New arrival LaRon Byrd has height, sees opportunity in undersized receiving corps

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BEREA — LaRon Byrd arrived at Browns headquarters and joined his new teammates partway through practice Monday afternoon. He immediately became the biggest receiver (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) on the field.

“I’m definitely excited,” he said. “The opportunity is there. You have to come in and listen to the coaches, work hard in practice and hopefully that leads to great production.”

Byrd was cut by the Cowboys on Saturday and claimed by the Browns off waivers. He caught seven passes for 103 yards with a touchdown during the preseason, and said he missed out on a roster spot in Dallas due to injuries on the defense.

He plans to pepper the Cleveland coaches with questions in an attempt to learn the playbook and be ready to play Sunday in the season opener in Pittsburgh.

“I want to get on the field,” he said. “I want to contribute to the team. I don’t want to just be a guy on the roster. This is my job. I’m going to be in the coaches’ ear. They’re probably going to be tired of me by the end of this week, but I have to get it and hopefully I’ll get it by the end of this weekend.”

Byrd’s in his third season after being undrafted out of the University of Miami. He played in four games with the Cardinals in 2012, catching one pass for 8 yards. He didn’t play last year after being put on injured reserve with a concussion. He appeared in 51 games at Miami, totaling 106 receptions for 1,254 yards and seven touchdowns.

Byrd realizes size could be what separates him in the battle for playing time. Besides Miles Austin (6-2, 215), the rest of the receivers are undersized: Andrew Hawkins is 5-7, 180, Travis Benjamin 5-10, 175 and Taylor Gabriel 5-8, 167.

“I have size, I have talent and deceptive speed,” Byrd said. “I just have to put all of that together and contribute that on the field.”
Size isn’t his only attribute.

“My willingness to work, my willingness to block,” he said. “Just that dog. That dog in me. I don’t take no for an answer. I’m not scared of competition. I go into a game with the mindset I’m the best on the field.”

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