Social media makes for a fascinating examination of the inner workings of people's minds. In the case of one Green Bay Packers player, he has found some extra motivation to carry him through the offseason and to help commit him to improving his game this season.
More from CB Walt Thurmond: "I'm the best slot corner in the league." ... Looks like @RSherman_25 rubbed off on him a little last year.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) April 22, 2014
Okay, sure, a player has every right to be confident in his skills. I won't fault Thurmond for that, even if his production tells a different story (more on that shortly). However, when an ESPN writer agreed with Thurmond and that comment showed up on Packers cornerback Casey Hayward's Twitter feed, he was clearly a little miffed.
By any statistical measure, Hayward's rookie season in 2012 was superior to Thurmond's 2013 campaign. Let's break down the regular season stats:
|Player||Games||Starts||INT||Passes Defended||FF||FR||Total Tackles||PFF Grade|
|Thurmond - 2013||12||3||1||7||1||1||37||+4.8|
|Hayward - 2012||16||7||6||21||1||0||48||+23.2|
Yeah, Hayward was a significantly better cornerback by any measure in 2012 than Thurmond was in 2013. Hayward's hamstring issues last season certainly kept him from repeating or building upon his marvelous rookie year, but if you would give me the choice of either one moving forward, I am taking Hayward and not thinking twice about it.
Hayward is not the only slot corner who was rubbed the wrong way by Thurmond's comments or by comments from others agreeing with him. The Eagles' Brandon Boykin took it a step further, feigning ignorance about Thurmond's very existence.
Packers fans should be eagerly awaiting the return of an even more motivated Casey Hayward this fall for the Green and Gold.