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Byrd thinking he’s right where he belongs

Posted by Darren Urban on September 4, 2012 – 12:28 pm

LaRon Byrd smiled. The undrafted rookie wide receiver is seemingly already a fan favorite, which is always a good place to be when you were basically unwanted in April’s draft.

“I’m sure no one in Arizona knew who I was,” Byrd said. “But my job is to work. I’m a blue-collar guy. My friends laugh at me because they say I am old school. But I come every day with my hard hat, wherever that takes me.”

It’s taken him not only on to the Cards’ roster but as the fifth receiver, behind Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and Michael Floyd. After watching Byrd in the preseason, with his Fitz-like dreads and big (6-foot-4) body, it’s hard to believe someone like him at a big school like the University of Miami wouldn’t be picked. But such are circumstances like Byrd’s, after he fell off the radar of new coach Al Golden’s staff last season in Coral Gables.

Byrd shrugs off his history. College didn’t end quite the way he wanted, but he came into the league with a confidence that showed the experience didn’t ruin him. “Not to sound big-headed or conceited, but this is where I saw myself anyway,” Byrd said. “I didn’t come here thinking I wanted to be a practice squad guy. I didn’t come here thinking, ‘Oh, I may have a chance.’ “

On one hand, Byrd’s confidence is obvious. But his short interview is peppered with him talking about being “appreciative” and “thankful” and “grateful” for his Arizona opportunity. He doesn’t know his role yet — it’s possible Byrd won’t even be active on Sunday, but most of the time, the Cards do use five receivers — but the game is simple for him, NFL or not. “The quarterback throws it and we have to catch it,” he said.

A few lockers down from Byrd’s is Fitzgerald’s, the man with whom he has already drawn some comparisons (Mostly for the hair, but still.) Byrd looked over at the stall, and smiled. “Hopefully, I can get to be like that guy,” Byrd said. “Maybe I can get eight for 128,” he said, noting Fitzgerald’s eight-year, $128 million contract.

“As of now, I’m just very grateful.”

 


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42 Responses to “Byrd thinking he’s right where he belongs”

  1. By hummer53 on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    OK , so the odds line is out and we are -2.5 dogs against a team we beat 8 months ago with Skelton and who is stating a 6 ft rookie QB. If this doesn’t get our boys a little riled up, I don’t know what would.

  2. By Gerald Jones on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Gotta like LaRon’s attitude and talent. Wish Cardinals had retired Jim Hart’s #17 though.

  3. By truths4all on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Keep in mind the odds makers have all read about the terrible play the Cards Offensive Line has produced last season and during this pre-season. It would have been a complete surprise to read that the Cards are favored to beat the Hags. The only way to change the perception of the Cards out there is for the Defense to dominate the opponents and the Offensive Line to dominate and control the line of scrimmage. If the Offensive Line does their jobs, the running plays will be huge and when the defenses collapse to stop the runs, the passing plays will be the hammer. Sort of like shock and awe. However, if the Offensive Line does not dominate the line of scrimmage, all bets are off and the perception that the Cards have a terrible offensive line will be confirmed beyond any doubt.

  4. By in fitz we trust on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    could have sworn the deal was “8 for 120″??? unless there were some unmentioned incentives on the table.

  5. By Walter H Richters on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    You must admit, I cooled my jets when you told me to, but I didn’t do too bad since Lindley, Byrd, Bethel, and Fleming are all on the 53 list. Actually, we have 5 Rs on the roster (I think) no, more. Kelemente and Potter, Massie and Floyd. Yep, 7 Rookies on the roster. (technically RB Williams is a rookie too) Good draft huh. You know I was bragging about having three Fitzes on the same team. We do now. We have a 4.3 TE and a young Terry Bradshaw. Add in three Scat backs and a Bruising Beanie. 3 seconds and who can stop us. I think the Bills with Merriman and Williams (William & Merri?) heh heh :)
    Those two may give us a handful, but I think we get past Urlacher, Suh, and Willfork. Sure wish we could find a Conrad Dobler but he might get fined too hard when he would bite, scratch, punch, and kick, and stab em in the eyes to stop the defense. :) Loved to watch him play. I feel sorry for those of you who didn’t get the chance. :)

    As you can tell, I am very happy and very optimistic about this year now that Fitz, Floyd, and Byrd are all on the same team with a cool character in the pocket. No more happy feet, JUST SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!. :) :)

  6. By cdj on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    just heard marshawn lynch may be out for our week one game

  7. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    in fitz —

    RE: Fitz deal

    It was a quote. Besides, what’s a few million between teammates?

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/New-8-Year-Contract-For-Fitzgerald/f13b9de9-855a-4320-b90b-da40cf38f8ef

  8. By AndyStandsUp on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Don’t know if YouTube replays are allowed on this site, but if so, take a gander at this hit Byrd took while at Miami vs Florida State:

  9. By dan on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    We got lucky with Big Byrd………….Any luck on signing Garrard?????

  10. By Eric Y on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Victor Cruz, anyone? It’ll will be interesting and exciting to see where he goes from here.

  11. By joe67 on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Gerald Jones
    I agree about number 17. At least it is not a qb wearing it………….and btw, did I see someone wearing #72??? I thought Dierdorf’s number was ret…………… and yes,

    Walter H, if it were up to me Doblers’ number would be ret.also, If for no other reason than just to irritate some of the other teams old timers!!!!. (#66)

  12. By clssylssy on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah Baby…let’s do it! I’m as up as Walter and am feeling pretty good about our young talent. LaRod reminds ALOT of Fitz…even his work ethic and humility is refreshing in this day of Rookies who step out of college and think they should be making multimillions just to step on a field. We open at home and the crowd shouldl be loud and proud. Let’s Go Cards and Sweep those Seachickens back out to Sea! (We have a few guys on defense who can still do a pretty good Conrad Dobler but the word of today is now controlled tackle…don’t need to be giving up yards in penalties or $$$$ in player fines!)

  13. By kevin on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    wonder if we can be in the cards for Garrard who was just cut by the fins would not be a bad pick up. My pick was Kolb we will see how Shelton does but I think Kolb is a better choice. I dont put anything into preseason we dont game plan but I do put stock into regular season. Lets hope Shelton can ease off on the int’s.

  14. By Scott H on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Welcome, young man! Go forth and prosper

    DAMN, he looks like Fitz!!! Put a #11 on that jersey and you would never know…

  15. By MikeFlorio on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Love the Qoute “I come to work with my hard hat’ I think if Kolb had that kind of attitude he might be earning his salary.

    I know who didnt come to work with a hard hat, Derrick Anderson and now look at him.

    I have a good feeling about this year, NFC West Champs anyone???Scott H. We have both been here for awhile and I really think this is our year!!

  16. By hummer53 on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Wow Walter. That was some post. I can understand why Darren would tell you to cool your jets LOL. I love your enthusiasm though. We need all of that and more at UOP.

  17. By Jonathan on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Fitz and Byrd should switch jerseys for a game and see if anyone notices. Would be a good way to sneak Fitz out of all his double coverage. They’d be double teaming Byrd without knowing it, lol.

  18. By grogers on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,
    They are saying Lynch has back spasms and may miss the game. What happened to him getting suspended for his latest DUI? Thought he might be suspended for game 1?

  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    grogers —

    RE: Lynch

    Legal system has to play out.

  20. By john the draft guy on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Eric y and Darren;

    Back, as camp had just got going, I told Darren every year there is a Arian Foster or Victor Cruz who comes from nowhere. I asked if the cards had anyone who could be that guy, Darren replied Laron Byrd.

    Props to you on that one.

    How about a little Priest Holmes comparrisons with William Powell? Although Powell was here last year, I still put him in that same class.

    Nice job by those scouts who watch all that film on guys who won’t get drafted. It is nice when it pays off.

  21. By sqhead on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Why would you want Garrard? Coming off knee surgery, and a year completely out of football. I think some people on here want the Cards to sign anyone whose name they recognize!

  22. By Jzoully on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Let us go ahead and say that LaRod Byrd has to climb up the depth chart board before him and Fitz are making plays together…Also we hyped Stephen Williams for a few weeks to find out that Stephen doesn’t have the hands the NFL requires to succeed. I am going to do the wait and see on the Byrd Man, and instead gonna give the surprise of the year to someone else, Nate Potter who might have to relieve the inconsistent D’Anthony Batiste. Let’s go Byrd, I want to be proved wrong.

  23. By Dynosoar on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    NFL.coms power rankings are out. 31 baby. That’s right. We shocked the world with a Super Bowl run a few years ago, what’ll happen with an NFC Championship this year?

    Let’s go all the way to New Orleans. We’ve got the team (and yeah, I’d be saying this if we had another man under center.)

    Let’s go Cardinals!

    PS. Darren, will you put out a power ranking? I think you’d pit out a pretty good one without the same four teams in the top ten every year. I’d love to see your power ranking. (I remember beating a team last year and dropping below them on the following weeks power ranking, NFL.com needs you.)

  24. By Larry White on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren

    Is there anyway you can clean up the tag list on the right side of you front page. Their are allot of guys on that don’t reside here anymore.

  25. By Jordan on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Lol Jonathan, that’s a brilliant idea

  26. By Chris Lewis on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, I don’t know if you know Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King personally, but what is it with him? He never gives Arizona any respect. He always picks us to finish well below .500. I’ve seen him on Inside the NFL and some other football programs, and he seems very knowledgeable, but he seems to always pick the same teams every year to go to the playoffs, and he never gives the Cardinals any respect. He picked us to go 5-11 this season. REALLY? I know there are some question marks as far as QB, O-line, etc., but c’mon, 5-11? I’m sorry Darren, I just need to vent. I know I shouldn’t worry about what the so-called experts say, because they’re wrong just as much as they’re right, but I’m tired of nobody giving us any respect. We’re definitely on the right track moving forward, there’s a lot to be excited about in the desert. If we can keep the rest of our players healthy and play up to our potential, then we’re definitely a playoff contender. What are your thoughts?

  27. By CORMAC on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Glad we kept Byrd, he seems solid. So far he has done better than Floyd? Or is that just my imagination? Surprised we didnt keep Bartel, he also seemed to do the best at the quarterback position. His rating wat 127 while all the other QBs were 60 and below. He also got sacked twice as much and still put up good numbers. Good luck to him.

    On another note, do you know we are ranked 31st in the POWER RANKINGS!!!

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000057974/article/nfl-power-rankings-saints-falcons-up-patriots-eagles-down?module=HP11_hot_topics

    starting to look like a 5-11 season ;o( I think we need the team meeting before the first game , shake things up a bit. Coach Whiz needs to act pissed off a bit more. OOO and freakin hire TODD HALEY BACK!!!! Put Mike in as his backup. We needs some flame in the offense.

  28. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Dynosaur —

    RE: Power ranking

    I will admit, with all due respect to my colleagues out there, I can’t think of anything much more meaningless than an NFL power ranking.

  29. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Chris Lewis —

    RE: Peter King

    I know Peter a little bit, and my thoughts are that they are his predictions. That’s how he feels. It doesn’t mean anything.

  30. By Scott H on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Breaking news….just seeing on NFL.com a few minutes ago where the status of Marshawn Lyncm is questionable at this point due to back spasms. Don’t know about anyone else, but I sure wouldn’t mind catching the Seahawks WITHOUT the guy who their offense has to run through to start our season.

  31. By Shaun M Church on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStandsUp–

    What a great hit. Shouldn’t have even been penalized, let alone ejected. Byrd is a tough kid. We’ve seen his toughness already, with him taking two big shots while running routes up the seam.

    I can’t wait to see how he develops. And with only five receivers on the 53-man roster currently, Darren, I don’t see why the team would sit him. He’s on the team to play. Sixth receiver? Sure, sit him.

    Also, Is it odd that the initial 53-man shows only five receivers? If I’m not mistaken, every season under Whisenhunt, the team has carried six.

  32. By Rio on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin—— Get a book on football and look at the pictures maybe you will learn something.

  33. By Chuck 1 on Sep 4, 2012 | Reply

    Of topic, but I was just thinking about what Keith Jackson was fond of talking about: “THE BIG UGLIES” (in the trenches)

    Without the “BIG UGLIES” doing their jobs, this will be a long season regardless of who is under center.

  34. By Eazy E on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Man that was one hell of a hit! It was 8 yrs for 120 mil, but hey, let him say it whatever close enough.

    Scott H-

    You want Lynch to be out?! I want the cardinals to face the best players on each team they face and of course that includes Lynch. You want to face the best to beat them, not we beat them, but Lynch was out. What kind of gratification is that? That’s like beating us without Larry Fitz?! So, Fitz wasn’t there.

  35. By Frank on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    I hope Shelton will lead us all the way through now that Kolb is out we will have a better chance at going some where this year then the last year we will see how the first game goes against the Seahawks lets to this Cardinals WE DO THIS TOGETHER we are at your side as BIG FANS WE LOVE YOU GUY’S LETS DO IT GOOD LUCK.

  36. By cardsalltheway on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    cdj, grogers, Scott H.,
    “just heard marshawn lynch may be out”
    “status of Marshawn Lynch”

    I don’t know why ya’ll are concerned, the Seahawks have an OL(unlike us) which means it doesn’t really matter who runs the ball. A lack of running game or missing M. Lynch won’t be what loses the game for them.

  37. By Cactus jeff on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, where does Floyd fit? Is he #3 or #4? And what is your biggest concern minus OL and QB? I am still concerned with DL holding up against the run.

  38. By Darren Urban on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Cactus —

    RE: Floyd/concern

    Floyd is No. 4, technically, but I think there will be plays/packages where Michael is higher up the depth chart. As for biggest concern, it would be OLB and the ability to create a consistent pass rush.

  39. By cdj on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    @cardsalltheway

    im not concerned, i just want to beat them when they have their best players on the field so i dont have to hear their excuses, plus its more satisfying

  40. By Walter H Richters on Sep 5, 2012 | Reply

    Guys,

    The only place I feel a little concerned is with the play calls. Like another fan above, I wish we had this very group we have now with our old OC, Todd Haley. He would have a field day with all the talent we have now. This is the first year since Q and Breaston were in there with Fitz that teams are going to have to figure out WHO TO DOUBLE TEAM. I like Roberts, he is feisty, and I like Early, but he seems sometimes to take plays off if he is going to catch a hit like LaRon Bryd did in preseason. . I think we will find that Fitz and Floyd on the outside with Byrd up the seam. Talk about being able to use the pass to open the run with our three scat backs?????????????????? Yeh, I’m still hyped. Gonna stay that way. By the by, I agree on Jim Hart. He is the one that coined the phrase “Cardiac Cards” under “Air Coryel” WOW, if we could get Coryel to come back to life as OC, we would have a field day. heh heh :) Beanie is going to have a lot of fun AFTER we shove our WRs and our elite 4.3 TE down their throats.

    All we need is 3 seconds from our O-Line guys and gals. 3 and out. (BUT THIS TIME IT WILL BE THE BALL COMING OUT AND NOT THE OFFENSE OFF THE FIELD) I will say that Lindley was the best at that this preseason.

    GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) :)

  41. By Scott H on Sep 6, 2012 | Reply

    Eazy E –

    Whatever, man. You go ahead with your “Bring ‘em on” attitude if you want. I didn’t see a team that made me feel that way during the pre-season. I’m hoping that come Sunday, we will see the team that ended last season with a win against the Seahawks. THAT day, the Cardinals looked like a better team and they were. Right now? Who’s to say? Their pre-season performances did not inspire confidence, especially the performance of the 0-line. In reality as we know it, even good teams are sometimes shaky early in the season. And we appear to be a little shaky, in my opinion. That may not be a popular opinion around here, but…I ain’t concerned with popularity. Let’s remember that before we went 7-2 over the last 9 games last year and looked like a team who could play with anyone, we spent the FIRST 7 weeks of the season looking like one of the worst teams in the NFL. It took us awhile to get rolling. Could take a few weeks once again. IF we aren’t gonna be at our best right out of the gate, then let’s win games any way we can and NOT fall so far out of the race that even a 7-2 finish won’t matter. What is so wrong with that??? That’s not pessimism. That’s REALISM and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. I’d rather step cautiously through a dark room than go running at full speed.

    Given that we may be a little shaky early on, I would welcome playing a division rival in week one without their bset player, and I have no problem with anyone feeling that way. I’m not pounding my chest until it is justified.

  42. By Andy Kw on May 4, 2013 | Reply

    LaRon Byrd is my man. Our core Wide Receivers Fitzgerald, Floyd, Roberts, Byrd, and Swope is probably the best in the league.

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