Inside The Bills

Byrd makes PFF top 100

Posted by Chris Brown on May 1, 2012 – 10:17 am

Bills safety Jairus Byrd has landed on the Pro Football Focus Top 100 players list for the 2011 season.

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at PFF have put together their list of the top 100 performers from last year and Jairus Byrd appears on the most current listing of players on their countdown from 80 to 71. Byrd ranks 72nd (see below).

72. Jairus Byrd, S, Buffalo Bills

This was the year where Byrd established himself as one of the league’s top safeties, with a season that earned him our third-highest grade of all his peers (+13.0). He broke up seven passes to go with his three interceptions, while only allowing 51.5% of passes into coverage to be completed. What’s more, for a player who spends most of his time playing deep (84.1% of all snaps), he notched up 35 tackles in run defense, good for 16th of all safeties. He’s a rare beast; a free safety who is active on every play.

Best Performance: Week 16 versus Denver (+3.3)

Key Stat: Missed one tackle for every 14.3 attempts; eighth-best of all safeties.

Byrd’s tackling and angles of entry in the run game were much improved this past season, which helps to explain his increased number of tackles as well as fewer misses (see: Key Stat above). The Oregon product admitted as a rookie that he had to adjust to fitting up the run from the free safety position after playing cornerback in college, but according to his position coach he’s gotten a lot better in that area.

“The thing he struggled with as a rookie was run fits,” said secondary coach George Catavolos. “That was the biggest jump he took first in 2010 and again last season he took another step. And he’s really good at forcing fumbles.”

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