Jairus Byrd's turn to shine for improving Saints defense, and other practice observations (1 Viewer)

Dan in Lafayette

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Jairus Byrd's turn to shine for improving Saints defense, and other practice observations

By Larry Holder, NOLA.com



My mentions of Jairus Byrd haven't been all too plentiful during this year's New Orleans Saints training camp.

It's a give and take with this.

The give involves not mentioning Byrd too often for his performance in practice. The young cornerbacks have taking much of the headlines with their stellar play on a near-daily basis.

The take is that Byrd has been a staple with the first-team defense essentially the entire camp. That hasn't been the case by any means the last two offseasons. Byrd has been ready and able for the Saints, and never been a real liability for the improving defense.

I noticed Byrd more for his playmaking abilities during Monday's first training camp practice session back at the team's facility in Metairie. Drew Brees probably noticed him, too.

Brees lined up the offense on a red zone team drill during the afternoon session. The quarterback looked for Brandon Coleman on a crossing route. Brees' pass flew high (even though I'm not sure how Coleman made the effort to put his hands up) into the hands of the leaping Byrd behind Coleman.

MORE -- Times-Picayune
 

Geaxsaints

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I believe a healthy, ballhawking Byrd is the factor that can put this defense over the top. The increasing success of the defensive line and pass protection from the linebackers has this defense in a path that could make them force for years to come.

When he played in the past, I don't think Byrd was as bad as he gets credited for. He was plagued by blown coverages from his corners seemingly every play. Having Breaux and Williams on the outside is much less of a liability than Browner or Dixon or whoever, and it gives Byrd an opportunity to scan the field, read the quarterback, and make plays on the ball.

With Vonn Bell on his tail, this season could very well make or break Byrd's career in New Orleans.
 

0rion

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Byrd has been one of the worst signings in recent memory for me. A guy with so much hype and potential that has done absolutely nothing for us. I'm pretty sure this will be his last season with us unless he does something spectacular this season. I don't look for him to do that but stranger things have happened I guess.
 

happy saint

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Seems to me he is as big a victim as so many feel like on this board.
His bad luck to be injured for 2 years and be blasted for not getting on the field and when he does get the chance, it is with a debacle of a defense.
His time is to now to make us all eat crow and I'm going to pull for him.
 

crosswatt

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Byrd has been one of the worst signings in recent memory for me. A guy with so much hype and potential that has done absolutely nothing for us. I'm pretty sure this will be his last season with us unless he does something spectacular this season. I don't look for him to do that but stranger things have happened I guess.
I think that we, as a fan base, are too invested in the sunk cost fallacy. Byrd has been paid. There is no correction available to that action. It is done. So I'm of the opinion that it needs to be left out of the equation going forward.


Seems to me he is as big a victim as so many feel like on this board.
His bad luck to be injured for 2 years and be blasted for not getting on the field and when he does get the chance, it is with a debacle of a defense.
His time is to now to make us all eat crow and I'm going to pull for him.
We need to look at the player and how he may be able to help the team win. Byrd was never a great athlete or phenomenal physical talent. He was instinctual and smart. As long as he hasn't lost that, and I'm not sure how he could, he can contribute to this team winning some football games.

And, if Allen's system works, and the players are true to their assignments, he will have to cover for their mistakes a bit less, and focus on his own, which should, in my mind anyway, make all the difference in the world.
 

bobad

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I gave up on Byrd last year. If he comes on this year and starts playing up to his potential, it will be big for the defense.
 

crosswatt

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I'll leave you with this. Only two players fielded punts in team special teams drills: Murphy and Brandin Cooks.
I really respect Payton and his staff. I do. I think they are among the best teachers and schemers in the game today. They may make mistakes and wrong choices, but it always comes from a plan or educated guess that they thought would work. And they are pretty stand up when something fails, and own up to it, and attempt to fix it going forward.

But I'm pretty sure I'll never understand this fascination with Cooks and the return game.
 

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I really respect Payton and his staff. I do. I think they are among the best teachers and schemers in the game today. They may make mistakes and wrong choices, but it always comes from a plan or educated guess that they thought would work. And they are pretty stand up when something fails, and own up to it, and attempt to fix it going forward.

But I'm pretty sure I'll never understand this fascination with Cooks and the return game.
There is no fascination. Cooks hasn't returned kicks for a while now. But he field punts in training because Payton trust him in a situation we need secure hands to make a fair catch.
 

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My heart sank when I saw the sentence about Cooks returning kicks. He's just not good at it, and why risk your most dangerous WR to injury? Now, if he's just back there to fair catch it, fine.
 

Meachemdat

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My heart sank when I saw the sentence about Cooks returning kicks. He's just not good at it, and why risk your most dangerous WR to injury? Now, if he's just back there to fair catch it, fine.
Maybe it's just practice. I'm all for guys getting some reps back there. We don't want a 2011 playoff scenario where we have to throw someone out there to return that hasn't gotten any reps up until that point.
 

crosswatt

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There is no fascination. Cooks hasn't returned kicks for a while now. But he field punts in training because Payton trust him in a situation we need secure hands to make a fair catch.
Probably so, but Snead has good hands too, and I don't recall hearing about him being involved. I think it does concern me more than it should, but I just don't have a comfort with it.
 

0rion

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I think that we, as a fan base, are too invested in the sunk cost fallacy. Byrd has been paid. There is no correction available to that action. It is done. So I'm of the opinion that it needs to be left out of the equation going forward.
do me a favor.....read back through my post and point out anywhere in it that I brought up pay, cost, or money. I don't see it. It has nothing to do with money at this point because like you say....he's already been paid. Production is my concern. He's done nothing on the field for us when he's out there. He's a non-factor. That was not what we were expecting to get from him. Blame it on the scheme or whatever you want but the fact still remains.....he's been under performing for us. I'm curious to see how he does this season vs Bell. I'm betting Byrd is very expendable next year.
I blame our front office more than I blame Byrd. Due diligence wasn't done prior to the signing to make sure we were getting what was advertised. He was damaged goods from day 1.
 

crosswatt

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do me a favor.....read back through my post and point out anywhere in it that I brought up pay, cost, or money. I don't see it. It has nothing to do with money at this point because like you say....he's already been paid. Production is my concern. He's done nothing on the field for us when he's out there. He's a non-factor. That was not what we were expecting to get from him. Blame it on the scheme or whatever you want but the fact still remains.....he's been under performing for us. I'm curious to see how he does this season vs Bell. I'm betting Byrd is very expendable next year.
I blame our front office more than I blame Byrd. Due diligence wasn't done prior to the signing to make sure we were getting what was advertised. He was damaged goods from day 1.
Sunk cost isn't limited to money. Forget how he got here, and who deserves any blame for the situation.

Did he play at an acceptable level for a starting free safety last year? Yes. Is he looking more like the player he was in Buffalo so far this training camp/preseason? Yes. Will it carry over to the regular season? Who knows really.

But how he got here and what he cost and our expectations as fans and how they were not met really shouldn't factor into what we are seeing at the moment. Whether or not this player can help win football games is really all I care about. The rest is inconsequential in my mind.
 

0rion

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Sunk cost isn't limited to money. Forget how he got here, and who deserves any blame for the situation.

Did he play at an acceptable level for a starting free safety last year? Yes. Is he looking more like the player he was in Buffalo so far this training camp/preseason? Yes. Will it carry over to the regular season? Who knows really.

But how he got here and what he cost and our expectations as fans and how they were not met really shouldn't factor into what we are seeing at the moment. Whether or not this player can help win football games is really all I care about. The rest is inconsequential in my mind.
we definitely just see this differently because to me that all matters. It's the reason you pay big money to a free agent. You expect a certain amount of performance for dollars paid. If that wasn't the case then the worst players would be equally valuable to the best players. When you give that big contract and the player grossly under performs then some mistakes were made somewhere. Can Byrd turn it around? I do think he probably could if he can stay healthy but at this point that seems like a long shot to me. Right now our best case scenario is he performs well enough to draw some value on the market so we can get some of our investment back assuming Bell is going to be the player I think he is.
 

crosswatt

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we definitely just see this differently because to me that all matters. It's the reason you pay big money to a free agent. You expect a certain amount of performance for dollars paid. If that wasn't the case then the worst players would be equally valuable to the best players. When you give that big contract and the player grossly under performs then some mistakes were made somewhere. Can Byrd turn it around? I do think he probably could if he can stay healthy but at this point that seems like a long shot to me. Right now our best case scenario is he performs well enough to draw some value on the market so we can get some of our investment back assuming Bell is going to be the player I think he is.
And that's cool. The world would be a boring place if we all thought the same way.

My point though is that we can't go back and change all of that now, so why worry about it? I just think that it serves to negatively temper our view of his potential contributions this year as they hopefully happen. I want to enjoy the interception, not think about how much it cost or who else may have made it were Byrd not here.

Just my opinion.

:ezbill:
 

Dome50

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Sunk cost isn't limited to money. Forget how he got here, and who deserves any blame for the situation.

Did he play at an acceptable level for a starting free safety last year? Yes. Is he looking more like the player he was in Buffalo so far this training camp/preseason? Yes. Will it carry over to the regular season? Who knows really.

But how he got here and what he cost and our expectations as fans and how they were not met really shouldn't factor into what we are seeing at the moment. Whether or not this player can help win football games is really all I care about. The rest is inconsequential in my mind.
I don't understand this logic. Perhaps its inconsequential to you but I gauruntee it factors into how the coaches/front office evaluate players. How a player got here and cost absolutely play into expectations, both from fans and from the team's perspective. The team invested heavily in Byrd, just as they invested heavily in Peat (with where he was drafted). Both, to date, have underperformed. That's disappointing. I also disagree with the folks that say Byrd played well or acceptable last year. He was brought here to provide a spark, to be a ball hawk, to create turnovers. He has not done that. Period. He is also out of position at times whiffing on deep balls, despite playing deep center. Byrd will be gone next year unless he shows up in a big way and makes the plays that were expected from him, the reason we made him one of the highest paid safeties in the league.
 

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