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November

Seven games into rookie season, Micah Hyde looks like he belongs

Packers rookie Micah Hyde, just 22 years old, has already proven to be a versatile defender and solid return man.

Packers rookie Micah Hyde, just 22 years old, has already proven to be a versatile defender and solid return man.

Prior to coming off the board in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft, Packers rookie cornerback Micah Hyde had no idea where he’d be selected.

“I was hearing stuff from all different angles, but at the end of the day I really didn’t care,” Hyde said. “As long as I got the opportunity to get on a team somewhere, whether it was first round or free agent, I was going to try and make the best of it.”

On the final day of the draft, Hyde was on the golf course when he got the call from a Green Bay number. He said people looked confused when they saw a group of 20-something-year-old guys throwing balls into the pond and driving across the fairway in a spontaneous celebration.

But for Hyde, who grew up in Ohio and attended college at the University of Iowa, Green Bay seems to be the perfect fit.

“This is exactly where I want to be,” Hyde said. “I was fortunate to be picked by the Packers because this is the perfect place, and the draft, all that stuff is in the past.”

Hyde was pick No. 159 in April’s draft, but there certainly aren’t 158 rookies making a bigger impact than he has thus far.

Talking to second-round pick Eddie Lacy last week, it was clear that Wisconsin’s cool October weather was an adjustment for him, but while Hyde says he doesn’t “like to play in the cold,” he’s grown accustomed to it.

Last week, in the temperature-controlled confines of the Metrodome, Hyde scored his first touchdown on a 93-yard punt return just before halftime. After proving to be a valuable player in the secondary, capable of covering the slot and playing on the perimeter, Hyde stepped up and gave the Packers a splash play on special teams–an area in which such plays have been lacking so far this season.

“It was definitely exciting,” Hyde said. “Especially because it was at Minnesota and it kind of quieted the dome a little bit.”

On his way to the end zone, however, Hyde nearly had a fail of Danny Trevathan proportions. Less than ten yards shy of the goal line, Hyde slowed his stride and strutted as he approached the end zone. He stumbled and nearly faceplanted.

“I was trying to be a little too cool,” Hyde said. “Even if I would have fallen, I think I probably would have ended up in the end zone anyways. But it would have been funny, though.”

Hyde’s versatility has been huge for the Packers. Second-year cornerback Casey Hayward, who led the team in interceptions last season, missed the first six games of this season, making way for Hyde to help fill his shoes as the slot cornerback. And when receiver Randall Cobb went down with a broken leg in week six, the team was forced to look elsewhere for a full-time punt returner. Again, in stepped Hyde.

This versatility has drawn early comparisons to former Packer and future Hall of Fame cornerback Charles Woodson. Hyde is flattered by the comparisons but isn’t ready to put himself in the same sentence as Woodson just yet.

“The Charles Woodson comparisons get out of hand,” Hyde said. “I wish I were one percent as good as he is. I just try to handle my business and play hard.”

Hyde has a long way to go before he’s the NFL Defensive Player of the Year or mentioned as a future Hall of Famer, but he’s already proven that, despite his draft position, he belongs in the league and on the field.

Now that Hayward is back, the Packers have their top three cornerbacks from last season–Hayward, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams–healthy and available for the first time all year. Hyde and Davon House had shined in recent weeks but their playing time dwindled last week as Hayward was reintroduced to the field.

Still, Hyde stays ready and knows another opportunity may be right around the corner.

“When one guy gets hurt, it’s the next guy’s turn to step up and make some plays,” Hyde said. “Going to practice every day with M.D. (Jennings), ‘Mo’ (Morgan Burnett), ‘T’ (Tramon Williams) and Sam (Shields) and all these guys that have done it for a while makes my job that much easier.”

Hyde was the guest on the “J-Mike and M.D. Show”, which airs live from Thornberry Creek at Oneida Wednesday nights at 6pm CDT on WDUZ “The Fan” in Green Bay.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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33 Responses to “Seven games into rookie season, Micah Hyde looks like he belongs”

  1. Nick Perry says:

    I love this Hyde kid and he’s a perfect example of why to much emphases is put on 40 times at the combine. He ran a 4.56 at the combine. Take a stop watch, click it on and off as fast as you can, that’s the difference between a 4.36 and a 4.56. The kid is a football player, plain and simple and sure as hell didn’t look to slow on that 93 yard punt return. He tackles well, can blitz, and IMO will just keep getting better. Not to bad for a 5th rounder Ted, not bad at all.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  2. Razer says:

    Between Hyde and Bakhtiari our mid round draft was killer. With his vision and quickness, i wonder if Micah Hyde would be a fit for us at safety. If we have a weakness in the secondary, it would be the drop off after Morgan Burnett. Nice to have him contribute on so many fronts. Good job Ted

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    • Bedrock says:

      My concern with the safety experiment is the TJ Lang effect. Let’s give him a chance to be a CB with packages essentially making him a S. But to completely move him to that role would likely retard his development, get into his head, and have poor results. I completely agree he has the skill set. But does that skill set allow his instincts to move to safety as well?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  3. GBPDAN says:

    I agree Razer, now that Hayward is back and CB is a loaded position, I think the Pack should experiment with Hyde at saftey. He seems like he would fit in well and we need another playmaker there

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  4. David says:

    I seem to recall Iowa trying Hyde out at safety for a bit, and it sounded like he didn’t do so hot. But who knows? We shall see, whatever it takes to get our best players on the field.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  5. Alex Parkhurst says:

    Packers vs. Bears

    Poor Bears have had 26 different starting quarterbacks since Brett Favre joined the Packers:

    http://www.packersnews.com/interactive/article/99999999/PKR01/131031037

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  6. Big T says:

    We sure have had great luck with the Iowa draft picks.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

    • Archie says:

      Would you still take Bulaga over Dez Bryant? Daniels is a Home Run (at least a triple).

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

      • Rymetyme81 says:

        Good point, but….

        He was a HUGE character risk and confirmed it by throwing a tantrum rookie year when veteran WRs told him to haul water (a tradition that applies to ALL rooks). He still rubs teammates the wrong way all the time.

        I’m sure TT did his homework on him and didn’t want to take the risk.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

        • NICK PERRY says:

          Not only that Rymetyme81, WR was loaded at that time on the Packers. Jennings, Nelson, and Driver. Bulaga was a excellent choice at the time for the Packers. No way do they win SB 45 without him. If you remember Mark Tausher’s body gave out on him and Bulaga was starting as a rookie.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      • aaronqb says:

        Hindsight is 20/20. Bulaga was a very good pick.

        Richard Sherman went in the 4th round and he may be DPOY this year. How many teams would have liked to have picked him in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft now (hint: 32)?

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

        • Archie says:

          That was not hindsight on my part. That day, with the Pack on the clock, I was calling for Dez. He’s another Randy Moss story except he now seems to really want to win. Moss never really cared.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

          • Stroh says:

            Your right, he is another Moss! He’s a F’in headcase! Sure he’s a playmaker, but so is/was Jennings, Jones Nelson and the rest of our WR corp. Getting a ME first headcase would have ruined team chemistry! All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the lot. Remind me again how many SB’s Moss has won? That’s the same amount as Bryant wins. The Packers don’t draft me first players who need 24/7/365 babysitting, like Dallas is giving him! They draft players that take the term teamwork seriously and act like Professionals, not spoiled rotten adolescents!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • John Zoul says:

        Would I take Brian Bulaga over Dez Bryant? Well, knowing what we know today, the obvious answer is no. Dez Bryant is a Pro Bowl-caliber WR, a major playmaker and game-changer.

        BB is on IR, again. Hopefully, Bulaga can rehab and resurrect his career, either at RT, but, who knows, possibly at an interior line position. It is a shame BB has had two season-ending injuries which have derailed a once-promising career. I believe it was three seasons ago, early in the year, when he was at least being discussed as a future Pro Bowler at RT. Now, half way through the 2013 season, Bakhtiari seems to have solidified his hold on the LT position.

        Will BB come back next season, after this latest serios injury, the same player as in early 2011? No one knows the answer. Let’s hope he does. Truth be told, Bakhtiari has longer arms, is arguably more athletic, and so far has performed admirably at LT and yes, may well be our true answer at LT, not Bulaga.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

        • Nick Perry says:

          Looks like some idiot is just going through putting thumbs down on comments again. John Zoul, you brought up all excellent points. To bad about BB. Like you said, two season ending injuries but thank god Ted T drafted for depth and found a hell of a football player in Bak. The thing I read about both OL drafted this year was they had a nasty side, I like that. Anxious to see what the other kid brings to the table. EDS definitely has stepped up.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • BZ in BA says:

      Kampman worked out really well. Abdul Hodge less so.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  7. Archie says:

    His versatility is definitely a great strength. He is a poor man’s Charles Woodson.

    This year Hyde, last year Hayward, year before that House and year before that Shields. That is quite a run for TT. Resembles his work at WR. If Pack continues to get healthy and avoids major injuries, especially at OL and QB, they could go all the way. Assuming we beat Da Bears this weekend, the only thing standing between us and the playoffs is the DET Lions. Turkey Day will be special.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. Archie says:

    PREDICTION: Boink, White and Jordy each score a TD vs Da Bears on MNF. Pencil in one each for Lacey and Starks. That’s 35 points. Maybe Hyde gets one too. :)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  9. Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

    i was not a big fan of the hyde pick. I thought he was going to be another tweener that was too small to play safety and too slow or stiff to play corner. but sometimes teams just draft football players. one thing that he seems to have in common with guys like hayward and CM3 are their instincts are just fantastic. from day one they looked like it was their third year in the league. he has been a great pick. you can never have too many real football players on your team.

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  10. Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

    I’d bet Tramon is done after this year. TT gives Shields Tramon’s money.

    House and Sam on the outside. Casey manning the slot. Hyde at FS and the dime back role.

    OR they might let Sam go. Keep Hyde as the slot guy and draft a S early next year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Archie says:

      TT will have a hard time giving Sam or Raji $50 MM.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • John Zoul says:

      Bearmeat, I tend to agree at least partly on your argument. Tramon’s skills have slipped over the past three seasons and is only an average corner and not a playmaker at this point in his career. Of all our DB’s, he is far-and-away the highest paid, and also, appears to exhibit no further upside. In 2010 and prior, he was a big-time pass interceptor. Since the big contract, next to nothing in that regard. So, I believe he is in a similar position as Hawk was prior to this season: take a substantial pay cut or be released next spring. Shields has earned a substantial raise, whereas TW has earned a substantial pay cut. The question remains, will he be smart like Hawk, and take it? Or, will he be too proud, and end-up in Oakland or on the scrap heap?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  11. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

    Makes me wonder why guys like Neal, Perry, Worthy and even Sherrod prior to the injury couldn’t impact as quick as a guy like Hyde.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • NICK PERRY says:

      For one Perry never played LB, always has his hand in the dirt. That’s a huge difference. DL is one of the most difficult positions to learn as a rookie and make a huge impact. Neal just hasn’t worked out and Worthy will come back and allow the Packers to let Raji go if he wants stupid money. The NFL is QB driven. I’d much rather keep Sam Shields than Raji, but that’s just me.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      • Oppy says:

        Neal hasn’t worked out?

        What?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • Brett Johnson says:

        Nick (by the way, I never use the thumbs down on any comment, but, used a rare thumbs up, on Nick’s comment) I agree with your comment. Raji has been no more than an average D-Lineman the past three years and is clearly expendable. I believe Worthy will come back next year and develop, hopefully along with Josh Boyd…Raji has not earned a huge contract. He can be replaced and is expendable along with the overpaid Tramon Williams.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Agree keep Shields over Raji. Agree let Raji walk if he wants stupid money. Seems like Neal and Perry both might have the tools to play OLB, and both have flashed at times, but neither has proven he can do it yet. IDK what position Neal thinks he should play or whether other teams think he can go back to playing DE. Best guess is GB resigns Neal to short deal at decent but less than starter money. Perry of course gets another year to prove himself. Maybe the lights come on for them in the next 9 games. Let’s hope.

        Worthy can’t replace Raji, period. Weighs 40 pounds less, has a different role, and different skill set. GB must have at least one of Pickett or Raji, unless you think Boyd, the fat guy on PS, or a draft pick can replace one or both of the current wide bodies. Jolly gets a big raise. Can’t lose Jolly, Raji and Pickett.

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  12. aaronqb says:

    Hyde was a GREAT pick. Definitely one of TT’s better picks over the years. I would not experiment with him at safety this season as he is still a rookie and is learning to play CB right now.

    Maybe try this in the off-season if the Packers look stocked at CB. Tramon won’t be back at his salary level and Shields may be too expensive – he will command more than what Tramon makes. If Tramon and Shields aren’t back next year, the Packers may still need Hyde at CB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  13. Katsuya says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Hyde take a couple snaps at S just to see how he does, since Dr. Jennings and McMillian have been mediocre so far. They need to keep Shields and House as the outside CBs. Their ability to press gives the pass rush more time to get to the QB. Tramon is due like $9 million next year, so he is probably gone next year. They can use that money to pay Shield.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  14. tim says:

    Agree with you katsuya, tramon hasn’t been playing like a top notch corner for quite a while and shields has in my opinion. Its a business and and sometimes brutal, but running it well makes them winners. I’d like to see ragi return, but the money issue forces tough decisions. Shutdown corners are way valuable, and shields is close to that now

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  15. bobalou13 says:

    Wonder what the franchise number will be for corners? Shields is gonna want crazy money, especially considering his agent. Sign him if possible, or sign BJ and franchise Sam. Not so convinced Tramon is gone. His play seems to have picked up some lately to me. Maybe take a small cut in exchange for an extension.

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  16. […] as highlight, although it was nearly a low-light, as Hyde stumbled as he approached the end zone. Hyde later told me he was “trying to be too cool” on the play. Nonetheless, the play was a turning point […]

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