Deiondre’ Hall is just glad to get back on a football field.
After a frustrating rookie season in which he missed eight games with an ankle injury and a tumultuous offseason that included an arrest for disorderly conduct in a bar fight and a position change from cornerback to safety, Hall is fortunate to still be a Bear and eager to re-establish himself as a potential starter and restore his good name.
“Just getting back on the field is amazing,” Hall said after practice Tuesday at Halas Hall. “Just getting back in the swing of things. I haven’t played football in a while.”
The 6-2, 201-pound Hall, a fourth-round pick from Northern Iowa in 2016, is embracing the opportunity at safety after showing promise at cornerback before suffering a severe ankle injury in Week 4. But first he had to convince the Bears he was worth the trouble after being charged with three misdemeanors following an incident outside of a bar in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on March 25.
Hall was charged with disorderly conduct, public intoxication and interference with police. He indicated his role was not as an instigator and not as it has been portrayed.
“Wrong place at the wrong time,” Hall said.
But he learned a lesson.
“You’ve got to let people make their own mistakes,” he said. “Can’t worry about everybody else.”
Hall, 22, apologized to the Bears and is confident they’re satisfied with his explanation.
“I told [the Bears] the truth; that’s why I’m still here,” Hall said. “I told them exactly what happened. It was calming to know they had enough trust in me and what I’ve shown to keep me here.”
Hall still could face discipline by the NFL and the Bears pending adjudication of the incident.
“Anytime anything happens with our guys off the field, it’s disappointing,” coach John Fox said. “You like to see guys make the right decision all the time. The reality is it doesn’t really happen — especially with young people. We’re still rolling down that process, and it’s in the court’s hands.”
Despite the off-the-field issue and the challenge of a new position, Hall is upbeat about his prospects.
“Absolutely — probably even more so,” he said. “I’ve still got a lot to prove — not even to everyone else but to myself. To miss that [much] time [after] I was getting in that confident state — I want to get back to that and build from it.”
What does he have to prove?
“That I’m one of the best players out here,” Hall said. “You have to have that mentality. I’m the best one out here and keep building.”
Hall is not lacking confidence after a rookie year that proved to him that he could play in the NFL. He’s not afraid of getting lost in the shuffle in a crowded secondary because “the film should speak for itself.”
Hall’s size and college experience at safety made him a likely candidate to switch positions.
“It’s more about opportunity,” Fox said. “I saw that he was a football player. I like the way he’s wired, the way he’s worked.”
The challenge for Hall is in “understanding the X’s and O’s,” he said. “I have a general understanding of the defense. Now it’s going even more in depth at safety, understanding what my corners are doing, where my linebackers are dropping to, who’s blitzing and where my help is.
‘‘Football’s football — it’s going to come to you as long as you play fast. But knowing where you need to go and where other people need to be is most important.”
Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.