Free safety Jairus Byrd was the standout of Buffalo's afternoon practice Monday with two highlight-reel interceptions. The first came when Byrd jumped a pass intended for RB C.J. Spiller in the middle of the field. The second interception was even more impressive when a diving Byrd somehow snared a Ryan Fitzpatrick deep ball before it hit the turf.
Though Byrd has been unable to match the numbers of his remarkable rookie season in recent years -- he had nine interceptions upon entering the league in 2009 -- his all-around play has improved tremendously. With Buffalo's increased firepower along the defensive line, he should have more opportunities to create turnovers this season.
“The guy stepped in his rookie year and had nine picks,” Fitzpatrick said. “We all know he's got a great nose for the ball and he's done a great job this entire offseason in terms of being a guy that's in the right spot and always seems to be making plays. He's certainly a guy that we're going to hope makes a lot of plays this year.”
Backup QBs show improvement: Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen both had one of their better days throwing the ball. Thigpen had his sharpest strike of camp with a bullet to FB Dorin Dickerson for a touchdown. Said coach Chan Gailey: “The installation has gone slower the last couple of days, so we're getting to repeat some things. So when you get to repeat ‘em, they get sharper and crisper on their reads and it's paid dividends. They're seeing things and doing some things with the football that are a lot better than that first few days for sure.”