Offenses may not know his name, but after this season, there's no question that they will remember the hits.
"He had some impact plays and impact hits that got everybody's attention and showed that he can compete on this level," Bill Belichick said of the former practice squad member Terez Hall.
If you've been following the Patriots this season, by now you're familiar with the Patriots linebacker, but before this season, he was largely unknown.
In 2019, Hall was signed to the Patriots practice squad. While the Missouri product saw game action during the preseason that year, with veterans Kyle Van Noy, Jaime Collins, Dont'a Hightower, and Elandon Roberts pacing the way for the Patriots, there weren't regular season opportunities for Hall. He remained on the practice squad for the season, but despite not being on the 53-man roster Hall knew he had to be ready.
"The coaches expect us guys on the practice squad to be ready," Hall said. "If they call you up from the practice squad, you should know and do your responsibilities."
Hall's diligence and hard work in practice paid off. In Week 9 of the 2020 season, he made his NFL regular season debut on Monday Night Football against the New York Jets. Hall was third on the team in tackles in that game. A few weeks later, Hall was the second-leading tacker in both the Cardinals and Ravens games. To some Patriots fans, seeing number 59 make plays may have been a surprise, but to Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo, it was a continuation of what they saw in practice.
"From that first meeting, sitting there with the defense, Terez left an impact on us," Steve Belichick said. "Then after the draft, every day he showed a lot of great work ethic and the type of qualities you're looking for on the practice squad all year last year."
"We are all really impressed with him," Mayo said. "Terez is a great guy on and off the field does a lot for everybody in the building."
From the outside it may appear that Hall has made a big jump in terms of performance this season, but in reality, his body of work is the result of hard work and consistency that started before any Patriots fan knew his name.
"After two years of hard consistent work, it's paid off all the way through," Belichick said. "It's a great lesson for all of us and I'm happy for Terez that he was able to get the opportunity and have a chance to show how much he has worked and improved."