Jairus Byrd's quirky lockout offseason

May, 26, 2011
5/26/11
3:48
PM ET
ELMA, N.Y. -- Every offseason has been a new experience for Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd.

He made the transition from Oregon to the NFL in 2009, grabbed a bunch of interceptions and made the Pro Bowl. Last summer, he had to learn a different defense, as the new coaching staff morphed from a Tampa 2-style 4-3 to a 3-4.

Byrd
So when I asked Byrd how unusual this offseason has been because of the lockout, his facial expression asked in return, "What's usual?"

"You just take the hand you're dealt and you play with it," Byrd told me this week while changing out of his football spikes after a workout at the Sahlen's Sports Park in suburban Buffalo.

The weirdness of the lockout is affecting Byrd more than most. Because management isn't supposed to have any contact with players, Byrd's father, Chicago Bears defensive backfield assistant Gill Byrd, must keep a running log of all the times he speaks to Jairus.

"He has to report it and write down what we talked about and whatever," Jairus Byrd said with a laugh. "I don't have to jot anything down, though. To me, I just talk to him like I always have. That's his problem."

When it comes to normalcy, Jairus Byrd says he at least "feels normal" when it comes to his health. He has battled injuries throughout his first two NFL seasons and had three groin surgeries in a 13-month span.

But he said he has been able to train without limitations for a while.

"I have a big chip on my shoulder," Byrd said. "I'm not going to lie. That's every year. I have goals that I don't like to share, but I'm going to go out there and get them.

"A lot of people tell me what I can't do. I wasn't supposed to be here. I've carried that with me for a while, and it's grown like a fire. I'm just ready to go."

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