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Green and Bold: Micah Hyde - Secret Weapon

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Green and Bold: Micah Hyde - Secret Weapon

There's no question that the Packers unit that could make or break the result of the team's first playoff matchup with the New York Giants is the secondary. 

Green Bay's pass defense, which finished the regular season ranked 31st in the NFL, has been the definiton of bend-don't-break over the team's six-game winning streak. Though it gave up more than 1,000 passing yards over the last three games alone, it also recorded four interceptions and two forced fumbles in that timeframe. 

On Sunday night against the Detroit Lions, however, the unit suffered a series of additional blows. Quinten Rollins left the game strapped to a board to go to the hospital after a scary-looking hit to his head/neck; per Mike McCarthy, he avoided serious injury but there's no word on whether he'll be able to go on Sunday against the Giants. Both Damarious Randall and Makinton Dorleant left the game with knee injuries, Randall is considered day-to-day, while Dorleant said initial tests showed no major structural damage. 

It's been a rough road for the Packers secondary, which has been hampered by injuries all season. The team has needed leaders and playmakers to step up from within its ranks in its postseason push, and a key weapon who could be instrumental in the playoffs became clear in Week 17: defensive back Micah Hyde. 

If you take a look at the Packers' official player roster, Hyde is the only player listed neither as a safety nor a cornerback, but a defensive back. His versatility has proven instrumental to the Packers in the past, as he's been able to cover for injured teammates all over the field. 

When Rollins, Randall, and Dorleant went down on Sunday, Hyde had to move to perimeter corner. Though he has made much of his living covering receivers in the slot, Hyde hasn't been used on the outside much, if at all, in the last four years. But on Sunday, he was shadowing top Lions wideout Golden Tate—and doing a fine job of it.

His crowning achievement, of course, came with less than two minutes left in the game, when he picked off Matthew Stafford's 15-yard touchdown attempt to Tate, all but sealing the Packers' victory. 

Those kinds of gutty, late-game heroics are so often what make the difference in the playoffs, and they'll be needed against a Giants team that, while boasting a better defense than offense, still has Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard to contend with.

And Hyde, who has three interceptions on the season now, could be the player to provide them. 

While Hyde and LaDarius Gunter manned the perimeter in the Packers' cornerback exigency on Sunday, Morgan Burnett moved into the slot corner role, while Kentrell Brice filled in for Burnett at safety. But Hyde was one of the few players who was on the field for all 66 defensive snaps against Detroit. He graded out as the top defensive player in the win according to Pro Football Focus

An impending free agent, Hyde has an opportunity to all but secure his extension in the playoffs for the Packers, and given what he showed Dom Capers he could do in Week 17, he'll get the chance to do it. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

I know many here and on other sites can't stand Hyde. Go to another Packers site where they have a 1st and 2nd half thread where the fans comment and you'd think Hyde was the worst to ever to wear the "G" on his helmet.
I always liked Hyde. Is he a great CB? No, but the word Michelle used, "Gutty" does describe him. He may not be great at any one thing, but he's a lot like a Swiss Army Knife, he does many things and does them well enough.

Calling him a secret weapon might be a bit much. I'd settle for 4 games of doing your job. Keep the QB from having a rating above 75 and I'd be a happy camper. I also believe he's been just a hair away from breaking a punt return.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I don't get the hate either. I like Hyde in his current swiss army knife role. Teams need utility players. If you have to start him for an extended period his lack of athleticism is probably going to be an issue.

Nick Perry's picture

4 games would be just fine with me.

Handsback's picture

I agree, Hyde is a player every team in the NFL needs. He's a good stop-gap player at multiple positions....but master of none. If Green Bay goes deep in the play-offs, it will be because they put pressure on the QB and make him throw poor passes, not passes defended.

dobber's picture

I tend to agree. Hyde is someone who is smart, has a short memory for his failures, does whatever is asked of him and plays well enough to cover deficiencies for the team on the fly. Best suited to play on the slot, but we've seen him struggle against good TEs. I fear that if an opposing OC knows that they will get a full game of Hyde on the outside, they'll be scheming to take advantage of that.

zoellner25's picture

Agree. Hyde is not the fastest, but he's a gamer. Gets beats sometimes, but comes up with the ball other times.

Savage57's picture

Late in the game, marching for a tying TD, Eli decides he has a window for an out to Sheppard. Meanwhile, 4 yards downfield, Micah Hyde sees the play developing and concludes that Manning the Younger shall become his bitch. Atoning for the drop against Kaepernick all those years ago, he breaks on Sheppard's cut, cleanly catches the ball in stride and races into the end zone untouched, stretching a 7 point lead to 2 TD's and sealing the W.

Lphill's picture

I just don't understand with all the injuries to the defensive backs that there was not 1 veteran DB available to come in and at least provide some veteran experience?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

The list was pretty thin. Can you go back and find examples for guys you wanted?

dobber's picture

Just so tough. In the end, you're talking about injuries to Shields, Rollins, Randall....what can you do about that? Nobody plans on having to start their 4th and 5th CB, and the Packers have been in this spot how many times this season? What are most teams going to have as a 4th CB? Who is going to pay $5M/yr for a 4th or 5th CB (ahem, Casey Hayward)? It just doesn't make good cap sense. In this case, Gunter has turned out to be as good as can be expected as that 4th corner thrust into a starter's role. He has limitations, but is playing above them MOST of the time.

Nick Perry's picture

I think the time has come and went but Antonio Cromartie and Keenan Lewis are both FA. Cromartie was cut by Indy earlier in the season and Lewis was cut in TC by the Saints. Don't know if either are in shape, especially football shape.

Just a few names I thought several weeks ago but 5 days before the game Ted is rolling with what he has.

ironman3169's picture

All the veterans with gas left in the tank were already playing for other teams

croatpackfan's picture

Well, we really do not know what game plan Packers are preparing for that game. Maybe they'll go with Josh Hawkins, maybe not... I think more important is how Packers pass rush will play that game than how secondary will do their job...
I count on that!
I think with Mike Pennel again on team some legs and hands will be little freshier for pass rush and, maybe, Mike Pennel will decide to give everything he has to "pay back" to team for their support during this year full of PED (or whatever stupidity). He is strong and can bull rush lineman. Conect that with how Eli plays QB maybe (maybe I said!) he can give another push to DL and pass rush!

RCPackerFan's picture

I have been one that has given Hyde a lot of crap.

But being honest, if we don't have Hyde, our defense would be a lot worse.

Hyde is one of those locker room glue types of guys. A player that may not be the top athlete but his value is in leadership and he makes plays with his head more then his physical skills. That being said i don't want to diminish his skillset completely. He made one of the most spectacular 1 handed catches last year that I have ever seen. His interception Sunday was another 1 handed interception.

Hyde is one of those guys that aren't great at anything, but is good enough at everything. His versatility really helps the defense out.

With the injuries to Randall, Rollins, Dorleant, we are going to need Hyde to play a bigger role at CB. He doesn't have to be perfect, but we could really use him to make a play or 2. Hopefully a game changing type of play.

dobber's picture

Hyde is like that limper spare you get for your car. You never want to rely on it long-term, but when the time comes, you know it will do the job in a pinch and give you a fighting chance to get to where you're going.

RCPackerFan's picture

I like that analogy.

Its very true too. He would not make a good CB for 16 games. But playing a game or 2 and in situations. He will be just fine.

Another guy to maybe keep an eye on to play some CB roles is Kentrell Brice. He played Nickel CB in college. He is fast enough to play the position also, running a 4.38 40 at his pro day.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Playing safety, he was targeted 3 times, gave up 3 receptions for 54 yards, IIRC. Maybe he is a better CB than safety. I like Brice and advocated keeping him on the 53 last September. He has coverage deficiencies at this point, but he hits hard, and could well develop into a nice player.

RCPackerFan's picture

Was that him playing safety or the Nickel CB?

dobber's picture

I like the Cow we were hearing from before Christmas...this Cow clearly got flaming dog chuckles in his stocking this year.

RCPackerFan's picture

Good Packers = Negative Cow

Bad Packers = Positive Cow


Spud Rapids's picture

This is the most accurate post ever on this site... he's a contrarian

mnklitzke's picture

I think Hyde is a good back as long as he is used correctly. Other question to throw out there is Capers, people still want him fired? I tend to think he has been given square pegs to fit into round holes. If we had a GM who drafted guys for our scheme not just good players. It only took Perry 4 1/2 years to flash as OLB. What would this team look like with Eric Kendricks playing MLB? I know we could second guess to death everything be we needed a LB badly and could have had Kendricks.. I think Capers needs better scheme players...

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

So, why don't you tell us how Hyde should be used?

Schum might be the best punter in the NFL, if used correctly. Just use him to pin the opponent inside the 20 and carry a different punter when we are trying to flip the field. Hey, this is pretty easy.

EdsLaces's picture

Hyde gets beat like a drum on occasion. Hyde makes ridiculous arm bent backward ints on occasion. Seems to average out pretty good to me. Like cow said I'd take him over Randall or Rollins.

al bundy's picture

Ok to be a little foolish but its my thinking: Hey Mike lets have Rogers run back kick offs. Or maybe our only punter. How about we put our field goal guy in charge of fielding punts.
I question the intellegence of the coaching staff and thats Mental Mike. Why, with the terrible shortages in the pass defense would you risk and injury to a Hyde, Montgomery? That's insane. Let Janis or someone expendable do that. Its not like one of these guys are going to get beyond the 30 anyways. None of them are standouts at fielding kick offs so use a bum for that role.

dobber's picture

What is wrong with you?

murphy's picture

Al has never been the same since scoring those 4 TDs...

dobber's picture

He was All-City in his prime...

Spud Rapids's picture

Because for six straight games they have had to win every one to make the playoffs... you don't rest a guy when you have must wins and you don't worry about "possible" injuries

You are not smart

dobber's picture

I really kinda hope he sits down at the dinner table in the evening, has a chuckle, and says to the Mrs., "You won't believe what I posted today!"

Otherwise? Ugh...

Bearmeat's picture

I think it's pretty clear Rollins won't play. And at this point, I really don't want Randall playing any more than a handful of snaps. He's had an awful year. He's been injured all year, and IMO he's got some pretty bad performance anxiety going on right now too. His confidence has been shaken. (Justifiably)

I'd like to see Hyde outside. Gunter outside and shadowing OBJ. Safety help over OBJ always. Burnett in the slot and Brice playing SS.

Ryan acting as thumper. I'm more scared of NYG playing keep away than anything else. Their running game has been strong lately with that rookie. Hopefully the pass rush gets to Eli repeatedly.

dobber's picture

I think they're going to have to get some meaningful snaps out of Hawkins this week. They can't leave Hyde on the outside against these really quick receivers for a whole game...

RCPackerFan's picture

Packers promoted Herb Waters (former WR turned CB) from the practice squad today. Replacing Dorleant on the 53 who has gone to IR.

Has any assistant coach had more work to do then Joe Whitt? Taking Randall a former Safety, Rollins a former Basketball player, and now Herb Waters who was a WR in training camp now is a CB.
That list isn't including another former Basketball player with 1 year experience in Goodson. Sam Shields who was a former WR.

Look at what Whitt has done with players who weren't CB's. Imagine what he could do with actual CB's. He deserves a raise!

RCPackerFan's picture

Imagine what Whitt could do with an actual CB.

RCPackerFan's picture

So by the dislike I assume that is the person saying that Joe Whitt doesn't deserve a raise?

Please explain for the dislike.

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