Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) tackles Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings (15) in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.


Saints safety Jairus Byrd didn't have the best of starts with the team last year after signing a six-year, $54 million free-agent contract.

Byrd had off-season back-surgery, which forced him to miss most of the Saints' off-season activities. He later missed the last 12 weeks of the regular season after tearing the lateral meniscus in his knee in a practice injury.

"A lot of it, if we're really gonna go back, I would really put a lot of the blame on myself," Byrd told ESPN's Mike Triplett. "Just for the fact that, you know, look, I came in in the offseason and, boom, I had the back surgery, I was out. So that cohesion, the getting together with the guys, that's not there. Then I play a little bit in the preseason, then it's the season right away. Then we go through those growing pains -- obviously I only played the first four games, but we're still trying to figure things out, then we're already behind the eight-ball."

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