Byrd Looking to Start at RT

Tyrone Byrd enters the spring as the starting right tackle.

Tyrone Byrd is up to 295 pounds and getting close to 300. He wants to be 310 this fall.

After playing tackle, guard, and center in his first two years at Miami, Byrd is back at tackle and looking to be the starting right tackle in 2006.

"Right tackle is a new side for me since I was a left tackle in high school," Byrd said. "But playing left tackle I was in a right-handed stance so now that I am on the right side it wasn't as big of a change. The only thing different is nine times out of 10 the tight end is on my side."

The offensive line will be replacing four starters from last year and Byrd, along with Reggie Youngblood figure to be the tackles. Derrick Morse, Andrew Bain, A.J. Trump, and Alex Pou are competing for the guard spots. Anthony Wollschlager, the lone starter returning, is at center.

Not only is the offensive line going to have four new starters, but also a new coach.

Mario Cristobal, who was the tight ends coach the previous two seasons, replaced Art Kehoe on the offensive line.

Byrd can already see a difference with Cristobal.

"He brings more of the teaching aspect," Byrd said. "He will sit down with us and tell us exactly what we need to do. Like for me, I did good in one thing, but I need to get my hands a little lighter and relax a little more. Before it was like, you messed up and get it done. But now there is more coaching."

The Hurricanes began practice on Tuesday, March 21 and after two days they received a day off today.

"It was good getting back into the swing of the things," said Byrd. "I like how the team is looking. With the offense and the coaches it feels like we are clicking this year."

With six new coaches on the staff and a number of guys expected to step up, Byrd likes the energy with the team and is having fun.

"I feel rejuvenation with this team and with the new coaches everyone is working hard to get spots," Byrd said. "It is fun again. Before it was more like a job. It was fun before, but now it is like 'I'm just going to ball out and I'm going to hit you as hard as I can and when the day is over we are going to get burgers'.

Byrd has a personal goal he wants to meet this spring.

"To come out with energy and try to get better every day. I just want to have a good spring because I feel like I can be an asset for the team."

Miami returns to the practice field tomorrow at 3:20, but is closed to the public.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com


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