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Micah Hyde Paid Compliment with Charles Woodson Comparison by Coach

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Micah Hyde Paid Compliment with Charles Woodson Comparison by Coach

Iowa defensive back Micah Hyde. Photo by Brian Carriveau of

Perhaps it's appropriate that Micah Hyde won the Tatum-Woodson Award as the Big Ten Conference's Defensive Back of the Year as a senior at Iowa last season.

On Thursday, he was compared to Charles Woodson, the former Michigan and Packers standout, by Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy for the work Hyde has done as a punt return specialist this season.

"Micah Hyde from Day 1, and I've said this before going back to rookie minicamp," said McCarthy, "I think he's about as natural a returner as far as handling the football that I've seen coming out of college.

"Charles Woodson, he's clearly one of the best players I've been around as far as handling the football, punts, just very natural. And Micah is similar that way."

Woodson was the primary punt returner during the coach's first two years of his tenure in Green Bay with an average of 8.9 yards in 2006 and 8.1 yards in 2007.

Soon it became apparent that Woodson was too valuable to the defense to be exposed to big hits on special teams, much like the same situation the Packers are going through with Randall Cobb and the offense now.

Hyde isn't in that same category yet, but perhaps someday he will be. For now, Hyde doesn't resent his special teams job description. He's happy to punch the timeclock and be a team player.

"Every day, that's my job," said Hyde. "That's what I come here every day to do, play special teams, I know that. And if I get on the field, that's a bonus. I go out there and try to do my best at that too."

As far as his punt returns go, Hyde didn't just fill a hole last week in Baltimore after Cobb went down. He excelled and made an impact by returning five punts for 68 yards, an average of 13.6 yards per attempt.

Hyde was in a time share with Cobb even before the wide receiver got hurt, but perhaps it won't be long until the defender takes over punt returns full-time, especially if he has a few more like his 23-yard scamper in the second quarter that helped set up a Packers field goal.

Among the most impressive aspects about that particular punt return was the way Hyde ran forward to catch the ball on the move and quickly took a north-south path up the field, a choice that came with a degree of risk.

"As you're running up, the punt team is also running at you," said Hyde. "I don't necessarily know where the blocks are, so it's difficult trying to know where everybody is and stuff like that. It's easy because you can catch it on the run and get upfield right way, but at the same time, you got to know where the punt team is at."

Apart from his play on special teams, Hyde also bears a resemblance to Woodson as a slot cornerback, not afraid to mix things up in the box. He had an impressive defensive performance Week 6 against the Ravens by notching five tackles, coming up with a sack on a blitz and forcing a fumble even though it was recovered by Baltimore.

Certainly, Hyde's fearless attitude is on display for all to see.

"I joke with (the coaches) all the time," said Hyde. "I'll line up at nose tackle and try to do some things."

The early returns are favorable, pun intended. Hyde is playing well and is reminiscent of Woodson in more ways than one.

He's making tough tackles, making plays behind the line of scrimmage and making plays with the ball in his hand. And he's doing it all without elite speed, as evidenced by his pedestrian 40-yard dash time of 4.56 seconds back during the NFL Combine last February.

Even so, Hyde isn't concerned. He knows there's more to the game than being timed with a stopwatch.

"I just think that when I get on the field, it's totally different," said Hyde. "It's not me lining up in front of millions of people on TV running the 40. That's something I didn't prepare for my whole life. I prepared for playing football and making plays on the football field, and that's what I like to think I can do."

Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].



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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (32) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

hayward4president's picture

Proud of this kid....he's tough as nails and a natural athlete.

Stroh's picture

Hyde compares w/ Woodson in tackling only, nothing more. He should not even be mentioned in the same sentence w/ Woodson. He has no speed, marginal quickness and decent intincts. Nothing else is even worth discussing.

Woodson was an elite athlete w/ outstanding ball skills, instincts and toughness. Hyde might be tough and a good tackler that's it. He's a marginal athlete by NFL standards.

Jamie's picture

Quite an overreaction there.

Did you actually read/hear what MM said? He was strictly speaking about how natural Hyde is as a PR. I've thought the kid looked like a natural as well...looks very comfortable and capable, and am glad he's been given a shot.

PresidentRaygun's picture

He's a rookie. Chill out.

fish and crane's picture

You are wrong, Stretch. He tackles like him, is football smart like him, and while he may not be as fast, there is nobody else to compare him to but Woodson.

Stroh's picture

Hyde has some football smarts, didn't say he didn't... But he has nowhere near Woodsons football smarts. That's not even counting Woods experience.

Tackling is the only trait he has that is anywhere near Woodson. If Hyde was a special return man why didn't he do it full time at Iowa?

Any comparison between the 2 starts and ends w/ Tackling. In no other way if Hyde in Woodsons class! That's not a knock on Hyde, just the truth of the matter.

C's picture

McCarthy's only comparison was how he, 'handled the football.' He made no other comparison in his qoute to Woodson whatsoever. You're going off on a bit of a tangent, no?

UP-Packer's picture

Not once has Stroh even mentioned McCarthy. The whole blog has painted a picture of Hyde as being more than he really is as a player.

To compare Hyde to a HOF player is the real overreaction in this case.

C's picture

"Not once has Stroh even mentioned McCarthy."

Stroh is the second comment following the blog post without replying to anybody elses comment. Read his first paragraph, he's objecting to the comparison and lists a host of reasons why. Problem is, McCarthy never compared overall players or all their attributes, he compared only one in the full quote. It's right there to read and it's not difficult to see. The entire post is built off McCarthy's qoute and limits the comparisons to that attribute.

"To compare Hyde to a HOF player is the real overreaction in this case."

And the article does nothing of the sort. Quote the CheeseheadTV blog article that compares either overall player. Hyde is aggressive around the line of scrimmage and has a nose for the football at this stage in his career. That's the limit of the comparison. I fully agree with everything Stroh lists as reasons why the overall football players are quite different.

The article neither stated or implied anything other than what McCarthy is directly quoted as saying.

UP-Packer's picture

You're just playing with semantics. Regardless, Stroh didn't say anything that wasn't true. That's the important part of this discussion.

Per BC --- "Hyde is playing well and is reminiscent of Woodson in more ways than one."

Maybe a read over on your part is required at this point.

C's picture

And BC's following paragraph gives you context:

"He’s making tough tackles, making plays behind the line of scrimmage and making plays with the ball in his hand. And he’s doing it all without elite speed, as evidenced by his pedestrian 40-yard dash time of 4.56 seconds back during the NFL Combine last February."

Hardly saying he's comparing the overall athletes and football players. Appears my reading comprehension is fine.

nick perry's picture

Woodson ran a 4.44, Terrell Owens a 4.49 and Jerry Rice ran a horrid 40 at the combine. You do understand if you were to take a stop watch and click it on and off as fast as you can, it takes a tad less than 2 hundredths of a second. The reality is, if you were to line up Hyde, Woodson, and Owens, and they each ran their combine times you need a photo finish to figure out who crossed first. To much is made of those 40 times, just ask Jerry Rice. He ran a horrid 40 at the combine but not many caught him from behind, even in his 30's. The kid may not be Woodson but he's a football player, one that I'm glad the Packers selected. Before you judge him so harshly, perhaps give him more than 5 games.

Stroh's picture

Speed is only one aspect of athleticsism. There are quite a few others... You amateurs focus on speed as the only one, I was trained to look at the entire package. And I wasn't just saying he didn't compare to Woodson as an athlete. He doesn't... He also doesn't compare to Woodson as a football player. He has some good traits to be sure, but Woodson was better at every trait across the board, including tackling. Woodson is a better player in every way and a far superior athlete also.

Woodson is a HOF'er, Hyde probably will be lucky to even become a starter in the NFL. He has some abilities, both athletically and on the field, that will allow him to be a role player, that is likely his ceiling as a CB. As a Safety he might have the ability to become a starter.

mike's picture

glad he's with the pack

hayward4president's picture

Wrong about the instincts Stroh. He has a nose for the ball and is great at the line of scrimmage just like CW. He isn't the ball hawk that Woodson is or was but he definitely compares when it comes to these other aspects of the game. ( Charles is one of my all-time favorites and we probably won't ever see another player like him but I'm still likin Hyde) I would also like to give some props to Shields ....he's havin a pretty good year.

Stroh's picture

"The biggest coverage strength for Hyde is his zone ability. He has nice instincts and is intelligent."

Nice instincts doesn't compare to Woodsons instincts which were outstanding even in college, regardless of experience.

Hyde has some good qualities, but none, save tackling ability, are near Woodsons class!

I bleed Green More's picture

He reminds me of Heyward really has a nose for the ball and tackles well.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

WTF Mashed Potato Mike and Tinkerin Ted!?!? If Hyde is so natural and confident fielding punts (I can see it now) and you saw it right awaywhy in name of all thats holy did you have Ross returning AND getting a roster spot? If you can see this talent every day from the word go why is it so hard for a shakey returner, mediocre, and overall below average incumbent to lose their job on this team? Took 3 stubborn weeks.... Trust your eyes not your over analytical mind, MPM and TT!

Jamie's picture

See last qtr of 2012 reg season. Yes, it did happen.

They liked some things that Ross showed, but Ross was not the same player after SF muff.

I'm sure you still won't get it.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Surely you mean after the Chicago lateral disaster... Not too mention being shakey the ENTIRE pre-season! I loves taking Cobb off returns last year when he was vital to the offense and Ross showed promise. But you said yourself Ross wasn't the same after those mistakes. He continued to shake throthe preseason worse than Shakey Dave Reiner on draft day 2006. Meanwhile Hyde was clearly more confident and capable than Ross. The head trust took too long to give Ross a shot in 2012 and too long to yank him for Hyde in 2013. I don't blame the gaffs last year by Ross on management but this year the MgMt costed a game after that joker lost it. Every practice I saw or read the live chat from Hyde looked and sounded much more smooth, confident and natural than Ross. I saw it. We saw it. Now Tater admits seeing it. Go with it! Visual evidence. But you probably won't get it anyway. See how I added the personal dickhead comment too?

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Sometimes Tater just needs to just do what's obvious instead of over thinking. You know, like run Lacy on 3 and 1.... Or at least have him on the field... Tater Mike is just too "what if" sometimes. "what if we trick them by doing this" "what if Hyde can't handle the big leagues" even though he has been solid whenever asked to do anything? Better to play it safe with Zero upside in Mike's mind than using visual evidence. Anyway, Pack 24 Cleveland 14

Jamie's picture

Most of your reasoning inherently includes hindsight, thus you are incapable of decoupling the idea that TT and MM put a lot of weight on the upside and promise Ross showed last year, and expected him to rebound from SF. I think you will agree they desired two things...1) taking Cobb off of returns, and 2) replacing him with a game breaker. So the third element here is they liked what they saw in Ross and expected him to rebound.

Now once you consider those three as reasonable, which it's really hard to argue that all three are at least reasonable, you then have to find it's reasonable for MM/TT to give the Ross some sort of time to get back to the player he showed definite signs of being.

Is it OK to disagree with Ross making the initial 53? Sure.

Is it OK to think they gave him too much time in the reg season to show he had rebounded? Sure.

But to completely dismiss their reasoning in keeping him on the 53 and giving him a legitimate amount of time once they did is convenient and again drenched with hindsight. The reasoning is sound...the results just don't follow suit sometimes.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

Sounds reasonable.

Jamie's picture

I think this may be the first time one person has convinced another person of considering an alternative POV in the history of the interwebs.

Do we get a certificate?

UP-Packer's picture

Doubt you changed anyone's opinion. Extreme homers (like yourself) always preach that somehow, someway TT, Mac, all the coaches, the trainers & all the players in GB are the quintessence of the NFL. It's just not true.

Believe it or not, the Packers make mistakes.

Bibbon Hazel's picture

exactly. And this time they did make a mistake. They're not perfect.. White, Walker, Johnson, or King could have had that.roster spot while Hyde and Franklin should have had the return jobs more than taken care of. The roster spot is hindsight but the losses Ross contributed to twice is in the record books. 3 weeks too late.

hump's picture

hyde is a natural born safety,not a corner,cuz he wont ever have elite cover skills cuz of the aforementioned lack of athletisism,but he is a FOOTBALL PLAYER! he has below avg cover skills as a corner but better than avg coverage ability as a safety. TED got this one right.Now he and coach just have to be smart enough to not force him to be a corner,much like sharper and antwan edwards were years back.

hayward4president's picture

Hyde spent time @ safety in school ...and he sucked.

fish and crane's picture

I love the idea of drafting tough corners and turning them into safeties. That is much better than drafting safeties who couldn't play corner in college or high school for that matter.

madmanJack's picture

there was no comparison of the 2 other than fielding punts. seeing as Hyde has only been on the team for 6 games, i would withhold any other comparisons between the 2 for at least 5 years.

Stroh, in case you didn't know, athletic ability in no way translates into football success. there are tons of examples of guys that are just FOOTBALL players. no burning 40's, no 40 inch vertical, no 35 reps on the bench. they just have what it takes to be great football players. someday we may be comparing Hyde to Woodson. sure seems to me that Hyde has all the intangibles to be a great player.

Stroh's picture

Athletic ability certainly does impact football success. However its not the only determining factor. I mentioned instinct for one, toughness is another football iq... could go on. But make no mistake athletic abilty is a big determining factor! If it had no impact as you suggest they wouldn't test for athletic traits at the combine!

Nononsense's picture

I didn't get to watch Woodson as a rookie so I can't say if they are comparable players. So far you can compare Hyde to Woodson in 3 different ways. Ball handling(catching punts) tackling and I think blitzing but that's probably where the comparisons should stop. So there.

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