By Tim Graham
For the first time in his career, Jairus Byrd watched his team play from the sideline.
"Different," Byrd said of the experience. "It was a really a weird feeling, actually.
"To be honest, it hurt. It's not a good feeling to watch a game like that. It's not cool. The way we lost made it worse."
The Bills were ahead of the New England Patriots with nine seconds left. The Patriots won, 23-21, on Stephen Gostkowski's 35-yard field goal.
Byrd, out with plantar fasciitis in both feet, missed his first game since sports-hernia surgery scratched him from the last two games of his rookie season. He didn't watch those games helplessly from the sideline.
I asked Byrd, a two-time Pro Bowler, if he thought he would've made the difference had he played.
"I don't like to look at the 'what ifs.' It is what it is," Byrd said. "At the end of the day, we didn't pull it out. Those guys are more than capable out there to make plays."
Buffalo's safeties enjoyed some big moments but also had their problems. Da'Norris Searcy had a third-down sack and returned a fumble 74 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Jim Leonhard and Aaron Williams tied for the team lead with nine tackles.
But all three struggled in coverage, especially on Julian Edelman's two touchdown catches.
Even so, Byrd was excited to see new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's system in action and is eager to get involved.
"I liked what I saw overall from a defensive standpoint," Byrd said.
Byrd didn't have an update on whether he could play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. His treatment includes stretches, creams and orthotics.
"I'm just waiting on my feet," Byrd said. "Whenever they get ready and get right, that's when I'll be out there. I've got to be 100 percent to go out there."
Byrd said he knows the playbook but acknowledged there's more to assimilate when it comes to live action. Byrd was unsigned throughout minicamp and training camp because of a contract dispute. He missed all four preseason games.
"I can call a defense, write it up on the board and stuff like that," Byrd said. "I feel pretty confident on that.
"When you go out there and the bullets are flying and you're calling stuff, that's another adjustment period you have to get used to."
taggedAaron Williams | Da'Norris Searcy | Jairus Byrd | Jim Leonhard | Mike Pettine