Green Bay Packers defensive back Micah Hyde is well aware of the talk surrounding his possible move to safety in 2014. After all, it’s no secret that Head Coach Mike McCarthy wants to get Hyde on the field more — the only question left to answer is where will he will play his additional snaps.
“I’m getting tweeted at and I have my family asking me and my friends asking me, ‘I heard you’re playing safety. I heard you’re playing safety,’ ” Hyde told PackersNews.com. “And I’m just like, ‘Yo, I haven’t heard anything. You guys know more than I know.”
At this point, Hyde knows as much about his position change as anyone else outside the Packers coaching staff, which is nothing conrete. Yet, he should find out more when players report next week for the start of the Packers offseason program and regardless of what his role entails, Hyde is ready for it.
“I haven’t talked to not one person about that,” Hyde said to Packersnews.com. “At the same time, I’m up for whatever. If I’m able to get on the field every down, that’s what I’m trying to do — if it’s safety, dime, nickel, corner, linebacker, defensive line, I’m for it. I’ll do whatever I have to do. I’m pretty sure Coach knows that.”
One thing that all parties can agree on is that the Packers need some improvement at safety, particularly after a season, where not a single Green Bay safety registered an interception.
Hyde, who played in all 16 games for the Packers last season, starting three, notched 45 tackles, two forced fumbles, a sack, a fumble recovery and three passes defensed. By playing so well, he earned the trust of McCarthy, who said repeatedly this offseason that the former fifth-rounder deserves a shot at becoming an every down player.
Being an every down player sounds well and good to Hyde but with the Packers current depth chart at corner with Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Casey Hayward, it may be easier for Hyde to do that at safety rather than corner.
Going back to his college days, Hyde has experience playing safety as he started the first two games of his junior season at safety. In his first start he had three tackles, then posted seven tackles and two passes defensed before he was moved back to corner for the remainder of that season and his career.
“We moved me back to corner and made some adjustments and we played a lot better on defense,” said Hyde, who was named Big Ten defensive back of the year as a senior. “But I was getting the hang of it. It was actually pretty fun. It was just one of those things that it was a lot better for me to go back to corner to help out the defense.”
Former Green Bay Packers great LeRoy Butler, who moved from corner to safety earlier in his career, entered into the conversation recently, saying he sees similarities between Hyde and himself.
“He has some of the attributes that I had,” Butler said to PackersNews.com. “When you’re a safety. You have to understand what’s being asked of you. To keep people out of the end zone, you have to be a very good tackler and you have to get your hands on the ball — pass breakups, fumbles, caused fumbles, things of that nature.
“His good lateral movement will put him in position to do that. When I first saw him, I said he’s a safety. You can tell the way he moves that he’s a safety.”
At this point, time will tell where Hyde lines up next season but one thing that cannot be questioned is that the Packers are looking forward to seeing more of him on the field in 2014, one way or another.