D.J. Hayden was just inches away from a tipped ball at Raiders camp. Michael Crabtree caught the touchdown on him, anyway.
That's life in the NFL for a pass defender. The third-year cornerback finally understands that now.
"My mind-set this year I am just going full-force," Hayden told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Whether I make a mistake or not, I am going to do it full speed. Last year, I was hesitant about making mistakes. This year, I don't give a damn."
In his previous two seasons, Hayden admitted he took injuries and big plays too seriously. The former first-round pick has developed a short memory as he enters his third year.
It's an enviable trait -- and Hayden needs it now more than ever. He'll face skilled receivers all year on the field, and the looming possibility of job loss off it.
That competition is just fine with Hayden. As he said, he doesn't give a damn.
"They're great players and we're just making each other better." Hayden said. "I'm just looking forward to our next practice."