Q: Hey Leon, I've loved watching you play. My question: how aware of this subreddit are the players, and do they ever go on here for laughs? Some people on here are pretty mean, so I low key hope y'all don't pay much attention to the more negative posts. But do players ever go here to see what these fans are saying?
Leon Hall: You know, that I don't know. I'm pretty sure there are a handful of players that go on here. I don't. I always try to steer clear of some of the stuff like that — good or bad, I'm good without it.
Editor's Note: Leon wasn't familiar with reddit, but he is now!
Q: Hi Leon, thanks for doing this! As a fan, one of the things I always hear about is "the Raiders Mystique". Being on 4 different NFL teams, what is different about being on the Raiders? And, what does Gruden do specifically to push that Raiders Mystique onto to players?
LH: The first thing that I noticed was you guys, the fans. Your level of passion is something I've never seen before. That was early on too — I noticed that in like April.
Q: What do you personally look for in a receiver's body language to break on routes?
LH: His body-weight distribution has a lot to do with it.
A lot of times its mannerisms. I think sometimes it happens before the ball's even snapped. Sometimes you can get some good reads on that stuff.
Q: What do you wish more people understood about cornerback play?
Thanks for taking the time to do this and good luck on the season! Hope to have you in Silver and Black for a long time.
LH: People realize it's a tough position, but they seem to be pretty harsh when plays are given up.
Especially in this league we have now, it's kinda like… It's gonna happen. It's just a matter of time. Never been a great corner that's never been beaten. Everybody's been beaten.
Q: What's up Leon. Having previously played with coach Guenther for so many years, how close is the Raiders defense to being comfortable with his system and how much improvement do you expect to see between now and season's end?
LH: I think we're already at a good place.
There's always a couple plays that we have some lapses in discipline, stuff like that, but it's all fixable and it's pretty easy. With that being said, I think our grasp on the defense is pretty tight, especially this early, which is kinda surprising to me, just 'cause I know from Cincinnati, sometimes it takes awhile.
We still have a lot of room for improvement. We've given up some big plays, which is unacceptable, to be honest.
Q: Hi Leon, have you spent a lot of time with Conley? Where do you think he has room to grow? What does he bring to the table in terms of skillset? Has he been able to teach you anything?
LH: He's been through a lot of injuries, but once he got through that stuff, the fact that he's just been in and been able to consistently practice and play... he's been improving at everything to be quite honest. Our press technique is a little different than some other teams, and he's continuing to improve on that.
I think he's pretty good at almost everything. I really like him.
Q: Leon, is 2pac considered old school?
LH: *laughs* Yeah, I think so. I think he would.
Where'd that come from? That's my favorite artist. They know that?
Q: How difficult is it to adapt to new rule changes and points of emphases when defensive players have been playing their entire lives a certain way?
LH: For me, it's not very difficult to be honest. But I could see for free safeties, coming down and tackling a receiver in the middle of the field, that could be really hard.
And obviously the last couple weeks with pass rushers — if I was put in that situation, I don't know what I would be able to do. It's just all bad; it's tough. If I was his coach, I don't know even know what I would tell him.
Q: Who's the funniest guy in the locker room?
LH: Probably DRC. I think he'd be up there. Always something with him.
Q: Who's an "under-the-radar" type player that we should keep and eye out for? Anyone that has you super excited?
LH: A couple people come to mind:
Obviously Arden Key — I think everybody's been excited about him. He'd definitely be one.
I'd put Mo Hurst in there. Michigan man, naturally.
And Erik Harris. I like Erik Harris a lot, man. He's been making plays since forever. He's one of the good ones, man.
Q: Hey Leon, glad to have you in the silver and black! Kind of a generic question: Top 3 toughest receivers you've gone up against in your career?
*LH: *1. Calvin Johnson. His size, his speed... He was strong and he played strong. You got a lot of big receivers that don't really play big. He does.
2. Antonio Brown
3. Calvin Johnson again.