Byrd looks to be everything the Bills thought he'd be... A great Ball Hawk. Though he hasn't made great plays on the interceptions, he finds himself in the right spot at the right time consistently. Thinking back to the Jim Leonard safety days, I could only think of what happened to Leonard and how similar these guys started.
Both guys were served as back up safeties and were not intended to start, the main reason I didn't like the Byrd pick in the 2nd round. The Bills had obvious needs at O-line and pass rushers that I thought this pick was absolutely horrible. It is turning out that the other pick I didn't like (Maybin) is looking to be a lot worse, especially when looking at how Orakpo is playing and how bad I wanted him at the spot. Anyways, back to the comparison. Both, Jim and Byrd were able to step in at safety, replacing their fellow starters. They both excelled well in the turnover portion of the game, Jim Leonard having four picks in his first couple starts (leading the league) and Byrd having Five in his first couple starts.
This brings me to my next point...Our coaching staff. Dick and his fellow coaching staff decide Jim Leonard is not better than his fellow starter and decides to bench him while he is leading the league in picks and later decides to cut him. Well Dick, how did that work out? You guys know the rest. I can only hope when all three safeties are healthy that the Bills keep starting Byrd. I would start Whitner at SS and Byrd and FS. This coaching staff however fails to recognize talent and will probably bench Byrd in favor for Scott. Don't get me wrong, Scott is a good player, but Byrd I think is leading the league in interceptions and has earned the right to start. It would also only help his development as a player. If I were Dick, I would immediately bench Ellison and use Byrd at OLB, heck maybe he can stop the run and he has seen time at LB.
Byrd proves it does not take "years" for players to develop in this league. He stepped in and has dominated, more so in the run game I believe than the pass. He is great in run support as well as finding himself in the right places on pass downs. Thats why I "HATE" it when people say we need to give players time to develop. That is WRONG because Orakpo is already proving he can start and play at a high level when Maybin our 4 year project is awful and not meant to be a 4-3 End. There are also lots of other players that prove the Hardy pick doesn't need to take time to develop either, look at Hakim Nics, Maclin, Percy Harvin and company. Don't get me wrong, I can't blame Hardy for getting hurt but he couldn't do anything his first 15 games. Bills front office does a horrible job at drafting guys and I am tired of waiting for guys to develop while watching other rookies who step right in and contribute. Everette Brown also looked good today and PLAYED in the game, wow didn't see that coming. I mean if the Bills didn't take Maybin how far would he have fallen? I don't think a team would have picked Maybin over Everette Brown, and he fell to the second.
All and all, I am hoping Dick and his coaching staff realize that Byrd is playing at a high level and don't decide to bench him in favor or Scott. I would like to see him take over the full time FS role and see him develop, isn't that why they drafted him? I mean I know they like drafting projects that take 3 years, but Byrd has stepped in and won the spot, by a long shot and deserves the start. Hopefully history does not repeat itself, and Dick has learned from his past mistakes. He and his coaching staff have failed to recognize talent and it has shown in the past and present and past Bills players are starting and contributing at high levels on other NFL teams.