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Hayward right in the mix

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 1, 2012 – 2:05 pm

Rookie CB Casey Hayward’s strong practice on Wednesday came mostly while defending the biggest receiver on the roster, 6-4 Tori Gurley.

Matching up against big targets is nothing new to Hayward, who played at Vanderbilt in the SEC, but doing so at the NFL level does present its challenges.

“No doubt, because he’s a big guy,” Hayward said of Gurley. “He kind of reminds me of a tight end, but he moves very well to be that big. You can’t let him get his hands on you.”

Hayward admitted he’s still making some rookie mistakes out there, but he’s trying to use any mistake as a chance to learn. He’s certainly right in the mix for playing time at cornerback with a competitive group that also includes Jarrett Bush, Davon House, Sam Shields and Brandian Ross.

“Certain calls I’m playing full speed,” Hayward said. “Sometimes I question myself, but I shouldn’t, because I know the plays.”

Other notes from Wednesday’s practice:

–K Mason Crosby went 2-for-2 again in a FG period, hitting a pair from 45-plus. Crosby has yet to miss a FG in camp through six practices.

–TE D.J. Williams has been getting plenty of attention thus far in camp, and rightly so, but fellow second-year TE Ryan Taylor is starting to show up, too. Taylor made a couple of big catches during team drills, including one where he dove toward the sideline as he finished a crossing route and hauled in the pass with a linebacker trailing in coverage.

–The “old” guys continue to make plays on a daily basis. CB Charles Woodson had a diving interception over the middle on a fourth-down throw by QB Aaron Rodgers, and WR Donald Driver got open deep behind S M.D. Jennings and caught a perfectly thrown deep ball from Rodgers.

–WR Greg Jennings turned in what was probably the play of the day in his first day back after missing a few practices with an elbow bruise. Jennings caught a ball right in stride that deflected off TE Jermichael Finley and may have been deflected by CB Tramon Williams as well.

–LB Desmond Bishop and FB John Kuhn both must practice two times in shells before they can put full pads on, and they got their first day in on Wednesday. If they practice in shells again Thursday night, that would make them eligible to put pads on for Friday’s Family Night scrimmage, but it seems unlikely they’ll do so.

“You know I would if they let me, but I’m not sure how that would work,” Bishop said. “I don’t foresee them letting me the first day in pads go in the scrimmage. So I’m guessing Sunday.”

–In addition to Commissioner Roger Goodell, other big names in attendance at Wednesday’s practice included former Packers GM Ron Wolf and Hall of Fame head coach and former broadcaster John Madden.


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