The University of Oregon's late final exam schedule kept Bills second-round pick Jairus Byrd from attending OTA workouts and minicamp with his teammates this week. But with his school's last final exam taking place Friday, Byrd will be at One Bills Drive this weekend.
"Jairus is going to come in for a few days and go over some of the tapes," said Bills defensive backs coach George Catavolos. "The CBA rules allow for that."
Participating in just the three practices during rookie minicamp the weekend following the NFL draft, Byrd has missed a lot of installation on the defensive side of the ball.
"We'll spend some time with him going over what we've inserted while he's been gone," said Catavolos. "We'll try to get him up to speed mentally and hopefully in camp he'll get his repetitions there."
That doesn't figure to be a problem as the Bills have high hopes for the second-round pick. Bills head coach Dick Jauron puts a lot of faith in his high draft picks as evidenced by the use of Aaron Maybin, Eric Wood and Andy Levitre in the OTA and minicamp setting.
All three saw first team reps at times in an effort to acclimate them to legitimate NFL play while also seeing how quickly the high draft choices can assimilate to the pro game.
"The people that were drafted high we definitely think a good deal about them and we want to get them in the mix early, very early," said Jauron. "They need to get as many reps as they can get to catch up with the veterans."
Of course that wasn't an option for Byrd, but that doesn't mean Catavolos won't be looking to see how quickly his free safety prospect can adjust come late July in training camp.
"What you're looking for is discipline, being able to play with the proper technique and understanding how they're going to be attacked and anticipating what's happening to them," said Catavolos.
While Byrd has been away from the team Catavolos has been keeping the rookie as updated as possible, sending weekly tests on terminology. The defensive staff also gave him specific drills to work on by himself that will benefit him in his transition to free safety.
Working in Byrd's favor is his cerebral approach to the game and strong football instincts. Those qualities could enable him to still push for a starting role as a rookie despite the valuable time that he's missed.
It's also why his head coach has faith that the defensive back will be quick to respond when it comes time to practice at St. John Fisher.
"School and the rules in our league are always an issue," said Jauron. "But I believe he'll catch up quickly."