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Hayden 'don't give a damn' about mistakes anymore

Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden was easy to root for coming out of college as he tried to come back from a horrifying chest injury. But after two disappointing seasons, he knows the underdog title won't suit him anymore.

In 2015, Hayden is hoping to play like the No. 12 overall pick.

"My mind-set this year I am just going full-force," Hayden said, via "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."

Hayden's maturation on the field seems to be in line with many top cornerbacks. Giants star Prince Amukamara, who also struggled with injury early on in his career, talked openly about how losing the fear of mistakes aided his game.

Could Hayden be on a similar path?

Over two seasons, he has played in just 18 games, but Hayden isn't letting that become an excuse. At the moment, he's part of a young core of Raiders defensive backs that are all between 25 and 26, looking to lock down the No. 2 job.

"I say screw all that," Hayden said when asked about the team being too young at the corner spots. "We're young, so what? We're about to ball. We're going to take advantage of our plays and make plays."

Oakland hopes so. Seeing a return on their investment in Hayden would be huge for Jack Del Rio's new defense.

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