Morris hopes "wake-up call" for Hayes works; Zuttah could return Sunday
While linebacker Geno Hayes doesn't have his starting job back, it appears he's been doing better in practice and could get some more snaps Sunday against the Texans, coach Raheem Morris said today.
Hayes, the starter at weakside the past couple years, was benched last week because he hadn't been consistent enough. Adam Hayward came in and got to play more in his place.
But Morris has liked how Hayes has responded.
"I hope it's a wake-up call for Geno," Morris said. "Get him back on the field, and get him going again. Just too many uncommon consistent issues the week before and really the previous weeks that I wanted to get across to him. Hope we can get him back out and get him in a part-time role this week and see what he can do and then hopefully develop a nice competition there at linebacker."
Morris acknowledged he needs to see more big plays out of the linebacking core in general, same with his entire defense.
"You need impact plays across the board," Morris said. "It starts up front but you want impact plays from impact guys, and Geno was definitely a splash play guy for a couple years, and then you don't. And then when you don't get splash plays, you get inconsistent play and you got to wake him up some how and that's my job as a coach."
*Morris appears hopeful that G Jeremy Zuttah (knee) could be back in his starting role this week after missing last game. Zuttah was at full participation in today's practice, but the key will be Thursday, when the team goes through a padded practice.
*DT Frank Okam (calf), who missed last game, is still iffy for Sunday's game. He did not participate in practice today. WR Mike Williams (thigh) also didn't participate, along with S Tanard Jackson (hamstring).
-- JOE SMITH