March 25, 2017

Hall: “Just coming to work”

Defensive lineman Bryan Hall as a member of the Toronto Argonauts in 2016 (Photo by Johany Jutras)

Stamps newcomer Bryan Hall was a guest on News Talk 770 this week. Here are highlights of what the fourth-year defensive lineman out of Arkansas State had to say during the on-air interview:

On the process leading up to his signing with the Red and White:

I talked to the defensive coordinator – Coach Claybrooks – and Coach Mace and Coach Dickenson and those guys expressed a lot of interest in me. We talked and they gave me the vision of where they see me playing in this defence. I’m looking for the opportunity to come in and play and they obviously have the confidence in me to come in and produce. This is a championship team. I’m just trying to play my part to a Grey Cup this year.

On joining a team that fell just short of a championship in 2016:

Those guys have chips on their shoulder. And with me coming off of my season – if you thought (Calgary’s) season was disappointing, you should check out what the Argos had to go through last year. It was a very disappointing season. We had a lot of expectations going into that season and it just didn’t work out. Every year is different. In Calgary, I know what they’ve done. But it’s all about what you’re going to do with your next step. I just want to come in and help the team continue to win.

On his single season as a member of the Argonauts:

Toronto was a great time. The city was wonderful. It was definitely tough, especially with some of the (smaller) crowds and getting people involved. But I believe in Mr. (Michael) Copeland (the Argos’ president and CEO) and I believe those guys will turn the corner. They’ve got Jim Popp in there now, Marc Trestman, Corey Chamblin . . . they’ve got big-name guys who’ve had a lot of success in the CFL and hopefully it translates (into success).

On expectations for the Stamps in 2017:

It’s a nine-team league. Any team can get hot. I can’t go out there (and assume) we’ll be great. We have to work towards it every day. It’s like right now with my training. What am I doing to help secure a Grey Cup? The extra sets, the extra reps. Whatever it takes. I’m just coming in to work. I’ve been to the Grey Cup and came up short. I’ve been to the Eastern Final and came up short. And I’ve been (in a season) where we weren’t able to go to the playoffs. Those are my three seasons in the CFL right there. I’m hungry and I’m just waiting to take that next step.

On waiting more than a month after the start of free agency before finding a team:

There were definitely interested teams but at the end of the day, it was just finding the right opportunity. Those may not come up at the beginning. I wanted to play on my own terms and have the right opportunity, and it just so happened to be with the Calgary Stampeders.

On the person he knows best in the Stamps locker room:

One of my homeboys – I’ve known him since high school – is Micah Johnson. We played against each other in high school and we played on all-star teams together. I called him up the day before I signed. We’re excited. He’s a CFL all-star and I’m trying to get where he’s at. We’ll be able to work and build with each other.