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Bolts sign seventh-round pick Byrd

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    By Kevin Acee
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    8:59 p.m. August 31, 2009

    SAN DIEGO – The Chargers Monday signed seventh-round pick Demetrius Byrd, who is almost certainly headed to injured reserve.
    Byrd, a receiver, was seriously injured in an automobile accident the week before the draft. He watched Monday's practice.
    While Chargers coach Norv Turner called Byrd's progress “amazing,” he is far from being ready to play. His signing allows the Chargers to take their time monitoring his progress and do so with him in-house.
    Backup quarterback Billy Volek has played just seven series this preseason. He's thrown just 28 passes, two fewer than Philip Rivers.

    Volek goes 'to another level'

    Yet, in his third summer with the Chargers, about to begin his fourth season with the team, Volek is clearly as good as he's ever been since arriving here via trade in September 2006.
    “He's really gone to another level,” Turner said. “You line up guys who play in this league and put Billy right there with them. He throws the ball as well as anyone in this league.”
    Volek has completed 21 of those 28 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating is 131.6.
    “I feel more confident in this offense than I ever have,” Volek said. “ It's not like I'm doing anything special. I'm throwing completions. The line is protecting me. Malcom (Floyd) is making great catches.”
    Volek is the only Chargers quarterback not to be sacked this preseason.
    Two players who had a couple of the best Augusts on the team can at least partially thank each other.

    Mutual admiration society

    Vincent Jackson and Quentin Jammer went back and forth all camp – Jackson making plays over Jammer; Jammer breaking up balls intended for Jackson.
    “You probably won't play someone like that during the season,” Jammer said. “Six-four, 230 and can fly.”
    Speaking of how good Jackson looks in the summer following his first 1,000-yard season, Jammer said with a smile: “It's who he's going against in practice.”
    Jackson echoed the sentiment about the 6-foot, 204-pound Jammer.
    “I'm not going to go against too many guys that are that big and that physical,” he said.

    Nuts 'n' Bolts

    Guard Kris Dielman, who left Saturday's game at Atlanta early with a bruised shoulder, practiced. So did fullback Jacob Hester (knee) and defensive lineman Vaughn Martin (groin).
    The Chargers released receiver Greg Carr, tackle Dan Gay and cornerback Rodgeriqus Smith. They have three more cuts to make by Tuesday and have to be down to 53 by Saturday afternoon. Said Turner: “We have some tough deals. Unfortunately, there are going to be some good young football players we aren't going to be able to keep.”
    Tight end Antonio Gates returned to practice for the first time since Tuesday morning. Gates had been sitting with what was described as general soreness.
    Nose tackle Jamal Williams (rest) did not practice, and linebacker Jyles Tucker (hamstring) worked on the side.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Byrd eye roster spot – in 2010

    Demetrius Byrd is a long way from playing football. His hope is to compete for a roster spot next summer.



    For now, he is struggling with his balance and coordination and rehabilitating from the brain injury suffered in an automobile accident the week before April's draft.


    “It means a lot,” Byrd said of the Chargers signing him to a contract on Monday. “This is a big thing to me. They didn't have to do this.”


    Byrd, a receiver who was the Chargers' seventh-round draft pick, has attended practices and sat in on some meetings the past two days. He will spend the season on the non-football injured reserve list. He hasn't started running or lifting, doing light work on machines as part of his rehab.


    “To me, it's not about football,” Turner said. “It's about him getting back to being himself.”



    In addition to designating Byrd, the Chargers placed cornerback Brandon Hughes on injured reserve and released linebacker Anthony Felder to get down to the required 75-man roster limit. All NFL teams must be pared to 53 by Saturday.

    Nuts 'n' Bolts

    Backup offensive tackle L.J. Shelton hasn't practiced in two weeks due to a knee injury. He is expected to be fine for the start of the season.

    Nose tackle Jamal Williams returned to practice, as did receiver Buster Davis. Williams had been getting some “veteran rest” while Davis was nursing knee tendinitis. Right guard Kynan Forney (neck) sat a second straight day.

    Turner, a former college quarterback and, in fact, the backup to Dan Fouts at Oregon, threw some passes to running backs Tuesday. With Turner standing at the 30, the backs were to catch the passes going into the end zone. A couple times, they had to slow down to allow Turner's “spirals” to catch up to them before the goal line.
     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Rookie WR Demetrius Byrd attended his first Chargers practice today. The former LSU star spoke of his comeback from an auto accident that left him in a coma last April. "I'm not going to practice this year. My goal is to at least make it to training camp next year, catching balls like I was before."

    When the Chargers drafted him in the seventh round, WR Demetrius Byrd was in a coma caused by an auto accident. Byrd, who plans to play next summer, said he's nagged by equilibrium problems but is grateful to be alive. He's also grateful that he has no memory of the accident. "Now I can drive without being scared."
     
  4. Nutriaitch

    Nutriaitch Well-Known Member

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    very classy move by the Chargers.

    can't be easy giving up some money to a guy you KNOW won't play for at least a year, and possibly may NEVER play again.

    much respect to AJ for this one.
     
  5. sdrocks

    sdrocks Well-Known Member

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  6. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Byrd grateful, will be patient

    Casey Pearce
    Chargers.com
    9-2-2009
    Posted 10 minutes ago

    In his first interview since being selected by the Chargers in the seventh round of April’s draft, wide receiver Demetrius Byrd expressed his appreciation for how the Chargers are helping him as he recovers from a devastating car accident.

    Demetrius Byrd[​IMG] didn’t know he’d been drafted until a week after the Chargers selected him in the seventh round of April’s NFL Draft. He had to wait until mid June to meet many of his new teammates, and it wasn’t until this week that Byrd permanently arrived in his new home.


    Byrd won’t hit the football field until next year, but with all the waiting he’s done since a life-changing automobile accident left him hospitalized in late April, he says patience will be the least of his concerns as he fights his way back to football shape.


    “I could’ve passed away in the accident, but I'm alive, well and healing,” he said. “I appreciate every day I have on Earth because, let's be honest, I could be lying in a graveyard right now. God spared me, and now everything that happens is in His time.”


    The former LSU standout wide receiver signed his rookie contract Monday and on Tuesday, the Chargers placed him on “Reserve – Non Football Injury,” and the club has made the decision that Byrd won’t play or practice with the team this season.



    While he’s come a long ways since waking up from a coma in early May, Byrd’s focus for himself and the Chargers’ focus for him is first and foremost his health and physical condition.


    “This isn't about football right now,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “It's about him getting back to being himself. He's made great strides since the spring, and he's got a long way to go.”


    Byrd visited San Diego in June and was a spectator for two days of Offseason Coaching Sessions. He has since ditched the neck brace that he wore during that trip and says he feels strong. Byrd is, however, still battling other medical issues that have kept him from pushing himself physically too much at this point.

    “My balance and coordination has been slow to come back,” Byrd said. “That's the reason why I'm not running or working out. It's an equilibrium thing.”


    Byrd didn’t redshirt in college, but he views his rookie season in the NFL as a similar situation to college freshmen who watch and learn but don’t play. He plans on regularly attending practice and meetings, and he said Thursday that his goal is to be able to practice by the start of training camp next summer.

    “I’m taking mental reps and learning the playbook so when my time comes nothing will be holding me back in that regard,” Byrd said.


    Byrd has no memories of the events that occurred the night of his accident. He was on his way to pick his mother up from church when he blew a tire and ran off the road, and he’s grateful that he can’t recall any of the details.

    “There's just nothing,” Byrd said. “I'm glad I don't remember it, because I can drive without being scared. Most people would get scared after an accident, but I don't remember any of it so I can get in the car with no problem at all.”


    The next few months are certain to have their challenges for Byrd, but he’s grateful for the opportunity the Chargers have given him, and he appreciates the way the team has handled his unique situation.



    “The Chargers told me it’s all on me,” Byrd said. “Another team might have rushed me back, but the Chargers are helping me and letting me do it at my pace. I’m so happy they drafted me and so thankful for the chance I’ve got here. I’m blessed.”
     
  7. bigcarson50

    bigcarson50 Well-Known Member

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    Why does it always seem that the Chargers can never get all of their picks signed before camp?

    :icon_tease:

    In all seriousness, I hope he recovers, regardless of whether or not he plays.
     
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  8. LFEpooh124

    LFEpooh124 BoltTalker

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    I anticipate huge dividends paying off for us in 2-3 years. Take your time D-Byrd, but when you do get back, lets help this team!
     
  9. Nomadic Bolt Fan

    Nomadic Bolt Fan Well-Known Member

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    :icon_rofl:
     

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