It only makes sense that in the first practice after I write a piece about how there are 4 corners on the roster (Williams, House, Hayward, Shields) with a legitimate chance to make an impact on the 2013 Green Bay Packers that the darling of training camp is CB Micah Hyde. Actually it certainly does make sense. Hyde has rare size for a cornerback (6’1″ 197) and was a playmaker all throughout his days at Iowa. The questions about Hyde were where he would fit positionally (some considered him a safety) and whether he had enough fluidity in his movement or enough long speed to be a cornerback. His ability to make an impact when he’s actually on the football field in pads (as opposed to on a track wearing spandex) has always been apparent.
Hyde was an incredible football player in high school. In addition to being a first team All-State QB in Ohio, Hyde was a three time captain who made 8 interceptions at safety. Hyde also handled the kicking duties of all things. His scored 111 total touchdowns between rushing and passing. At Iowa he scored 3 times and was all Big-Ten twice. Sometimes being able to play football is more important than working out really well in shorts. Ask Tony Mandarich and Vernon Gholston.
Two of the cornerbacks that are widely assumed to be in the game day rotation (Casey Hayward and Davon House) have not passed their physicals yet and are attending practice, but not participating. This information led to a mild panic attack when I saw several beat writers in attendance tweet out that Jarret Bush was in the 1st team nickel package (quick rant: I understand and respect Jarret’s value to the team on speicals, but he should not be on the field on defense in any situation except emergencies. There are legitimately 7 DBs I would want on the field before him not counting Hyde, who would make it 8). Hyde took a few reps replacing Bush in the nickel package, and everyone took notice.
Twitter began buzzing as Hyde made several pass breakups. Both beat writers and fans took notice as the rookie CB was constantly around the ball. Even the head coach took notice. “If you asked me one player who stood out today, I’d say it was Micah Hyde,” McCarthy said. ”I thought he got off to a good start.” That has to be considered high praise from the usually tight lipped McCarthy. With Hayward and House being eased back in to the lineup it would appear that Hyde is going to continue to see his defensive reps at corner in camp increase.
Hyde’s abilities are exciting for the Packers on a number of fronts. If he can truly be a playmaker, the Packers would be an extremely enviable 5 deep at CB. If one of the “big 4” corners went down with an injury, the team would still be 4 deep at the position, which is ideal for playing sub packages. It also opens up the possibility of extending Shields and asking Tramon Williams to take a pay cut or release him outright if he doesn’t live up to his $5.9 million price tag in 2013 that jumps to $6.9 in 2014. If Hyde is good it might make sense for Williams to restructure his deal, as 2014 will be the last year of the extension that he signed in 2010. It would appear that Micah Hyde might be a luxury the Packers would be very, very happy to have.