In fact, Hyde, like fellow rookies David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor, Eddie Lacy, and Johnathan Franklin, will get plenty of reps and plenty of exposure on tape tonight. That’s because he has slowly risen through the ranks and has turned some heads en route to his new status.
You might say that the injuries to Casey Hayward and Tramon Williams have allow Hyde to raise his stature; you could say that the underwhelming performance by Davon House last week has given Hyde more of a chance and you might be right. But Hyde has earned the right to be on the field. His showing in daily workouts has convinced coaches that he belongs.
“I like the fact that it’s not too big for him. He has a poise and a confidence about himself that he belongs here, he belongs with the (starters). When I told him, ‘Hey, you’re running with the 1s,’ he didn’t have big eyes. He just went out there and did it. I like that most about him. When he gets beat on a play, it doesn’t shake him at all. He just goes out there, when you tell him to do something, he understands it, he asks very, very good questions, and he understands football.”
That’s some nice praise for a guy who’s only been in town a few weeks.
But the coaches weren’t finished talking about Hyde’s potential. Here’s what defensive coordinator Dom Capers had to say about him:
“He’s a football player. I think he showed up very positively last week. I think he showed he can run and tackle and can do a number of things for you. … These guys like Micah, every practice have one or two plays that bring a smile to your face.”
And head coach Mike McCarthy even joined in:
“Just to see his ability to catch the ball on the run and do different things, hell, I was tempted to put him on offense. I think he has that type of ball-skill ability. He’s doing some really good things as a young player.”
Even Packers wide receiver James Jones has taken notice:
“Man, I like the rookie 33, (Micah) Hyde,” Jones said. “He’s going to be good. He’s patient. He’s not 4.3, 4.4, but he doesn’t let you get by him. He doesn’t get beat deep. And he’s a smart player. He kind of reminds me of Casey (Hayward) last year coming in. Those players are rare when they come in and they’re smart and they understand the game as quick as they do.
“The faster you understand the game, the game slows down for you. He’s a good player. I like him.”
At 6-foot, nearly 200 pounds, Hyde brings the size that Capers and McCarthy like to see in their corners. Hyde’s a solid tackler, but the real challenge, especially tonight, will be to see how he matches up against speedy players like Rams rookie Tavon Austin.
With the likelihood that Williams and Hayward won’t be on the field probably until the start of the regular season, it’s time for a player like Hyde to come out from the shadows and shine.
While he did some good things against the Arizona Cardinals last week, his opportunities should be even great tonight. He will definitely be a player to watch.