Last season’s defense was a sore spot for Packers fans. The injury bug bit harder than a hungry, Northern Wisconsin mosquito and the run defense had more holes than baby swiss. After the draft, and now with the start of training camp, it is becoming clear that the Packers have not left this position to its own devices but have moved with intentionality to improve what was the position of most need on the Packers defense, the safety position.
Here are three reasons I believe that the safety position truly will have an upgrade this year.
1. The “seamless” move of Micah Hyde
Mike McCarthy described Micah Hyde’s move to the safety postion as “seamless”. This is a big boon for the Packers who end up with another player already familiar with the playbook to use at safety. Hyde has been one of the training camp studs so far and has thus far boxed out Clinton-Dix for the starting job.
Hyde remembers last season (in which he played well at corner) and sees the door wide open for him not just to make a starter out of himself, but to become a Packers fixture for years to come. If he can stay healthy and continue to perform, the Packers have already upgraded the postion.
2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Drafted in the first round, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was expected by many to challenge for the starting spot and he may yet do that. Up to this point however, he has not been able to upseat Hyde. It would be easy to be disappointed in this but just think, if Hyde is the starter, Clinton-Dix will still get reps and have time to really digest the playbook and deeply understand the concepts of this Packers defense. This could be a win-win for the Packers, and therefore…Packers fans.
The safety role is crucial and mistakes at that position are often the most costly. We need someone with skills and knowledge. We may just have two such players besides Morgan Burnett when all is said and done.
3. The new attitude
There is a new attitude that has been rumbling through the Packers defense this year. Burnett, Hyde, Clinton-Dix, and all the other safety prospects will be expected to embrace it. Can you imagine the possibilities if one of these young players becomes the next Nick Collins? Or even better, my favorite Packers player of all time, LeRoy Butler? Scary good!
But what do you think? Are the Packers headed in the right direction? Are they not giving Ha Ha enough reps? I Hyde gonna lock it down? This could be one of the MOST important questions this Packers defense has to answer this coming year…will they answer?
Whether they do or not will soon be decided when the Packers kick off the regular season against the Seahawks. It’s gonna be one heck of a game as the Packers look to start out 2014 by taking down the defending World Champs.