When the Bengals and Giants meet on Monday night, the reunion between Leon Hall and his team of nine years will be one of the biggest storylines. The former 18th-overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Michigan, Hall was one of the best cornerbacks in Bengals history. During his first four seasons in Cincinnati, Hall picked off 18 passes and deflected 71 as he and Johnathan Joseph became one of the NFL's best cornerback tandems. Hall spent nine seasons in Cincinnati, playing 121 games with 105 starts. During that time, he totaled 26 interceptions, 261 tackles, 113 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. Hall never recorded a sack in Cincinnati, something he has already done in half a season with the Giants.
Hall signed a one-year, $1,500,000 contract with the Giants this offseason, after reportedly nearly signing with the Bengals but having the deal fall through. On Monday night, Hall will surely be looking to help his new team to earn a win over his former team.
The former Bengal still has a great appreciation for the team he spent the bulk of his career with and the head coach he played under.
“That’s my guy,” Hall said of Marvin Lewis. “Obviously, I (was) there for a while. He was the coach since I got there. We do a lot of stuff in the community together. Definitely a good relationship there.”
Another connection among the two teams is the friendship between former LSU college teammates Jeremy Hill and Odell Beckham Jr. The Bengals running back and Giants wide receiver entered the league together in 2014 as second and first round picks respectively.
“Everything he’s gone through, I would never want that to be on my plate every week,” Hill told the Cincinnati Enquirer, referring to Beckham’s place in the spotlight and the criticism that comes with it. “But he’s done such a good job dealing with all those things, the media attention. Watching the Giants game is watching Odell play because the camera is on him non-stop. He does a good job dealing with it, and I’m proud of him for that.”
Hill will likely be looking to have a big game in front of his friend and former teammate.
Here are more of the notable connections between the Bengals and Giants.
Giants connections with Bengals:
- Giants cornerback Leon Hall was drafted by the Bengals in the first round, 18th overall, of the 2007 NFL Draft and played for the team from 2007-15.
- Giants OT Marshall Newhouse played for the Bengals in 2014.
- Giants QB Josh Johnson played for the Bengals in 2013 and was also with Cincinnati in the ’15 preseason.
Bengals connections with Giants:
- Bengals CB Chykie Brown played on the Giants in 2014 and during the 2015 preseason.
- Bengals DE Wallace Gilberry was signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2008, but was released before the regular season.
Giants connections with Ohio:
- Giants DT Johnathan Hankins played collegiately at Ohio State University (2010-12).
- Giants DE Owa Odighizuwa was born in Columbus, Ohio.
- Giants CB Eli Apple played at Ohio State University.
- Giants WR Roger Lewis Jr. was born in Pickerington, Ohio and attended Bowling Green St. University.
- Giants offensive line coach Mike Solari was the offensive line coach for the University of Cincinnati from 1981-82.
- Giants RB George Winn (practice squad) played for the University of Cincinnati.
- Giants QBs coach Mike Sullivan coached at Ohio University in 2001.
- Giants secondary/cornerbacks coach Tim Walton played DB at Ohio State and coached from 1995-99 at Bowling Green.
Bengals connections with NY/NJ area
- Bengals TE Tyler Kroft played at Rutgers University
- Bengals LS Clark Harris was born in Manahawkin, NJ and attended Rutgers University
- Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle is from Staten Island, NY.
- Bengals LB Vincent Rey is from Far Rockaway, NY.
- Giants DB Trevin Wade (2008-10) and Bengals CB Marquis Flowers (2010-12) attended Arizona together.
- Giants LB B.J. Goodson (2011-15) and Bengals DT DeShawn Williams (2011-14) attended Clemson together.
- Giants WR Tavarres King (2009-12) and Bengals S Shawn Williams (2009-11) attended Georgia together.
- Giants P Brad Wing (2010-12), WR Odell Beckham Jr. (2011-13) and Bengals HB Jeremy Hill (2012-13), WR James Wright (2010-13) attended LSU together.
- Giants LB Kelvin Sheppard (2006-10) and Bengals WR Brandon LaFell (2005-09) attended LSU together.
- Giants DE Romeo Okwara (2012-14) and Bengals CB KeiVarae Russell (2012-13) attended Notre Dame together.
- Giants TE Jerell Adams (2012-15) and Bengals C T.J. Johnson (2008-12) attended South Carolina together.
- Giants LB Devon Kennard (2009-13) and Bengals CB Josh Shaw (2012-14) attended USC together.
- Giants T Marshall Newhouse (2006-09) and Bengals QB Andy Dalton (2006-10) attended Texas Christian together.
- Giants LB Keenan Robinson (2008-11) and Bengals CB Chykie Brown (2007-10) attended Texas together.
- Giants LB Jonathan Casillas (2005-08) and G Kevin Zeitler (2008- 11) attended Wisconsin together.