“We make no excuses. Morgan played hard; I have no issues with his effort. Again, my main concern is our big plays that we give up. We’ve got eliminate that,”. We crept back up into the top amongst pass plays over 20 yards, and that was something that zeroed in on last year. We got it down, this year it went back up. More important than anything else is the big plays that we give up in the pass game. That’s something that we’ve got to go back and make sure that we eliminate.”

At corner, whatever happens with Shields and Williams, the unit would get a huge boost from a healthy Hayward. His return would also free up the possibility – although none of the defensive coaches acknowledged that they were even thinking about it – of moving Hyde to safety.

“The thing I was encouraged with Casey was, the offseason, I honestly thought he had the best offseason of anybody before we were coming back from training camp. And when he called me and told me he pulled his hamstring, I could have just fell out of my chair,” Whitt said. “Because the way he looked during the offseason, I thought he would have one of those 1-2 spots. If he can just get his body back right, we’re going to have an opportunity to be really impactful when we get him back because he’s a guy that has natural instincts, he understands how to get the ball, he plays that slot very, very well. So I’m looking forward to having him back in the fold.”

Next: Special teams.

– Jason Wilde