It's no secret we've been fans of Damiere Byrd here at Carolina Cat Chronicles. He really should have made the team last year. Tonight, Byrd showed he belongs in the NFL and on the Panthers roster when he hauled in two two downs on four catches for 98 yards. He torched a defender on a post route for a 50-yard touchdown and showed some red zone savvy catching his second touchdown laterally across the back of the end zone. Byrdso showed he could be a solid option as a punt returner.
When Byrd came into the league two years ago, he was fast as lightning, but he only weighed 175 pounds soaking wet. Byrd put on 11 pounds in the 2016 offseason. Despite another good preseason and the added weight, Byrd didn't find a roster spot, greatly because Ted Ginn, Jr. was a more experienced speed guy who was also a reliable punt returner. With Ted Ginn Jr now in New Orleans, Carolina is looking for a new deep threat, and Byrd looked to show that he could be that guy tonight.
Byrd has really made the most of every opportunity he has been given. Go back and watch what he did in the preseason for the past two years, it's nothing to sneeze at. Tonight, Byrd went out and seized another opportunity. There isn't really much more you can ask a guy who is fighting for a roster spot to do than Byrd did tonight, hopefully leaving us picking up our binoculars and taking up Byrd watching in Carolina this season.
By Tony Dunn
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Former SouthCarolina Gamecock, Damiere Byrd, was asked about facing former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson this Wednesday in the preseason game against the Houston Texans this Wednesday and he had this great reaction.
Carolina has only kept five wideouts the past few years. This year will probably be the same. Here’s a look at the guys on the bubble, fighting for that last available spot.
According to Panthers.com writer Max Henson, Cam Newton is now expected to miss OTA workouts due to surgery on a partially torn rotator cuff.
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.
Every year, fans fall in and out of love with certain players. We always have favorites who didn’t make the team or who we believe, given a real opportunity, could contribute positively to the team. Coincidentally, we nourish these affections as we fall out of love with guys who are approaching the twilight of their career or who we believe never fully capitalizes on their potential. I’m one of these fans.
He may have only had 1 reception for 18 yards in his final 2016 preseason game, but Damiere Byrd looks a lock for Carolina Panthers final 53-man roster. Carolina showed tonight that they want Byrd on this team for his special team's capability just as much as his threat as a speed receiver.
Carolina may have lost their preseason opener (22-19) to the Baltimore Ravens, we now have some real football to dissect in hopes of getting a better understanding of how Carolina’s roster will progress and their 2016 outlook. It’s early and the sample size is small, but it’s something.
The Panthers gave him a solid look last year. He was small, inexperienced, and had a few miscues in the preseason. The physicality of the NFL seemed to be a big challenge for the undrafted rookie. He didn't make a bad impression, however. He showed off his killer speed, played aggressive and confident, and seemed willing to leave it all out on the field. He looked cool under pressure, even when the ball bounced the wrong way.
Well folks, you can put down your binoculars and let out a disappointing sigh, the Byrd has flown the coop. After a solid start through his first two preseason games, Byrd’s production steadily declined.
After the first two preseason games, Damiere Byrd has firmly planted himself in the fight for a roster spot. Our man has tallied 5 receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown thus far, good for the top three in each category among our receivers throughout the first two games. Though the brutal loss of Kelvin Benjamin brings little good, a silver lining may be the possibility of a young receiver stepping up in his absence. Byrd finds himself with a far greater chance of making the final roster than when the preseason first began, but he is still a “long shot” for right now.