Former Packers cornerback Casey Hayward addressed the San Diego media Monday, after being signed to the team the day before. Here's what the 26-year-old player had to say (hint: versatility and opportunity were two major themes):
"[San Diego] is one of my favorite places, so I got lucky."
Why is San Diego a great fit?
"I think it’s a great fit for the things I do. For me playing inside and outside, they use a lot of three-cornerback [packages] here a lot. Hopefully I can come out here and compete and be one of those top two guys, and I think this team gives me that opportunity. ... Of course I want to play outside. That’s my ultimate goal, to come in and compete with Jason [Verrett], Brandon [Flowers], all those guys that can push me every day and I can also push them. Just make this team better."
Is this scheme similar to Green Bay?
"Very similar [to Green Bay]. I think they play a lot of man [coverage] here. We played a lot of man in Green Bay. It’s not going to be hard for me. We played this division this past year, so. We played Denver, Oakland, Kansas City, San Diego this past year. I wouldn’t say I’m too familiar with this division, but we played them this past year so I kind of know some of the players in the division."
What's your style of play?
My style of play is similar to [Verrett and Flowers]. [Verrett] gets up there and gets in your face. He’s a press guy. [Flowers], he’s a veteran guy, he does the same thing. I can do the same thing. I’m good with my eyes, great instincts, great ball skills and hopefully I can bring some of that to the table here in San Diego. Hopefully I can get the ball a lot more here in San Diego as well. It’s all about turnovers, getting the ball back for the offense. Getting Philip [Rivers] the ball as much as possible, with Keenan [Allen] and all those guys."
What was it like to sign with San Diego?
"I was excited, nervous. Everything was up and down, not sure what was going to happen — nobody ever knows with free agency, what’s going to happen — and they called me, and I was ecstatic. I didn’t care where I played at, I just wanted to be in the right situation, with a team that was going to let me compete, and help this team right away."
On playing inside and outside:
"When you play inside and outside, you have to study both. So my preparation is key. Not a lot of [players] do it or are good at it. I think I’m one of the guys that is good at inside and outside."
What will it be like to go against Keenan Allen in practice?
"I think it’ll help me. It’ll be like going against Jordy [Nelson] every day. It’ll help me out. I just talked to Jason [Verrett] and he said going against Keenan and Stevie [Johnson] every day, it helped him. He never was scared going out on the field. It definitely helped him out."
What was it like going against Aaron Rodgers?
"Aw, man. Aaron, man. That’s my dude. He’s great. He’s one of the best to do it. Not just right now, but one of the best to ever do it. Going against him, I’ve seen him in practice make some of the craziest throws, where I know I’m going to pick the ball off, and he’d make a crazy throw. He’d look at me and wink at me, like ‘I got you.' I’d shake my head, and go back to the huddle, and I’d have to catch my breath. And he’d keep doing it. It’s crazy, to see it in practice and then to see it in the game. He’s unbelievable. But, we’ve got one of those quarterbacks here in [Rivers]. I went against him this year and he threw for over 500 yards, so I’m pretty sure he’s just as special."