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  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement
    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    It could be any training camp in the country at any level of football and the age old pastime of coaches yelling at players will invariably be heard throughout every practice session.

    It’s no different in St. Louis as any given day, the Rams coaching staff can be overheard screaming at the top of their lungs. One of their favorite targets is Dominique Byrd.

    In this, his second season, Byrd came to camp with the intent of becoming a factor in the Rams’ high-powered and star heavy offense.

    But for the most part, he just gets yelled at. While no one enjoys being screamed at on a regular basis, Byrd knows that it’s all part of the deal and recognizes that things could be worse.

    “You know, it’s better if they say something,” Byrd said. “If you don’t hear anything that’s when you kind of worry and think, ‘Man, I hope my phone doesn’t ring early in the morning.’ That’s just one of those things that with this job you have to take every single day as its own entity and work hard to get better and pay attention to the coaching. That’s what you try to do because this is not a game of longevity so you have to mark your mark as soon as you can.”

    Indeed, the sounds of coach Scott Linehan asking Byrd at a high volume if he has any interest in being on the field this year might not sound soothing to some, but to Byrd it means the coaches want him to succeed.

    “I just see so much talent there and so much potential and then some days I see we are realizing that and some days I don’t see it,” Linehan said. “It’s just how I feel. I hate to see such a talented young man one day be consistent and the next day not because he could really do a lot for the football team if he was consistent every day.”

    For most of his heretofore short stay in St. Louis, Byrd’s only area of consistency has been inconsistency.

    Byrd arrived as a third-round pick from USC with the reputation as a player whose favorite player was himself. After struggling his way through his first training camp, Byrd found himself in street clothes as a game day inactive for the first four games of last season.

    On Oct. 8, against Green Bay, Byrd made his NFL debut but his role was limited to helping on special teams and he was a non-factor in the offense. He played the following week against Seattle but was a game day inactive for the next four weeks.

    By the time the season was over, Byrd had made little impact despite a bit of a flash of his skills on Dec. 24 against Washington when he caught two passes for 39 yards including a 27-yard touchdown.

    Byrd was far from satisfied with his output in 2006, but recognized the difficult position he was in. Byrd had no veteran to tutor him like the young receivers do and was looking for guidance.

    When the Rams signed veteran Randy McMichael in March, Byrd didn’t look at it as competition that could knock him out of a job but rather a positive influence that could help him improve.

    In addition, Byrd has taken to working beyond what he does in practice with the team. Byrd has put in extra time in the film room and has turned to the team’s de facto leader in safety Corey Chavous.

    After Tuesday’s practice, Byrd stayed after and worked with Chavous on route running and keys.

    “This last week and a half or so, I have found myself more comfortable,” Byrd said. “I think in our first preseason game I missed a hot read and that’s something I always know and is second nature to me. But when you get in the game sometimes and you try to think fast, you might be thinking I need to get down the field to get this ball but you tend to forget the little things.”

    For the most part, Linehan has Byrd working in the “move” tight end position, where he can line up at any of the areas on the field including the slot, the back field or on the line. Byrd believes that spot best suits his skills and is a position he feels most comfortable with.

    In the meantime, Byrd is doing everything he can to ensure he will be in the mix this season.

    “You want it to be second nature so when you are in the game it is automatic,” Byrd said. “You know when you see a safety rotating that there’s a blitz coming or you know by your personnel when you get a certain look this is probably going to happen so it doesn’t surprise you.”

    The Rams will likely keep three tight ends and it appears McMichael, Joe Klopfenstein and Byrd will form that trio. But Linehan would still like to see more from Byrd.

    “Dominique is like a lot of young players,” Linehan said. “He flashes some really nice days and every once in a while he will put one out there that says he needs to mature and continue to get better. But he’s not unlike a lot of players who are young and haven’t figured it out yet. I think Dominique would be the first one to tell you he’s really working on that. He’s better than he was a year ago and he is getting better.”


  2. #2
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    i would cut byrd and keep walker.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  3. #3
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    GC, I also like Walker WAY better than Byrd. But rather than trading him I would like to see the Rams put him on the trading block. A fifth or a sixth round pick would be better than nothing.

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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    The Rams will likely keep three tight ends and it appears McMichael, Joe Klopfenstein and Byrd will form that trio. But Linehan would still like to see more from Byrd.
    Hmm, my understanding was that WALKER would be in there, not DB; I even thought I read somewhere that Aaron Walker was training as a long snapper (backup) for Massey. // I just have not been able to welcome Dominique ... even if he is trying; I would think the other 3 TEs are 'trying' and working hard too!

    Mikhal, I agree: if we could get something in return for a Byrd exchange, that would probably justify the move.

  5. #5
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Did he even show up for the Charger game?

  6. #6
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    I'm really impressed by Corey Chavous, he brings a lot of leadership on this team, this player is very valuable.
    Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
    Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    i would cut byrd and keep walker.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    Honestly that's what I was thinking also. I doubt it will happen, regardless of whether Walker is a better player we spent a 3rd on Byrd (even traded up), it's hard to admit that you picked the wrong guy, so I think the most likely scenario is that we keep Byrd.

    We really are stacked at TE though, both McMichael and Klopfenstein are good receivers and would without a doubt both be ahead of Byrd on the depth chart so to me it makes sense to pick a better blocker (Walker) as your 3rd TE instead of primarily a receiving TE (Byrd).

  8. #8
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement
    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    When the Rams signed veteran Randy McMichael in March, Byrd didn’t look at it as competition that could knock him out of a job but rather a positive influence that could help him improve.

    In the meantime, Byrd is doing everything he can to ensure he will be in the mix this season.


    The Rams will likely keep three tight ends and it appears McMichael, Joe Klopfenstein and Byrd will form that trio. But Linehan would still like to see more from Byrd.
    This kid is showing maturity with his outlook on the McMichael signing. He's working hard to make our team. The coaches must see alot of potential in him to be on him so much.

  9. #9
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Byrd bring more to the table than Walker. Walker is a better blocker but Byrd gives you another threat.
    "I was the originator of smack. Some guys rattle with smack; with other guys it rolls right off their shoulders like nothing. "
    -Deacon Jones

  10. #10
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Yeah, Byrd is a threat alright...on the road, in the night club, in the dorm playing video games with his teammates.

  11. #11
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Byrd is more of a playmaker than both Walker and Klop; and that's what is probably keeping him around. I really hope that he gets his act together because he could bring a whole other dimension to our offense. But in any case I wouldn't cut him, I would do as what has already been said and this is try to trade him; if you are going to get rid of him. He is young and still has a lot of potential so that should bring some kind of pick back.
    Sprtsmac :football:

  12. #12
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    Re: Byrd Working Hard Toward Improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    i would cut byrd and keep walker.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    I am not ready to give up on Byrd just yet, but I can understand why you have run out of patience. My guess is that with the arrival of McMichael, Walker becomes more expendable. I think Byrd will get another year to show that he can become a difference maker ... and that is it, this is the make or break season for him. With Randy M. we have a guy who is a good blocker and a very good receiver, so we are definitely better off than last year. Who knows though, maybe we will keep 4 ...??

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