Now that the shock and awe of the Jairus Byrd signing is starting to wear off, it's time to talk about what we can actually expect from him on the football field. You remember the football field, don't you?
Byrd is the type of defensive back that changes the way coaches can structure coverages, because he has so much range on the back end despite only average straight-line speed. He's a playmaker; Byrd is always around the ball, trying to force fumbles in scrums and making plays on the ball in coverage. He's also definitely a deep safety; don't expect him to play close to the line of scrimmage.
Kenny Vaccaro has a lot of athletic similarities to Aaron Williams, another Texas defensive back that the Bills just re-signed; they're both strong safety types that can match up in coverage. Byrd perfectly complements that kind of player.
A Byrd in Hand
The New Orleans Saints surprisingly sign former Bills safety Jairus Byrd to a 6-year deal on the first day of NFL free agency.
Oh yeah! I like what I'm hearing. We already know how much Rob Ryan values the safety position in his defense and it would appear Byrd fits perfectly in Ryan's master plan as a complement to Kenny Vaccaro. Vaccaro can be the hard-hitting thumper at the the line of scrimmage while leaving Byrd free to roam deep and make plays on the ball.
The big draw with Byrd is his ability to create turnovers, something I'm sure the Saints are focusing on improving in an attempt to return to 2009 form. Byrd had four interceptions in just eleven games last season, helping the Bills on their way to the NFL's second best interception rate behind only the Seahawks. Buffalo's defense also had seven multi-interception games in 2013. Byrd had another five INTs in 2012. In short, he's the anti-NCMF.
What do you guys think about the newest Saints player now? Have you heard anything else?