Like Darren Sharper and Nick Collins, there are defensive backs coming out of college that just seem to get it and can contribute right away. This year it’s rookie cornerback Casey Hayward, who actually is tied for the lead in interceptions with 4.
Hayward has been a very good slot cornerback behind Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Charles Woodson, but with Sam Shields out after being kicked in the shin against the Texans, Hayward was shifted out to the outside. How would he respond in his first start and being left on a island? Pretty good. While fans will gush at his acrobatic interception, I would probably suggest that everyone take a step back; Hayward is solid cornerback, just not a playmaker…yet
The Situation: The score is 17-6 in favor of the Packers with 1:25 left in the 3rd quarter. Needless to say things haven’t gone so well for the Rams in the 2nd half. For the first 30 minutes of football, the Rams had managed to keep the game close by using a steady diet of ground control football with running backs Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson.
The Rams also managed to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers hands by controlling the clock and as a result the Rams had a significant advantage in the time of possession. However, the 3rd quarter was all about the Packers, who not only managed to flip the time of possession in 1 quarter, but had managed to do it with a methodical passing game which included 3 passing first downs capped off by a touchdown. Obviously the Rams are beginning to feel the pressure and need to answer back. This is the first play after the kickoff.
The Formation: The rams come out in a 2-1-2 formation (2WR-1TE-2RB), one of the old school staples of any offense. WR Brandon Gibson is aligned out wide to the top of the screen while WR Chris Givens is aligned out wide on the bottom of the screen. TE Lance Kendricks is inline next to the left tackle while TE Matthew Mulligan is aligns like an offset fullback. RB Steven Jackson rounds out the group by lining up 7 yards behind the scrimmage forming a standard offset I formation. The look is very biased towards running and presumably the Rams hope to catch the Packers off guard with a play action pass and a shot down the field.