Cory’s Corner: Micah Hyde deserves more than a test drive

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Micah Hyde nearly ended the 49ers' season last year on this play.
Micah Hyde nearly ended the 49ers’ season last year on this play.

It’s good to see that Packers coach Mike McCarthy wants to see what he has in Micah Hyde.

The 23-year-old, who is about to embark on his second season in the league, is currently slotted with the starting unit starting at safety alongside Morgan Burnett in Organized Team Activities.

I like Micah Hyde.

He’s a tough fifth rounder that has worked his way up the ladder and it’s great to see that the Packers are awarding his work ethic and talent — even if that means not starting this year’s first round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Hyde can be a great example for a team that is desperate for a playmaking safety. Hyde showed last year that he isn’t afraid to creep up to the line of scrimmage and bottle up the run and he proved that while his coverage can get better, it still isn’t bad.

But this is why starting at safety this year is genius. It allows for Clinton-Dix to learn how to become a rookie and improve on his skills. And then after Tramon Williams becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season, Hyde can slide into Williams’ starting cornerback role and Clinton-Dix should be able to take over full-time at safety.

Hyde may have been overlooked at Iowa but McCarthy and Ted Thompson know what this guy can do. He nearly halted San Francisco’s Super Bowl run with the tip of his fingers last year.

Is Hyde the final answer to fix the defense? No way. The answer to that question is how B.J. Raji plays, if Julius Peppers has enough gas in the tank to make the entire season and if Dom Capers shaving the playbook by 15 percent will do the trick.

McCarthy may be just saying that the Packers are giving Hyde a test drive at safety right now.

But if he’s not, it would make a lot of sense.

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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  • Tchuck

    Hyde won’t start at safety snd then be starting outside corner next year. They keep him there if he is good. That is his best position. He is too slow to be outside corner. He will always be a safety or slot player near the line. Hayward is more equipped to play outside with his skillset but he isn’t a burner either. Hayward is best in slot too. We need House to take a step forward. Next year will be interesting at CB

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      ^THIS^

    • marpag

      Agreed. I don’t see Hyde ever being a long-term starter on the outside at corner. He’s a safety or a slot guy. That’s why he was available at his spot in the draft. Teams didn’t think he had the speed to play outside, and they’re probably right. But that doesn’t mean he can’t play inside.

      As for who starts at safety, Hyde or Dix, I seriously doubt that there is some strange, genius plan or schedule of events… or why we would even want there to be one. Whichever one plays better will start. That’s it.

      • Stroh

        Hyde is both a Safety and Slot CB. Its precisely the role they planned for Woodson when they moved him to Safety. Your right about him not really being a starting outside CB. Lining up against #4 WR and TE perfectly suits Hyde.

        Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Hyde starts at Safety this year. IMO he is probably a better Safety than any of those in this draft other than the 1st and 2nd round guys and he has a year experience in the system and knows the playbook better than Clinton-Dix.

    • Sven

      House has shown some real promise in his limited time. So , I think that you are right that House would be the likely replacement Williams. Hyde seems to be a very well rounded football player, which to me makes him ideal for safety where versatility is key.

      He dropped the interception in the Playoffs, but it is impressive to see how far he came from being a fifth round pick to making that play, or almost. I am hoping that he makes a sophmore leap.

  • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net grizzlymitch

    Remember that Hyde and Clinton-Dix are both new to the Packer’s safety position. I am certain that we will see some growing pains but this area should be greatly improved. Hyde can also go nickel which makes things look like they are shaping up. A little pass rush will greatly help these guys.

  • Since ’61

    I would not be surprised to see down the road that Hyde and Dix become our starting safety combo. That may happen sooner rather than later if Burnett doesn’t improve his game this season. Barring injuries our safety situation and overall defensive play should improve this season. Almost anything will be better than last year. Go Pack! Thanks, Since ’61

  • ChrisV

    Maybe he supplants Burnett and forms a killer tandem with Clinton-Dix. I know we’ve got a lot of money tied up in Burnett right now, but possibly he pushes him for playing time this year and takes over his spot next year.

    • Oppy

      Possibly Burnett rebounds and plays up to his talent.

      • Oppy

        I’ve seen Burnett make a break on a ball (more than once) where he was on outside of the far hash mark when the ball left the QB’s arm and he broke up the play near the opposite sideline.

        There’s probably less than 5 safeties in the last decade who can make that play. One of them retired due to a neck injury a couple years ago.

  • Big T

    Hyde acually likes to hit and make the tackle. We haven’t had that since Chuck Cecil.

    • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

      Um… Methinks you are forgetting about a guy named LeRoy Butler…

    • marpag

      Bigby liked to hit.

      • Big T

        Whatever happened to Bigby?

        • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

          He went to the Chargers for a couple years. I think he’s out of the league now….

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        He also liked to avoid learning Dom’s coverage schemes. :(

  • tim

    I agree with post that had Hyde and Dix replacing Burnette. Burnette plays soft doesn’t hit anyone! Need a violent “enforcer-type hitter in secondary(aka Butler or Woodson). Burnette is NOT that guy! Dumb move by TT to sign Burnette to so much $ when he has not shown he is worth it. Last year made that abundantly clear! No ints!

    • Stroh

      A violent enforcer type won’t make it in the NFL of today. Its a passing league and Safeties have to be able to cover. The enforcer type safety is a thing of the past. You can’t even put a good legal hit on a WR now or you’ll get a penalty and fine. All it takes is a good hit and for the ref to see the WR’s head move, which it always will on a big hit, legal or not, to get a penalty and fine.

      Hyde is a sure tackler, but he isn’t a violent eforcer either BTW.

    • SchenySchen

      Actually, the Packers can cut Burnett at some point and all he will cost at that point is money paid and signing bonus. His deal was not loaded with guaranteed money and they didn’t backfill it either if I remember correctly. GoPack

    • Oppy

      Woodson was a lot of things, but he didn’t play the safety position in Green Bay with any real aptitude.

      • marpag

        In fact, I don’t think that Woodson really played much “true safety” while in GB. He had a hybrid position, not a pure safety and not a pure corner. In fact, in some few games they used him almost like an extra linebacker, especially against teams that had good running backs and tight ends, but not much of a deep passing attack.

        Regardless of what people think about Dom Capers, I think we need to give credit where it is due. Woodson was a great example of Capers doing his job of putting people into a position where they can succeed. By the end of his time in GB, Woodson wasn’t really a “plus” cover guy by any means. But the hybrid position that Capers gave to him was perfect for his skill set.

        When Woodson won the DPOY in 2009, sexy Rexy in New York complained bitterly that Revis was the better cover guy. Ryan was absolutely right about that, but Woodson’s hybrid position involved much more than covering WRs.

        • Oppy

          I agree with all of this.

          I do believe you’ll find that Woodson was starting to take a number of snaps as a safety in his last year, but he didn’t play a whole lot because of that collar bone (or whatever it was).

  • big o

    we get a lot of good work ethic men from the Hawkeyes, Daniels, Hyde, Bulaga, and from the past Kampman, well at least we will get 100% from Hyde I believe!! Just saying!!

  • Stroh

    I really don’t get the point of the article. It was obvious to everyone that they planned to play Hyde at Safety and the fact that they put him ahead of a 1st round pick indicates they are doing ALOT more than giving him a test drive.

    How about an article, w/ a title “Hyde in Line for Starting Safety” and then extolling the virtues of Hyde as a Safety. He isn’t going to ever be a starting NFL CB. He’s a very good Dime CB and he can be used in exactly the way they expected to use Woodson as when he moved to safety. His skills and abilities are better served at Safety.

    You could even go to his draft combine page and cut and Paste this “Effective zone defender with the closing speed and length to knock away passes or make the interception.” and “Aggressive run defender. Comes downhill in a hurry to chop down running backs.”

    He showed he could handle playing man coverage in the slot next year. Doesn’t that sound like a much better article than just saying he deserves more than just a test drive at Safety?

    Try putting a little effort into your articles for a change. I thought you were in sports media for 10 yrs? Shouldn’t you be able to do a little research and write a well founded, research and analytical article?

    • Stroh

      As a negative, Hyde had only one forced fumble last year and no INT’s. So is he really that much of a playmaker and much better than what they had last year? He should be better vs the run, better in coverage, but as far as creating turnovers, even w/ quite a bit of playing time last year he may not be the answer.

      Pointing out all the aspects of a move to Safety would be something I would expect from someone w/ 10 yrs experience in sports media. Instead I have to do it for you!

      • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

        Stroh – how much did you pay to access this site again?

        Exactly. Cory (and everyone here) wrote this in their FREE TIME because they LOVE the Packers! I don’t know about you, but IMO the vast majority of stuff on AGBP.com is GREAT stuff. If you don’t like it… you can …. you know.. leave.

        Stop being a complete toolbox please.

        • packett

          Yep, I appreciate the article. Loser stroh probably still gripes at his mom for her cooking; what you call this mom…after 10 years of cookin’? I have to do some of this for ya?

          • AP 28

            Right on P,

        • AP 28

          Hey leave Stroh alone…….everybody’s entitled to their opinion. Even a dick like her!

        • Stroh

          If he works in the sports media as he alledges, he shoule be very concerned w anything sports related he puts his name on! Instead he consistently turns out garbage. He is building a resume on this site whether he likes it or not.

          I don’t care if all he does is photography. I would say his writing here reflects a lack of professionalism and is probably the reason he HAS to write for free!

          • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

            And I don’t care how you justify your bad behavior again and again.

            You are still being a complete Dbag.

            • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

              I’m sorry – I was angry and shouldn’t have called you out like that. Note to self: When something upsets you… WAIT 5 minutes before taking action if you can.

              The point is Stroh, even though I don’t think you’ll take this seriously – I have a real beef with the all-too-common rudeness in your posts.

              You have pretty darn good insight into the NFL and the GBP in particular. You are a smart guy. So I can’t for the LIFE of me understand how you don’t see how far just a LITTLE common courtesy can take you.

              There. Rant Over.

          • Cory Jennerjohn

            Stroh,

            Since you care so much, I write on this site because I want to. I also write and do video packages for another media entity. Simple research would have told you that.

            You can act like a spoiled fifth grader on here all you like, just make sure you get the facts straight.

            • Stroh

              I didn’t say you didn’t… I don’t really care if you do or not to be honest. But if you do, as you alledge you should be more concerned w/ what you put your name on. Each article you write reflects on you professionally. Whether you want to, I assumed you did BTW, what you put your name on reflects on you. Most of what I see you write here, would discourage me from bothering to read anything you write for anywhere else.

              You write like a 5th grader, this article being a PERFECT example!

              • packett

                I guess we could say this is all about expectations, and leave it at that. Stroh obviously wants some high analytics from this site, so anything short is dismissed. Many of us enjoy the site for what it is; hear what other fans think, argue, etc. But to cross the line and express disrespect (name calling, and other is poor taste). Let’s please return our discourse to the classy place that this site can be. Thanks Cory for your article; brief, meant to provoke discussion on thoughts on whether Hyde is indeed moving in to starting role safety.

              • Don

                And each comment you post reflects on you personally. Food for thought, and in your own words. You should go back and read through all your posts sometime. Do so, and tell me what kind of person they reveal. I would suggest that they reveal you need more work as a human being than Cory does as a writer.

              • Cory Jennerjohn

                And who are you Stroh? Why all the repressed anger?

                I am fine with what I put my name on. I’ve been doing this long enough to deal with eccentric folks such as yourself.

                The fact that you keep dogging me makes yourself look terrible. You should stop and think about what you put your name on.

              • Stroh

                Some analysis would be nice. Instead “I like Micah Hyde.”

                The other writers do far more than the “professional” in sports media.

            • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

              Cory… Thanks for all the time and effort you put in on this site for Packers fans like us. Personally I could care less if you wrote like a 5th grader, which you don’t. I PAY for 2 different sites to read articles about the Packers, this one is free and one of my favorites! I thank each and every writer on this site. We don’t always see eye to eye on topics because we have opinions. Right or wrong we’re all entitled, it’s ours. Thanks again!

              • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

                Amen.

      • Sven

        lighten up.
        This is the hand that feeds us Packers dialog, don’t bite it.
        The article gives us something to discuss. Thats the fun of it.
        If you want more analytical articles, write them so we can discuss those as well.

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      There’s no reason to be a dick, Stroh. Article doesn’t interest you? Too bad. Why the need to disparage the author? I just don’t get people like you and never will…

      • Chad Lundberg

        Is it impossible to ban people like these?

  • GBPDAN

    Well, let’s just hope that something good happens at the safety position this year. Hyde, Dix and Burnett already make me feel better than Jennings, McMillan Burnett.

  • Icebowler

    I believe C-Dix will be the starting free Safety by the beginning of the regular season or soon thereafter. Hyde will be taught both Safety positions this summer. Hyde will start at dime and be the first man up when any of the backfield starters can’t go. He will be the primary sub at Nickel and Strong Safety. If C-Dix is out Burnett will move to Free Safety and Hyde will play SS. If either of the outside CB’s is out, Hayward will move outside and Hyde will play Nickel. Hyde will be the key to our defensive backfield versatility this year and will probably see a lot more playing time than he did last year.

    • Sir Cheese

      I completely agree Icebowler. I think that people are reading too much into Hyde taking first team snaps at safety. I think MM just likes to ease his rookie in at this time of year, similar to Eddie Lacy taking 2nd team reps in ota’s last year. I fully expect CD to be at the very least splitting those first team reps by training camp. I think it’s good coaching to let your rookies get acclimated with your system and playbook, while they learn that playing time must be earned through competition.

      The roles you outlined for Hyde are pretty much exactly what I envision for him. I would add that could get snaps as an extra DB in “ILB” position. Playing the run but still very capable of covering a RB or TE more so than….well pretty much any of our ILB’s.

  • Tmoneey

    I like Hyde more as a safety than a outside corner, he seems built to play the slot or around the line of scrimmage. I think its asking an awful lot for him to play CB anywhere near the level that Tramon Williams has achieved. Nobody has even touched the subject of “what if the best safety pairing is really Hyde and Clinton-Dix?” I’m not ready to give up on Burnett but his play was terrible at times last year, I could see Hyde playing the SS and Clinton-Dix playing the deep FS position.

  • Nopainnogain

    lol, there is no doubt that hope springs eternal in the offseason. the way some talk, you’d think we got pro bowlers on the back end from two guys that we’ve never seen play an NFL snap at safety. I’m all for thinking happy thoughts, but it does seem like we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment, no matter how well these guys end up playing. even keel…

  • Archie

    If Dix doesn’t start something is wrong. The competition is between Burnett and Hyde.

    Any defense depending on two guys coming off their worse season to turn the defense around isn’t serious. I’m talking Peppers and Raji.

    And to back them up with Hawk and Jones is even more ludicrous. Lombardi has Nitschke as his defensive centerpiece, TT has AJ Hawk.

    If the front & moves forward this year it will be because of guys like Neal, Perry, Jones etc., not fat boy Raji and old man Peppers. Even in his prime Peppers lacked a motor. Nuff said.

    • packett

      Archie,
      I guess I’m a believer in giving everyone fresh chances in new situations. I’m an HR guy, believe in human ingenuity and ability to respond. If guys have bad year, a good personnel evaluator determines if he doesn’t have talent, or is in wrong schemes, or needs to develop. All I’m saying is, why criticize TT and coaches at this point of the year? Why are you dissing packer players? Are you a fan, or not? Entering Raji, Peppers, Hyde, Burnett in their respective competitions should bring out the best wishes from all of us, rather than insults. This is the time of year for optimism if there is ever a time for optimism.

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Lacked a motor? The man has 118.5 sacks, 59 passes defensed, and 9 Interceptions, PLAYING DEFENSIVE END!!! Peppers played on a horrible defense last year with no help on the DL. Raji was horrible last year, I’ll give you that. This year he’s back at NT, his natural position which will hopefully help BJ get back to 2010 form. That and the embarrassment of lack of interest in FA.

      • Stroh

        He’s not exactly wrong… A lot of NFL people say Peppers doesn’t play w/ high intensity all the time. Stats don’t change that… Just shows how talented he really is.

  • http://allgbp.com Thegreatreynoldo

    The premise of the article, IMHO, is that MM is giving Hyde a real look at safety because Hyde got 1st team reps over the 1st round pick, Clinton-Dix during OTAs. But no other evidence is advanced to support that notion. So, has MM ever given 1st team reps to a high draft choice during OTAs in the past, or is giving the veteran the 1st team reps par for the course? I confess I don’t remember for sure. I don’t think D. Jones, Perry, Sherrod, or Rodgers got 1st team reps during OTAs, but I don’t recall if Lacey, Raji, CM, Bulaga, Nelson, Hawk, or someone else got 1st team reps. Does anyone know?

    Of course, there is a void at FS now, except that Hyde, if moved to safety, has proven some things on the field.

    I like the competition at safety. Dix won’t have the range of a Nick Collins (4.36 40 yd dash, 40 inch vertical) or of a Sharper (4.44 40 yd dash), or even of Burnett (4.51 40-yd dash). [I can’t find Leroy Butler’s combine results.] Instincts, film study and recognition can make a prospect play faster than his times would indicate. I think Dix will be a solid starting FS in the NFL.

  • marpag

    Maybe this isn’t exactly on topic, but I don’t see very many people complaining that TT drafted a guy “out of position” or that he wants to convert a corner to a safety. It seems that there are a lot of people who want to complain that TT drafted a tackle to play guard/center, or a DE to play OLB, etc (as if this were something terrible and unusual in the NFL). But Hyde was a pure corner in college, and no one seems to mind if his NFL future is at safety.

    We can complain about those attempted conversions that didn’t work. That’s fair. But the fact is that they can work, and often do. And EVERY team does it.

  • http://jersyal.com tim

    You get a vote of support from me Cory. Being far removed from packerland, I appreciate this forum as a way to get news, & opinions from all sorts of fans and writers.