With the Green Bay Packers opening their 2014 training camp in less than a week, I took to Twitter to find out what our followers’ and readers’ top questions were about this year’s team. Thank you to those who submitted theirs and I’ll certainly be doing this again throughout camp and the regular season.
1. What does Micah Hyde bring to the table that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix doesn’t and vice versa?
There has already been a lot of discussion about the safety position in Green Bay this offseason. For the first time in over 60 years, Packers safeties recorded zero interceptions in a full season in 2013.
Perhaps the fans in Green Bay have become spoiled after seeing the likes of Leroy Butler, Darren Sharper and Nick Collins grace the gridiron in green and gold. Still, it’s hard to argue that the production at safety since Collins was forced to retire in 2011 has been subpar.
Heading into this season and before the draft, the team let incumbent starter M.D. Jennings depart in free agency and there was much talk that they would give Hyde a look at safety along side Morgan Burnett. Sure enough, Hyde took most of the first team reps during OTA’s and mini camp.
The Packers drafted Clinton-Dix with their first pick in this year’s draft and more questions swirled about whether he would become the immediate starter or if he would have to compete for his role.
Clinton-Dix worked almost exclusively with the second team during the spring sessions but the Packers will give him every chance to earn a starting position throughout the preseason. Not all first rounders start right away, but the Packers were addressing a need with the first rounder and likely can’t afford to have him sitting on the bench this season.
When Casey Hayward was injured last season, Hyde emerged as a serviceable fill-in at slot corner. With as much nickel as the Packers tend to deploy, that will certainly be a position of great need and importance in 2014. Hayward expects to be back, but we won’t know where the Packers stand at slot corner until camp gets underway.