In an otherwise forgettable 35-10 preseason loss to Cleveland, a couple of the Packers’ defensive draft picks took another step forward.
Hayward (pictured), a second-round pick from Vanderbilt who is in the hunt to start in the base defense while fellow corner
Had he snagged it, it would have been a 60-yard pick-six, but apparently he was spared the typical rookie razzing on the sideline afterward.
“We don’t have to razz him about it. He knows it,” veteran cornerback
Hayward sounded just as confident.
“No doubt, I should have had the pick-six,” he said. “But it happens. It’ll come back to me. If I keep playing the way I play, it’ll come back to me.”
Hayward also had a tackle on special teams, and he just missed getting receiver Rod Windsor down short of the first-down marker on third-and-9 in the third quarter. Windsor was just barely able to stretch the ball out to get the first down.
It was a solid tackle, nonetheless, but perhaps the more impressive tackler was McMillian, who was playing a lot of “in-the-box” safety, up close to the line of scrimmage.
In a span of five plays on one second-quarter drive, McMillian got into the backfield to stop former Packers running back Brandon Jackson for a 2-yard loss, and then stoned Jackson again for just a 1-yard gain.
“I read the line, I felt the run and I just went with it,” McMillian said of his tackle for loss. “I let the instincts take over and made the play.”
Drafted in the fourth round out of Maine, McMillian was known for his physical presence in college and it is showing up already. He’s battling with fellow safeties
“I was making sure I was in the right place and making sure I was doing everything 100 percent,” McMillian said. “I feel as though I’m a strong tackler, so I take pride in that. Being able to come out and secure a tackle I make is a big thing to help out.”
These rookies may be needed to help right away. That seems to be a given.
"Some of these guys are going to have to come in here and make some plays, and that's what they've been doing," linebacker
On offense, one potential bright spot was running back
“I think I took a step today toward getting better, getting back to 100 percent,” Green said. “I took a couple of hits to the knee, cut off the left side a little bit more today, and it was a pretty fast tempo, so that’s a good thing for me.”
On his fourth and final carry, Green slipped through the left side but was tripped up after a 5-yard gain. He slammed the ball between his hands as he got up, knowing he was an eyelash from breaking it.
“Yeah, I have to see it on film, but I thought I probably could have came out of that one,” he said. “It was one of those things, took my legs out from under me. It happens. Sometimes you get frustrated because you want to break every run.”
He threw a pick-six on the opening drive of the third quarter when tight end
Harrell finally got something going later in the fourth, hitting back-to-back passes to undrafted rookie receiver
“Those last couple to Boykin, he did a great job on that,” said Harrell, who refused to use the constant player shuffling and the youth of the No. 2 offensive line as excuses for the struggles. “That’s well-executed football. As a second unit, that’s what we have to do more often. The protection was good on that, we ran good routes, and I threw a good ball.
“The more we can do that, the better we’ll be, I think. That’s what we have to do no matter who’s in there.”Related links