Thursday, October 18, 2012

Watching The Kids Play: Alex Green and Casey Hayward

The recent injuries to RB Cedric Benson and CB Sam Shields have opened up more playing time for others.

RB Alex Green. His line for 22 carries and 65 yards last Sunday against the Texans wasn't outstanding, but I'm still thinking back on his 41 yard carry against the Colts. It was the big run that set-up their final touchdown. If there's been one thing missing from the Packers offense over the past three seasons (since RB Ryan Grant circa 2009), it was the potential for a big play from the running game. Benson is stronger in between the tackles, but he's not a threat to go for 40+ yards (his long on the season is 11). Green's only had one great play so far, but he showed the potential in the past. Their other option, RB James Starks, ran one for 40 yards last season but I've never viewed him as a breakaway threat like Green. Is Green a legitimate starter or should the offense turn to Starks (assuming he's back from his turf toe injury)? Or should Benson return to the starting job as soon as he can?

CB Casey Hayward. Maybe the Texans game was a fluke, but 2 interceptions and 3 pass defenses in one game is pretty outstanding. It brings his total for the season to 3 interceptions and 6 pass defenses. For the sake of a rookie comparison, Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne (6th overall) has zero interceptions and 1 pass defense. Has Hayward moved ahead of Shields and should he play ahead of Shields even if he's healthy?


Stroh said...

It would take alot from Green to let him continue as the starter should Benson get healthy. Like a couple 100 yd games, a couple big runs and fewer negative runs. Not saying he can't do it, I think he's the most talented RB they've brought in since Ahman Green. But he has a ways to go to get me to that point. Benson is a very sure thing, even if he isn't the breakaway threat. Would love to see Green become, anything resembling his namesake tho!

Same w/ Hayward... I like Shields alot more now as a starter and outside CB than I do Hayward. He's being given the chance to make plays cuz he's a rookie and teams are testing him. And I must say he is acquitting himself very well so far. Don't know that I see a great outside CB in Hayward, he has great ball skills, but he lacks the speed and overall athleticism that I prefer at the outside CB. He has really good quicks tho, so IMO, he fits better in the slot. I don't know, but I doubt teams are testing Claiborne too much. Everyone knew he was a great CB coming out of the draft. Plus theres plenty of holes in the Dallas pass D. I wouldn't mind a bit if they start using Wood almost strictly as a Safety and giving Hayward more snaps as a slot CB in Woods place. Think that the plan in the not too distant future anyway.

Brandon said...

I thought you might have some reservations about Green and Hayward. I'm not guaranteeing their success either since they've each only played a few NFL games.

When the Packers drafted Hayward, I thought he was direct challenge to Shields, and that's how it seems to be playing out this season.

Stroh said...

I think of Hayward as more of a Woodson replacement in the slot, than as a challenger to Shields and House as an Outside CB. Hayward is playing well no doubt, but I think he'll get exposed outside at some point. His speed is questionable, he will have trouble contesting plays over the top, but by staying w/ recievers deep and challenging the jump balls. He doesn't have good leaping ability, and he has relatively short arms to challenge plays above his head.

I think he's gonna be a terrific and important role player, not so much as a starter. Shields and House both should be better outside and given the way Shields is tackling, he should be the starter.