Breece Hall proves Jets are right past the draft: ‘Home hitter’
We have seen this before. We have seen how a snub – real or perceived – can serve as fuel. You may have heard that Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, and Brady essentially has the names of the six quarterbacks chosen ahead of him tattooed into his soul as an everlasting reminder of that reprimand.
Michael Jordan grew up to be perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time and the most famous athlete on planet earth. But he was cut from college at age 15 at Laney High School, and that scar was like kerosene, so much so that he referenced that coach in his Hall induction speech. of fame.
Breece Hall made no secret of how disappointed he was to hear 32 names in the first round of last spring’s draft that didn’t belong to him. Borrowing his coach’s famous line, the Jets rookie running back said last week — with a smile — « I definitely took receipts. »
More importantly, he chose to build on the positives of that experience — the Jets traded to pick him, after all, with the fourth pick in the second round, and they weren’t shy about saying they thought he was a first-round talent.
And there’s this: he’s been great so far.
« It’s a home run, » Jets coach Robert Saleh said Sunday. « There is no price for a home run. »
Sunday, in the Jets’ stunning 27-10 upset against the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Hall carried the ball 20 times for 116 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter, he took a transfer on an inside trap play, worked his way through and around the Packers defense for 34 yards and after crossing the goal line, he sprinted a few more yards to a forward holding pocket. Jets row fans.
A Jersey Jump in the land of Lambeau Leap.
« I had to do this, » Hall said with a laugh. « I had to. »
Hall later reported that he was supposed to throw the ball on the play, but when Garrett Wilson wasn’t open, he decided to keep it himself. Smart choice.
It’s not like Hall is an unknown commodity. At Iowa State, he led the nation in rushing in 2020, scoring 56 touchdowns in three seasons, including an NCAA-record 24-game touchdown streak. He’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry at Ames.
It was also his average on Sunday. Coming seven days after his breakout performance against the Dolphins last week — 197 total yards on 100 receptions and 97 rushing — he has certainly become one of the club’s early leaders as the NFL’s top offensive rookie.
He’s quickly become a dangerous offensive weapon in a team that’s been craving such firepower for years. He has a nose for holes, and it becomes like Pinocchio when he can sniff out the end zone. He already has four.
While Zach Wilson is still finding his footing as a foundational quarterback — after a slow start, Wilson went 10-for-18 for 110 yards — Hall has already accepted a huge chunk of the offensive burden and seems to be loving every moment of it.
When Hall returned to the sidelines after his touchdown, a smile plastered on his face, he passed Wilson sitting on the bench. The quarterback was also giddy.
« What is it, man! » Wilson sang, in a moment that might not make it into the alumni newsletter of his alma mater, BYU, but probably perfectly summed up the reaction of most Jets fans who watched the superb display.
« It’s great to win in a historic place like this, » Hall said. “We just played complementary football. All week we showed courage in training, our attack and our defense and it all continues until today. We have shown that we are relentless.
Hall has shown he’s definitely doing his part to ensure the Jets’ 2022 draft ends up being quite the game-changer that general manager Joe Douglas hoped it would be when he started piecing together picks. draft, Jamal Adams’ first domino of the trade that feels more and more like a franchise-defining decision as time goes on.
« We’re not satisfied, » Hall said. « A lot of people thought it would be a surprise, but we expected to win this game. »
It’s been an unlikely trip for the Jets so far. And for Hall? From a draft-day disappointment to a Lambeau Leap, it’s been quite an adventurous road for him, too.