Matt Waldman’s RSP Film Room examines the game of Iowa State’s Breece Hall, a running back who sometimes makes it look too easy, which begs the question: If it all comes easy to him, will the demands of the NFL be too hard?
Breece Hall is a nightmare to opposing defenses. While a big enough back to carry the load between the tackles, Hall’s gliding acceleration is so smooth that it’s deceptively breath-taking. A lot like Nick Chubb, Hall seemingly teleports in five yard increments past pursuit angles that should have him dead to rights.
But Hall is a different style of runner than Chubb. He glides like former NFC Central (yes, Central) speedsters Robert Smith and Matt Forte and like Forte, Hall can change the axis of pursuit angles with cuts across the grain at the second level of the defense.
Hall also has footwork that gives older fans flashbacks of some of the things Gayle Sayers did to thrill fans in the 1960s — isolated moves that we’ve more recently seen from LeSean McCoy in his prime.
Hall makes it look so easy that there are moments one could wonder if it’s too easy for him — a justifiable reaction when considering where Hall needs work with his game. I had the opportunity to do some film consulting for the quarterback trainer working with Hall’s teammate Brock Purdy during the offseason and after watching Hall’s pass protection, I joked to myself that I should tell the trainer to tell Purdy that he’ll discover that running backs will block for you in the NFL.
Hall’s pass-catching technique, although capable, also has room for improvement. He dropped a potentially game-changing target against Oklahoma during the final drive and it was due to a common lapse with a detail.
The great players execute the smallest details. Hall can be great because a lot of the details he exhibits appear as if they come easy to him. If the reason it appears this way has to do with Hall working tirelessly to the poit that you can’t see the seams in those strengths, then it’s only a matter of time before Hall irons out his addressable flaws and becomes a star.
If the reason his strengths appear seamless is because it came easy to him, the NFL may pose enough of a challenge that he’ll have to work tirelessly for the first time in his football life. As with many individuals who display great talent at the earlier stages of their life path, the prospect of disciplined work could pose a obstacle that could turn this nightmare for defenders into a personal nightmare for Hall.
Cheers to the thought that Hall can also make hard work look easy. If so, he’ll be a dream for the team that selects him this spring.
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