Hyde Your Kids, Hyde Your Wife
We all remember the play that almost was. The play that probably should have been.
With San Francisco driving to what seemed to be an imminent, game-winning field goal in last year’s frigid Wild Card game, Micah Hyde had an Al Harris-esque chance at single-handedly winning a playoff game for the Packers. But instead, the potential game-clinching interception slipped through his hands, and the Niners went on to win, sending the Packers home once again.
But Hyde isn’t dwelling on the past. Instead, he’s spending his energy battling for a starting position in 2014. With the addition of first round pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Hyde is going to have to prove that he can be an every-down defensive back, rather than one who only contributes on special teams, and in nickel or dime situations. If he can’t, he’ll end up playing second fiddle to the rookie. However, Hyde has been playing next to Morgan Burnett with the starting defense in OTAs and minicamp so far.
Hyde was on the field for 428 defensive snaps last year – mostly at slot cornerback in the nickel and dime defenses. In that time, he contributed 55 tackles, one forced fumble and one sack. He also chipped in an impressive punt return touchdown on special teams that garnered some attention from coaches and fans. (He could have made an even larger name for himself if he would have snagged that interception against San Francisco, but I digress.)
Despite being on the field for less than 40% of the team’s defensive snaps last season, head coach Mike McCarthy has big things planned for Hyde in 2014. “Hyde deserves the opportunity to be an every-down player on our defense. As we go into 2014, that's our responsibility as a coaching staff to create those competitive opportunities for him to get that done. I got to a point in the season where Micah was standing on the sidelines too much."
If Hyde loses the starting free safety job to Clinton-Dix, look for him to possibly take on a role much like that of the 2012 version of Charles Woodson – a defensive back who floats to different spots on the field depending on the situation. This will allow the rookie to shine at safety, but also showcase Hyde’s talents anywhere on the field.
“I’m a utility player. If a D-lineman goes out, I’m going to take that position. I’ll try to put on a little bit of weight,” Hyde stated, jokingly. “But no, I’m a defensive back. Whatever position is needed, I’m going to help out and do the best I can.”
McCarthy added, “We’re going to give Micah the opportunity to play on all three downs – whether that’s corner, nickel, dime, safety. That’s the versatility I think he brings to our football team.”