Q&A with C.J. Byrd

ATHENS – Dawg Post's Parker Morgan sits down with senior safety C.J. Byrd.

Parker Morgan: Georgia's had a lot of senior leadership from the safety position lately, how do you look forward to stepping into that role?

C.J. Byrd: Those guys put a big burden on me, leaving that kind of tradition behind. Just playing behind those guys and learning what they did, it's not too hard to step into those shoes. Learning what they had to do and knowing what I have to do in order to lead this team and win games and help us become a better team.

Morgan: What are some of the things you learned from them?

Byrd: Some of the things just as far as being a DB are things you might mess up on. If we mess up, it's a touchdown. You've got to learn to get plays out of your head. You've got to keep playing. Got to leave that stuff behind. You can't let the last play affect the next play.

Morgan: With all of the hype about this year's team, what differences do you see about the buildup to this season?

Byrd: I think we take it the same every year. Train the same. Train just as hard. Just getting ready for camp. I can't see any difference between teams. I think it's the same. Every year we try to win every game. I think we're just trying to do the best we can do. Playing for UGA. Playing for our team. Playing for ourselves. Playing for our fans. Just trying to win every game.

Morgan: People have pointed to Southern Cal's success over the last few years as having a lot to do with not just the first team's talent, but the second team's as well. It seems that Georgia is starting to stockpile superior ability at more than just the first string. What's your take on that situation?

Byrd: I think it's great. Having the second team just as good as your first team helps practice that much more. You're playing against real life. You're not really getting a fake look. You can be confident back there. I think it's good just having guys that can step up behind you and it's good for competition and it makes you play that much harder.

Morgan: With the off the field troubles this summer, how does the coaching staff approach y'all and try to make sure you're doing the right things?

Byrd: They treat us as men, as they should. We should act as men, because we are. We're away from our parents and on our own. Basically we have to act responsibly because we're on our own. Sometimes guys get a little childish and do this and that. Coaches treat us just like we want to be treated, like men. It's all our fault if we get in trouble.

Morgan: Do you expect anything new when camp officially gets started this year?

Byrd: They might change it up a little bit. There's a saying that if you want to achieve something that you've never done, you must do things that you've never done. So to win a national championship, they might change things. Step things up.

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