Inside The Bills

Byrd’s former teammate at combine

Posted by Chris Brown on February 28, 2010 – 3:47 pm

Jairus Byrd’s former teammate at Oregon, safety T.J. Ward arrived at the combine Sunday and still keeps in touch with the Bills safety as well as fellow former alum Patrick Chung with the Patriots.

Both Byrd and Chung were second round picks last year. While Chung didn’t crack the lineup in New England, Byrd broke the rookie record for interceptions with nine. Ward talked about the influence of Chung and Byrd while also reminiscing about the secondary their team had in 2008 when Byrd was playing corner and Chung safety with him.

“At that time, we knew we were all pretty good players,” said Ward. “I guess to see what they’re doing in the NFL right now I wouldn’t say it was expected or we knew how much talent we had, but we knew we were a good secondary and we could do some big things.”

Ward said he recently spoke to Byrd by phone.

“I talked to Jairus a couple weeks ago,” said Ward. “He just had a great rookie year. You can’t really emulate that. (laughs) He
set a record, so that’s a once-in-a-lifetime-type deal. Jairus is a great player. He just has a nose for the ball, and he has great ball skills.
So it wasn’t unexpected, but it was surprising.”

Ward is forecast as a third or fourth-round pick.

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