Friday, August 2, 2013

Bills safeties 'making best of' Byrd's absence


Jairus Byrd's job as one of the Buffalo Bills' starting safeties is safe -- if he ever decides to show up. But while Byrd is absent from training camp due to a contract dispute, other Bills defensive backs are taking advantage.

There is a positional competition going on for the second starting safety spot, and with Byrd away, the players trying to earn that gig have been given extra reps.

“We knew Byrd wasn’t going to be back in time so whatever opportunity we get we just look to make the best of it,” Da'Norris Searcy said, via

Searcy and Aaron Williams, both entering their third year, are jockeying for position on Buffalo's depth chart. The pair of returners, however, are also being challenged by rookies Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams, who are getting more opportunities in Byrd's absence.

“Obviously in our situation, of course you want to impress the coaches as much as you can before (Jairus) gets here," Duke Williams said.

Byrd has yet to sign his tender after being franchise-tagged with the team earlier in the offseason. The sides were unable to reach a long-term agreement before the July 15 deadline, and Byrd has chosen to stay home from camp.

The veteran safety is missing crucial practice time as his defense absorbs Mike Pettine's scheme, which isn't an easy read by any stretch. He's not considered a holdout since he's not under contract, but he will lose money once games begin. The Bills close camp Aug. 21.

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