Casey Hayward's intelligence and patience have been his strongest suit in raising him to elite status among all NFL cornerbacks. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Casey Hayward’s absence is the biggest disappointment from Green Bay Packers camp

Casey Hayward. Green Bay Packers. Injuries.

While Hayward is only about 1/15th of the injury situation that has once more plagued the Packers training camp, the fact that he hasn’t touched a single blade of grass outside (or inside) the Don Hutson Center is downright sad.

He’s the kind of player who will make the Packers defense not just stout, but intimidating. Missing him in the slot goes way beyond what the Packers were feeling last year when he stepped in for the wounded Charles Woodson. Everybody knew he had potential, but none of us were prepared for what he would bring to the field and the team.

In a thorough look at Hayward’s unique skills and place on the team, Robert Mays of brings us information that cuts to the essence of his impact. He tells us about how he was a quarterback-turned-defensive back in high school and turned that into a college career at Vanderbilt that ended with him being drafted by the Packers.

Mays also tells us about how Dom Capers recreated his work with one Rod Woodson in Pittsburgh and used Charles Woodson inside in the nickel and turned him into a defensive player of the year. More importantly, Capers saw the same in Hayward and transitioned him from outside the numbers into an inside defender, targeting him to spell Woodson last year when Sir Charles went down.

That’s why the lack of Hayward’s presence on the field is the biggest disappointment so far in Packers camp. Sure, you can make a case for Bryan Bulaga and Jordy Nelson and their injuries, but it is Hayward’s absence that is hurting the Packers the most. Green Bay’s defense needs him back. They need his patience and intelligence in the defensive backfield and they need it within the next couple of weeks – that’s when he is scheduled to make a comeback on the field. Our hope is that he makes it.

Here’s why the Packers are missing Hayward as described by Mays:

According to Football Outsiders, Hayward was fourth in the league in passes defensed, first in success percentage, and first in total defeats among cornerbacks. According to Pro Football Focus, quarterbacks had a 31.1 rating when throwing in Hayward’s coverage area — the best figure for any cornerback in football.

And those are statistics from a rookie. We can only imagine what he might accomplish in his second season.

That’s why they need him back … and that’s why not having him has been the biggest disappointment so far in Packers camp.

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  • Moveguy

    Horrible and stupid headline. The Packers are VERY deep at CB, so him taking his time and waiting till he is 100% healthy is not the biggest disappointment. Not even on the scale. The Packers lost their starting LT on an offensive line that was completely redone to try and solve a major problem and they don’t have much depth at OT either. How about the issues at Kicker? How about the fact we just had to bring in Vince Young because our backup QBs are bad and not improved? How about Jordy getting knee surgery a week into camp for something that has been bothering him for 4 years. What about Cobb dropping passes when the expectation is he is going to be our new #1 WR.

    It was also Intentionally and totally misleading. Any one who does not follow the team daily is going to think he has performed awful at camp this year. Then they read the article and will be scratching their head trying to figure out the stupid headline. Disappointing comes from under performing on the field or an injury that has caused the player to be put on IR for the year.

    • RayRivard

      Glad you had the opportunity to read the story, Moveguy. Sorry to disappoint you. Maybe we can do better in the future. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Barry Talbert

        You guys are vicious–give the guy a break–he wrote a story, i enjoyed reading it. Please send us the link to the site where you guys write your stories please so others can critique your stories.Personally i dont care about headlines-they are just attention grabbers-it is the information in the story that is important.Additionally he provided some interesting stats (stats as most people know can be misleading and made to support any argument LOL ) . I knew the stats at one point but am glad you were able to provide them again so I amy use on my site–Thanks Ray. BTW-i run a Packers club in South Carolina adn have a web site on FB SouthCarolinaPackerBackers.Also im known as Packattack on most old sites.Go Pack Go.

  • Matt Dragosh

    Yea how can he be “the biggest disappointment” when he hasn’t taken the field? An injury is am injury. You cant help that and wer don’t know the exact details anyway so we can’t judge. Big fan of this blog but that is a stupid title for this article.

    Biggest problem is probably kicker then OT. They will figure it out, always do.

    • RayRivard

      Well, maybe it should have said Hayward’s ABSENCE is the biggest disappointment … At least you’re reading – I appreciate it – and your comments. Actually, I’m not worried about the OL or the kickers – as a position, I’m more worried about the backup QB. Rodgers goes down and the Packers may as well forfeit the season.