Rob Ryan: Byrd is great but "It has to be all of us"
Can you talk about getting Jairus Byrd on the field today?
“It’s great to get him out there. He has been great in the meetings. He is a great leader. I think getting him out there with his teammates is always good. We are taking our time doing the right thing. He is working really hard so everything is going really well.”
Is Jairus Byrd someone that you want to fill the role of takeaways?
“Yes, absolutely, here is the thing; you don’t put all that on one man. We have an excellent defense. We’re going to work. We are going to strive to be better on these turnovers. We have to be. It is not just a one man job. It has to be all of us.”
How quickly do you think Jairus Byrd will get up to speed?
“Physically, that is for everybody else, he’s doing his rehab and doing everything, whatever that takes. He’s in the best care. We have Scottie Patton. He’s the best. They know more about that. You will have to ask them. I know mentally he is right there, but he needs to work on the field. He needs the reps with his teammates. That will come. He is a real sharp guy.”
Would you limit his exposure in the preseason to make sure he is ready to go week one?
“The great thing here with the Saints, we do everything right. We think about everything. We do the right thing. Sean (Payton) gets with those trainers and Scottie. They have a plan for him. Whatever is the smart thing to do is what we do. We don’t half ass anything. We are going to make sure he is there as soon as he can be, when he is going to be full up to speed. That is how we do it.”
Do you see Jairus Byrd as a vocal leader of this defense?
“Sure. He is a smart guy. Once he gets out there with his teammates and gets used to playing with them, I am sure he will be.”
Do you have a plan of where you see him playing?
“I think our three safety deal, the game is changing as you know. You have to have more guys that can cover, run, do all of these different things, and that’s why I think the game really does evolve. The three safety package comes in a lot more than it has ever in football. We are fortunate enough. We have five really talented safeties on the roster. We plan on playing them all because they’re really good players.”
What is it about Jairus Byrd that leads to so many turnovers?
“I think he has unique ball skills. If that ball hits his hands he is going to catch it. But also with that, he is very smart. He can put himself in the plays. He has just been great all through his career. I think that one thing with (forcing and recovering) turnovers in the National Football League, (is that) these are the best quarterbacks in the world. You have to play your technique. You have to be disciplined, but there comes to a time and point where every turnover is made where a guy has to just go make it.” He’s been great all through his career. He played corner in college. He just has unique ball skills and so did his father (Gil).”