Update: Chicago Bears nickelback Kelvin Hayden has been ruled out for the season with a torn hamstring, the team announced Wednesday.
If you can’t beat them, sign them. That’s the motivation that brought Cornerback Kelvin Hayden to the Chicago Bears last April. At the end of the 2006 NFL season, the Chicago Bears lost the Super Bowl to the Indianapolis Colts. The play that sealed their fate in the Miami rain, mud and sludge that February evening was a pick-six by Kelvin Hayden.
Lovie Smith was making a lot of headway on the ground, but then he seemed to channel his inner Tim Beckman by abandoning that approach for an air attack. Despite being down just one possession.
And having Rex Grossman as the quarterback.
In a driving rain storm.
The 56 yard TD return was the first for Hayden. Obviously, he made his end zone debut in style. He’s not the same player today that we was then, but he did provide secondary help last season. Hayden started two games and played in all 16 for the Chicago Bears last year; racking up 37 tackles, one INT and 5 PBUs. Since Super Bowl XLI Hayden has racked up three more pick-sixes.
Kelvin Hayden will be the Bears CB3 this season. Not CB4, the Chris Rock gangsta rap parody film, which is the FUNNIEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME. Not that it’s relevant to here. Again, the Bears will have one of the better starting corner tandems in the NFL. Tim Jennings came out of nowhere to become a Pro-Bowler, racking up 8 interceptions to lead all of football. Peanut Tillman was again himself, having another solid Pro Bowl year. With two corners like that ahead of him, Kelvin Hayden will only start should the injury bug bite. But the 9th year guy saw the bug bite him. Like Philadelphia Eagles WR Arrelious Benn, now we have two Illini players in the NFL done for the season.
Kelvin Hayden is a very intriguing local story. He played his prep football at Hubbard in Chicago and his college football at Illinois. While with the Illini, he was part of some DREADFUL Ron Turner teams. In fact, the 2003 Illini team was so awful on defense, that entering the season the unit was allowed to “draft” a couple players from the other side to play d. The first pick? A great wide receiver named Kelvin Hayden, who went on to become a college DB that caught enough attention to be the 60th overall pick in the second round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2005. The 6-0, 195 Kelvin Hayden was a rare bright spot on some horrible teams as Turner had little interest in leaving the surrounding counties in Illinois to recruit.
Kelvin Hayden played 2011 with the Atlanta Falcons, and his career numbers entering Chicago read like this: 11 INTs, 41 PBUs and 4 FFs.
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Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@paulmbanks)