Now that Cobb has taken on a much bigger role as a receiver, and was recently placed on the IR-designated to return list, the coaching staff in Green Bay has had to look elsewhere to find someone to fill a position with which most NFL teams have trouble.
Jeremy Ross? Nope.
Johnathan Franklin? Not quite.
Micah Hyde? We have a winner.
The rookie cornerback out of the University of Iowa has certainly been one of the bright spots from last April’s draft class. With Casey Hayward being sidelined the first six weeks of the season, Hyde has seen a lot of playing time as the nickel cornerback.
Recently, the Packers cut Jeremy Ross as he was clearly not getting the job done in the return game. Ross was the culprit of a key muffed punt in last year’s playoff game against San Francisco and a muffed kickoff at Cincinnati in week 3.
After cutting ties with Ross, the Packers looked for help from others on the roster. Randall Cobb once again took over punt return duties, but averaged only 7 yards per return. With Cobb being so crucial as a receiver, Head Coach Mike McCarthy decided to relieve Cobb of return duties.
Enter Micah Hyde.
I have always thought of Hyde as a dependable return man. At Iowa, he averaged about 10 yards per return. He possesses three key traits: ball security, getting up the field, and patience. To be an effective return man, you must possess these traits. Since taking over, Hyde has averaged 18.6 yards per return – good for best in the league. On Sunday night, Hyde exemplified the traits mentioned above, and it paid off with a 93-yard return for a touchdown.
Green Bay sits atop the NFC North with a 5-2 record, and host division rival Chicago Monday night in week 8.
Let’s hope Micah Hyde and Co. can keep producing to help keep the Packers on top, and drive them to the playoffs.