GREEN BAY – Dom Capers’ decision to go with Davon House over Casey Hayward as the Green Bay Packers’ No. 2 cornerback in Sunday night’s loss to the New York Giants had less to do with how House and Hayward are playing and more to do with whom they were playing, the Packers veteran defensive coordinator said Monday.
Since Sam Shields went down with an ankle injury Oct. 14 at Dallas, Hayward had been starting opposite Tramon Williams in the base defense, with House coming in as the third cornerback in nickel and dime packages. Hayward would slide down to cover the slot receiver and House would line up outside.
But during Sunday night’s 38-10 loss to the Giants, House got the nod ahead of Hayward, and the Packers wound up playing significantly more of their base Okie defense and fewer snaps in their sub packages. As a result, House played 63 of the Packers’ 65 defensive snaps while Hayward only played 21 of 65, according to the NFL’s official game book.
The previous week against Detroit, the Packers played exclusively in sub defenses, as both House and Hayward played all 72 of the Packers’ defensive snaps.
“Obviously, with his playmaking ability, we’d like to keep him involved,” Capers said of Hayward, who has a team-best five interceptions. “It was a different game last night because we weren’t in sub as much as we have been as of late.
“You go back to the Lions game, we played sub every down. They were in a lot more two-back personnel, whether it be one tight end and two wide receivers or two tight ends and one wide receiver, so that put us into more of our Okie personnel. We kind of liked the matchup we had in terms of House on (the Giants’) bigger receivers. I don’t think there’s any question we’ve got to keep Casey involved.”
House’s size may have been a better option against the likes of the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks, but it didn’t do him much good. He was at fault on a 16-yard touchdown catch by Reuben Randle and a 13-yarder by Nicks, and he also gave up a 30-yard completion to Nicks. Hayward, meanwhile, dropped what could have been a momentum-changing interception early.
“The ball hit him in the hands,” Capers said. “Who knows? Those are the kind of plays where if you’re able to convert that that they change the course of the game.”
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