Ahmard Hall is just happy to be back at Baptist Sports Park and practicing with the Tennessee Titans again.
“You learn how expendable you are in the league, because nothing stops,” Hall said of watching the Titans, who went 3-1 during his four-game suspension.
During his suspension, Hall could not come to the facility, so he didn't even venture near the side of northwest side of town the Titans facility is located on.
Hall was suspended just before the start of the regular season after testing positive for Adderall back in February when he took the stimulant just before he was about to make a long drive to Texas.
“It was a stimulant I took to stay up on a long drive. It was Adderall. A lot of people take it for studying. You know what I'm saying. That's what I took. I think it's a prescription, but I got it from a friend,” Hall said.
Hall had appealed the suspension and thought he might win his case, but found out on the practice field the Saturday after preseason ended that he would have to serve the suspension.
“We went through the appeal, and my agent told me they had a good meeting and everything, but it just came out at the last minute,” Hall said. “I was out there practicing Saturday after the last preseason game and Coach (Mike) Munch(ak) came up and told me that they had just found out and I had to leave. I thought there might be a chance.”
It meant that he and Chris Johnson, who held out all of preseason in a contract dispute, had virtually no time together since last year.
Johnson was excited to have his friend, teammate and lead blocker back in the fold.
I'm just excited to see what he does on Sunday. I think we've been around here long enough (that the chemistry will be there),” Johnson said. “But it's funny that I missed all of camp, and as soon as I get back, he misses the first four weeks. It's kind of like I missed a month and then he missed a month.”
Hall said he isn't afraid to push Johnson to ensure he plays at his highest level. Through four games, Johnson had his first 100-yard game of the season Sunday in Cleveland, and is still averaging less than three yards per carry. Perhaps Hall can help.
“With CJ, I'm not afraid to push him, and I'm not afraid to challenge him, if that's what it takes to get him to go a little bit harder than he normally might go,” Hall said. “If I can liven him up or give him a boost of confidence, I'm going to push him.
“If I see where the line continues to push a certain way and I take a cut and he continues to go outside the tackle, I'll say, 'C, you've got to follow me. You've got to read that.' He's the best back in the league and the best back I've played with, but you can't be afraid to challenge guys.”
The challenge for Hall, who is likely to slide right back into his role in place of fill-in fullback Quinn Johnson, is to show that he is ready to go.
“It’s good to have him back, he can do a lot of things for us. He is familiar with our offense. Obviously it was just nice to get him on the field again, get him loose again, and get him back in football shape,” Munchak said. “He looked good so far from what I can tell. We will watch the tape and see how he does after today and tomorrow and make our decision by the end of the week.”