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Micah Hyde: Why I didn't have big punt-returns at Iowa

Ex-Hawkeye DB has 3 PRs for TDs as a Packer

Micah Hyde, Green Bay Packer (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports)
Micah Hyde, Green Bay Packer (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports)

First things first, former Iowa defensive back Micah Hyde has a future in broadcasting if he wants it.

Hyde is the weekly guest of “1 On 1 With the Boys,” a Wednesday night Green Bay Packers-related talk show on WIXX-FM in Green Bay. He brings a different Packers teammate with him each week.

Hyde, in his third year with the Packers, speaks clearly and articulately. He has a pleasant personality and a good sense of humor. His former Iowa coaches surely are proud of how he represents them off the field as well as on it, where he has become a vital part of one of the NFL’s best teams as a free safety and a punt-returner.

Speaking of which, Hyde has four fair-catches and zero punt-returns through two games. That’s a contrast to his first two seasons, when he returned a total of 38 punts for an average of 13.6 yards and three touchdowns.

He had 14 fair-catches as a rookie, just three last season. Maybe he’ll return a punt for a big gain tonight when the Packers host the Kansas City Chiefs.

On last Wednesday’s WIXX show, Hyde was asked if he returned punts at Iowa.

“My junior and senior years I did it,” he said, “but we had a bunch of freshmen out there. So it was fair-catch, fair-catch, fair-catch. I never really returned the ball.”

That wasn’t quite the case. He had 13 punt-returns for an 8.2-yard average in 2011, and 16 returns for a 7.4-average in 2012. But he never seemed to demonstrate the flair for returns that he has shown in the NFL.

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“When I got here and returned a couple,” Hyde said, “my coaches from back there were like ‘Why didn’t you do that here?’

His reply: “ ‘Well, you guys had freshmen blocking for me. I wasn’t able to do anything.’ ”

In talking about his fair-catches this year, Hyde said “That was a big thing in college. Coach Ferentz, oh my gosh. When you dropped the ball in practice, replays in my head right now. Catch ... the ball!

“No one wanted to hear that. In college I just had to catch it, had to catch it. It just stuck with me since.”

That’s a good thing to stick with a punt-returner.

For the entire video of Hyde’s Wednesday show, click here and go to “Live video streams.” The shorter clip above it is a funny segment about his experience at the NFL Combine.

Or, just click on the link for the video at the top right of this post.

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