The new Michael Bennett? Kerry Hyder Jr. blast from Seahawks’ recent past


SEATTLE — In 2013, the Seattle Seahawks struck free-agent gold once they signed Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril to cheap offers. The 2 pass-rushers proved to be the lacking items for an rising protection that led the Seahawks to their first Tremendous Bowl title that season and a close to repeat the following 12 months.

The Seahawks hope that their present assortment of pass-rushers has the identical impression as these of their latest Tremendous Bowl previous. However in Kerry Hyder Jr., they’ve a participant who’s paying homage to Bennett’s bodily profile and flexibility.

Normal supervisor John Schneider instructed him as a lot once they signed him to what’s successfully a two-year, $6.5 million deal final month.

Not that the comparability was any revelation to Hyder.

“That is a man I’ve appeared as much as within the league and a man I’ve sort of modeled my recreation after,” he mentioned. “So the traits had been there as a result of that is who I watch, similar physique kind, that sort of factor. That is sort of one of many the reason why I at all times sort of pictured myself in Seattle as a result of I can sort of see myself in that very same kind of function as Mike.”

That function means enjoying totally on the sting but in addition inside at instances.

The 2 finish positions in Pete Carroll’s base 4-3 protection are often known as the Leo and the 5-technique. The Leo is normally the smaller, faster and extra athletic of the 2 — assume Chris Clemons, Frank Clark and Avril. The 5-technique typically traces up on the robust facet of the formation, which requires a bigger and stouter participant. He’ll transfer inside and substitute a defensive sort out in passing conditions, when much less risk of a run means much less want for larger our bodies to clog up the inside.

Nobody has stuffed that function higher in Seattle than Bennett, whose 39 sacks over 5 seasons with the Seahawks are seventh-most in membership historical past. He performed roughly three-quarters of his snaps on the sting and the remaining inside, in line with ESPN Stats & Data.

Hyder offers the Seahawks an alternative choice at that place to go together with 2019 first-round choose L.J. Collier and Rasheem Inexperienced. Collier primarily manned it final 12 months, with Inexperienced backing him up.

“I’ve sort of at all times been a defensive lineman that sort of will get in the place he matches in,” Hyder mentioned. “So in the event that they want me to inside, I am positive I can bounce inside. If I’ve to play outdoors, I will play outdoors. I am positively coming in to defensive finish and [that’s where] I plan on spending nearly all of my time.”

The 49ers had the same plan for Hyder once they signed him to a one-year deal final offseason, as Carroll disciple Robert Saleh was nonetheless operating their protection. However accidents to Nick Bosa and Dee Ford compelled him to play virtually completely on the sting — and play so much. His 8.5 sacks and 694 defensive snaps had been career-highs.

Hyder’s earlier excessive in snaps (618) got here in 2016 with the Lions, when he had 8.0 sacks. That was underneath defensive position coach Kris Kocurek, whom Hyder reunited with in San Francisco. In his different two seasons on an energetic roster (2018 and 2019), he mixed for under two sacks in 23 video games. He spent his first two seasons on the Jets’ and Lions’ follow squads after going undrafted in 2014. A torn Achilles sidelined him in 2017.

“I used to be a kind of guys that sort of labored up via the ranks,” Hyder mentioned. “I went from follow squad to sort of rotational man to a starter to an IR man again as much as a starter. I have been via the wire, and also you see a vet on the finish of it.”

ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick referred to as Hyder one of the crucial spectacular gamers he noticed up-close final season within the Monday Evening Soccer sales space “simply when it comes to how relentless he was.”

Hyder thinks the overlap between Seattle’s and San Francisco’s defenses will ease his transition. He referred to as Kocurek “instrumental in simply believing in me as a participant.”

Alongside the best way, not everybody has.

A local of Austin, Texas, Hyder wasn’t provided a scholarship by the College of Texas although he grew up within the Longhorns’ yard. He went undrafted regardless of combining for 7.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss over his ultimate two seasons at Texas Tech.

Hyder believes the identical factor that contributed to Bennett going undrafted in 2009 additionally labored in opposition to him. Bennett was knocked for being a tweener. He wasn’t as lengthy or quick as a prototypical defensive finish, not as heavy or highly effective as a prototypical sort out.

At 6-foot-2 and 270 kilos, Hyder is a bit of shorter and across the similar weight as Bennett. Neither participant’s construct aces the attention take a look at.

“We’re not the largest, we’re not the strongest, we’re not the quickest,” Hyder mentioned, “however I really feel like his nice profession he is had is approach and it is savvy, it is what he is aware of concerning the recreation and that is sort of what I attempt to [do].”

Hyder was with the Cowboys in 2019 once they traded for Bennett midseason. He picked Bennett’s mind as a lot as he may, understanding it was a uncommon alternative to study from somebody he thought of an “idol.”

“Easy methods to break down O-linemen, the right way to implement your strikes, simply studying from a vet, soaking all of it in,” Hyder mentioned. “He may not let you know one thing however being round him every single day, you are going to choose up what you want.”

Hyder doesn’t need to match Bennett’s manufacturing or his personal from final season for his signing to be a hit. As one piece of a deep group of pass-rushers that may characteristic Carlos Dunlap and Jamal Adams, he most likely will not play as a lot as he did final 12 months or as a lot as Bennett did as soon as he turned a starter in Seattle.

He is additionally lower than a month away from his thirtieth birthday, making him two and a half years older than Bennett was when he signed with the Seahawks.

“I had an unorthodox journey to the NFL, so I may not have the mileage guys have on their legs,” Hyder mentioned. “I had time on follow squad and I had time the place I used to be capable of sit out, so I do know it might say 30, nevertheless it’s some younger legs proper right here. I’ve nonetheless acquired plenty of time left.”



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