Albeit physically diminutive, Damiere Byrd sure doesn’t play small. I get it, I’m partial. He’s been on the C3 Carolina Panthers podcast multiple times. He’s also done everything one could ask in the few opportunities given to justify him playing a notable role for the Carolina Panthers moving forward.
Byrd made his professional debut in the Panthers final game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He didn’t play much in his first NFL appearance, just eleven plays on offense and fourteen plays on special teams, but he made his presence known. His first catch was 16-yds for a first down. He returned a kickoff about as effectively as any Panther has all season, and the wide-receiver even flashed on special teams assisting in a blocked field-goal.
When his number has been called, he’s played big. They said he was too small, so he put on nearly 10-pounds in the offseason. He needed to stand out in a crowded wide receiver unit during training camp—he did. He needed to have a big preseason, both as a receiver and on special teams….he did that too.
Ok, ok, we get it, he’s little. He’s also blazing fast, like faster than Ted Ginn fast, and he is simply dynamic. When he’s on the field, he makes a difference. He showed he can be a threat on special teams and stretch the field on offense this season. After all the talk of the needed evolution of the Panthers offense from Head Coach Ron Rivera, the claims that Byrd wouldn’t be on the practice squad if he was any good, just don’t add up.
Byrd has what Carolina was lacking the most, and had to find in Tedd Ginn the most, speed and dynamism. The young Byrd is flapping his wings, it’s time to give him a chance to fly.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
Follow @Cat_Chronicles for the latest Panthers news and opinions from the fan perspective.