Never pass up on a pun.
Many a Packer fan screamed at the TV this past year at big plays given up by Damarious Randall. Many a Packer fan screamed about no pass rush. Many a Packer fan screamed about a Dom Capers’ coverage scheme that left the middle of the field wide open for the 157th straight game. Many a Packer fan screamed about injury after injury after injury. Who was someone almost never involved in any of this screaming? One could easily say Micah Hyde.
The fact that a player isn’t regularly cited in blatantly awful performances isn’t grounds for keeping them in town. However, this past season was so full of terrible performances by the defense that it’s easier to find which players were NOT frequent culprits of surrendering big plays. Somehow, the guy who didn’t make starter on a terrible defense ended up being the most reliable and arguably the least prone to boneheaded plays. Again, that is Micah Hyde.
Imagine Hyde on an elite defense. He could be plugged in almost anywhere to confuse the offense. Blitz him from a nickel or dime package. Toss him in as a hybrid LB/Safety for a play or two. Assign him to cover a slot receiver on 3rd and long. Plug him in anywhere and he’ll produce. Granted, this isn’t much different from what he currently does, but for much different reasons, like injuries and lack of depth. Oh, he can return punts if needed too.
On a weak defense, Hyde is a band aid to a long-term wound. On a better defense, he’s a weapon capable of multiple types of attacks. Either way, he’s a valuable asset. He’s a jack of all trades, yet a master of none. In today’s NFL, that’s underrated. The good part is that type of player won’t garner an inflated value, so he can be signed for what should be a reasonable rate.
While not the most dynamic, Hyde is the savviest player on the Packers defense. His interception against the Cowboys at the line of scrimmage was the headiest defensive play of the postseason. He has been Old Reliable since he was drafted. He has gotten injured, like every single Packer inevitably does, but he always ends up back on the field sooner rather than later.
Micah Hyde has been a Swiss Army Knife for the Packers. Other teams have to know this and would be wise to give him interest in free agency. He’s young, healthy, and smart. Bottom line: he’s a gamer that any team would be happy to have. Just ask Ha Ha, who recently lauded Hyde and simply stated, “Get him back.”
Charles Woodson was let go, and that was a mistake. Casey Hayward was allowed to walk, and that was costly. Hyde can contribute for years to come, and at a reasonable price. Ol’ Teddy Thompson may know something us rubes do not, but it sure seems Hyde would be a solid reinvestment for a defense that needs serious help.
________________John Piotrowski is a UW-Eau Claire alum, spending most of his life in western WI. He makes the trek east to Lambeau whenever possible. Follow him on twitter at @piosGBP.