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A league honor for Byrd

Posted Oct 29, 2009

His play on the field simply became too impressive to ignore. Since he’s been in Buffalo’s lineup he’s been a difference maker and as a result Bills free safety Jairus Byrd was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month.

"I'm honored," said Byrd. "I couldn't have done it without my coaches and teammates. (Defensive backs) Coach (George) Catavolos and (Defensive Coordinator) Perry Fewell have put me in position to make plays. I missed a lot and they've helped me and the entire secondary taught me and showed me tough love. I coudln't have done it without them." 

For Byrd it has been his takeaways that have earned him league-wide notoriety. His five total interceptions lead all rookies and rank second among all NFL players.  Byrd posted all five of his interceptions thus far this season in the month of October something no other defensive player had done so far this season.

“I’ve just been blessed with ball skills,” said Byrd. “It helps, but really the veterans and the other 10 guys on the field with me have made my job a lot easier, with the pass rush we’ve had and the veterans and how they’ve helped me prepare for the games. A lot of credit goes to them.”

The defensive back is the first NFL rookie to post five interceptions in a calendar month since Mark Carrier (Chicago) in 1990. He’s also the first rookie with two or more interceptions in consecutive games since Everson Walls (Dallas) in 1981.

Byrd’s last three interceptions have been instrumental in Buffalo’s last two victories. Against the Jets his second interception in the game led to the game-tying field goal with 2:30 that forced overtime in a game won by Buffalo 16-13.

This past week Byrd had two more interceptions returning both deep into Carolina territory. Both turnovers resulted in Buffalo’s only two touchdowns in the game en route to a 20-9 victory.

“That’s what I want to do,” said Byrd. “I want to be part of the solution not the problem. So I’m trying to help out the offense in any way I can.”

Byrd also posted 15 tackles and six pass breakups to go along with his five INTs.

The last time a Bills player won league Rookie of the Month honors was last November when Leodis McKelvin was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month.

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