Byard’s absence in any respect voluntary parts of OTAs was intriguing given how he was requested to take a pay minimize in April and refused. He spoke to the media Thursday for the primary time in the course of the offseason and supplied a proof for his missed time.
“I had already talked to the coaches about coaching by myself and doing my very own factor,” Byard mentioned. “There was by no means any doubt from the coaches on my finish that I used to be going to be right here for minicamp and be the identical participant I’ve all the time been.”
The Titans requested Byard to take a discount from his wage, which features a $13.6 million base and $19.6 million cap hit this season. Byard mentioned not attending OTAs had nothing to do with being requested to take a pay minimize and that it was his plan lengthy earlier than any of that got here into the image.
The eighth-year veteran needed to construct on the offseason coaching that began quickly after the Tremendous Bowl.
“Normally, once you come into April, they sort of take issues again a little bit bit trigger guys are simply returning,” Byard mentioned. “However I used to be already full pace going and I did not wish to change that.”
Byard was very comfy with defensive coordinator Shane Bowen’s scheme, which he has performed in for the previous 4 seasons. That, together with having spent the previous 5 seasons with coach Mike Vrabel, made Byard safe about not being on the facility for OTAs.
Most of his coaching was in Nashville with Jeremy Holt of Athlete Efficiency and different NFL defensive backs together with teammate Roger McCreary. Byard was additionally in touch with the teaching employees and on Zoom with the opposite defensive backs.
Now that he is again within the constructing, Byard mentioned he appreciates the power new defensive backs coach Chris Harris brings each in conferences and on the sphere. Titans gamers mentioned Byard’s presence was felt instantly when he returned for minicamp.
New linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair referred to Byard’s return as “a breath of contemporary air.”