All throughout training camp, one young Buccaneer turning heads on a consistent basis has been undrafted free agent wide receiver Rannell Hall.
The rookie’s taken advantage of this past month’s opportunities by showcasing both his speed and ability to catch the football, picking up periodic praise from head coach Lovie Smith and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter along the way.
“He’s an undrafted free agent that seems like every day he’s practiced he’s done something that we’ve liked,” Smith said after Saturday’s final training camp practice.
But when Tampa Bay strapped it up last weekend for its preseason opener in Minnesota, Hall was one of six Buccaneers that didn’t see the field.
Pregame reports were that Hall was dealing with a hamstring issue and Smith reiterated that yesterday. The former UCF Knight, however, said that while he felt ready and able to debut last week, it just has him more amped up to run out onto the field Monday night at Raymond James Stadium.
“I’m a full-go,” Hall said yesterday. “I’m in perfect condition. I wasn’t even hurt last game. It’s always upsetting, being a competitor, but everything happens for a reason. I feel like the team went out there and did pretty well. We came up short in the game but there are always things to learn from.
“I’m just excited for this upcoming game Monday against Cincinnati.”
In his four years in Orlando, “Speedy” Hall accumulated 2,051 yards and nine touchdowns on 145 receptions, 264 yards and two touchdowns on 43 rushing attempts and 2,083 yards on 82 kick returns (25.4 average).
Competition at receiver is as deep as any position on the team this year and Hall is one of 11 in camp currently. Locks to make the final 53-man roster are Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy. Rookies Kenny Bell (fifth round) and Kaelin Clay (sixth round) also have a leg up on other newcomers by virtue of their selections in this past spring’s draft.
That would leave Hall competing for limited position slots with Robert Herron (second year), Adam Humphries (rookie), Tavarres King (third year) Donteea Dye (rookie) and Russell Shepard (third year).
As of Sunday, players have a little over a week and two more preseason games to make their cases before all NFL teams must cut their 90-man rosters down to a maximum of 75 by 4 p.m. on Sept. 1.
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