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Thursday, April 17, 2014
Byrd excited by brainstorming with Ryan

By Mike Triplett

HARAHAN, La. -- Jairus Byrd has been in New Orleans for a week now. And the new New Orleans Saints safety said defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is already living up to his reputation as an inventive, exciting schemer.

"Yeah, definitely," Byrd said with a laugh. "Look, he has some stuff in his head that he's gonna get out one way or the other."

Byrd said he's been at the Saints' facility almost every day since he arrived in town last week, working out and talking with coaches and some new teammates like fellow defensive backs Kenny Vaccaro and Keenan Lewis. Before that, he said he talked and texted with Ryan, as well.

Byrd said he didn't want to get into any specifics about how the Saints plan to use him. But clearly both sides are excited about the possibilities of adding someone with his ability to create turnovers to a young Saints defense that was already on the rise last year.

"To have that ability with an offense that's gonna put up points and a stingy defense like that and exotic in the way Coach Ryan calls things, it's unorthodox, it's gonna keep people guessing," Byrd said when asked what attracted him to New Orleans in free agency. "That combination right there was enough."

Byrd, a three-time Pro Bowler with the Buffalo Bills, is also getting familiar with his new community. He met with the media while visiting Harahan Elementary School on Wednesday to talk to kids about the importance of reading and education.

Byrd said he's already noticed signs of the passion of the Saints' fan base around town. And he's also heard of the reputation of the Who Dat Nation from Lewis, a New Orleans-area native.

"I hear it's really like a family atmosphere," Byrd said. "How he talks about it, and just being out a little bit, I've seen ... the love the city has for the team."