What does Casey Hayward want to do? Be a starting cornerback. What is Casey Hayward going to do? Play the slot again while Tramon Williams and Sam Shields start outside.
He doesn’t sound too pleased about it either.
“I’m not satisfied with it, but if that’s my role, I’ll be satisfied with it,” he said. “But I’m also critiquing my game to be able to play outside. (Cornerbacks coach) Joe (Whitt) has given me a lot of opportunities to go out there and play outside a lot, as well.”
Is there a difference other than where you line up on the field? In today’s game, not really.
Most teams run their nickel package more than they do their base defense. So if Hayward stays healthy and isn’t losing snaps to say, Micah Hyde or Davon House, then he’ll play just about as much as anyone on the Packers’ defense.
But Hayward is feeling a slight sting. That’s pride fucking with him because he isn’t a starter.
And barring injury to Williams or Shields, he’s probably not going to be a starter for another season. Williams is in the last year of his contract and the Packers surely won’t re-sign him next year because that’s how they roll.
In the meantime, Hayward needs to worry about returning to his rookie year form (6 INTs). Last year was a turd of a season. Hayward was ultimately lost to the hamstring epidemic of 2013, but when he was on the field he looked like crap.
Now, you can go ahead and chalk that up to the injury if you like, but the Packers still need to see much better play from Hayward than they did last year.
Then maybe we can talk about a starting job.
First lets see if Hayward can stay healthy. Second if Hayward can stay healthy I believe playing the slot receiver is one of the harder positions as having Woodson in the slot in previous years proves. The slots are usually always small, quick, and elusive receivers in motion. It is an important position that if healthy Hayward can do a great service to the team. With as much passing that happens in the league I believe playing the slot is a starting position with a potential for a lot of INT’s and sacks (larger future contract).
How can he be upset about this? He basically didn’t play at all last year, while Sam and Tramon pretty much played the entire season. The Packers aren’t just going to hand Hayward a starting role based off his rookie season two years ago. Shields is our best corner, and Tramon is a reliable veteran. Until he can stay healthy and prove he’s better than the other two, he should be happy with the playing time he gets.
He is a pro. They all want to start