Arkansas State.
It is tough to imagine a scenario (barring catastrophic injuries) that would land Hall as a starter out of training camp, but if he can make the 53 man roster, he could certainly see some time on the field and gain some experience to help both the Ravens and himself for following seasons.
Only time will tell if the move will benefit Hall this season, but in the long run you have to believe this was the right choice for Hall both in football and in life as well. It has to be much healthier for a guy of his stature to be at 255 pounds as opposed to 300.
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