Morning sports update: Titans safety Kevin Byard has a story about facing ‘playoff Tom Brady’

"They got him running out of the tunnel with the Jay-Z music, and it was like 'Oh, man, this is real.'"

James White Kevin Byard Patriots-Titans
James White runs through Kevin Byard's tackle to score against the Titans. –Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The Red Sox defeated the Blue Jays on Wednesday night 6-5 in 13 innings. Rookie sensation Michael Chavis hit the go-ahead home run:

Kevin Byard’s Tom Brady story: Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard played Tom Brady and the Patriots for the first time in his career on Jan. 13, 2018. It was a divisional round playoff game, and Byard hadn’t exactly been quiet going into the matchup.

“It’s a playoff game, so it’s not like it’s the preseason where I can go out there, ‘Oh, it’s Brady,’ and I’m chillin,'” Byard said beforehand. “This is a playoff game. So I don’t really care if it was Joe Montana. You know what I’m saying? I’m trying to go out there and win the game. I want to make him look like Blake Bortles if I can and try to catch a couple picks.”


Much as he wished to make Brady look below average, Byard and the Titans defense failed. Brady threw three touchdowns and the Patriots won, 35-14.

On a recent episode of Bleacher Report’s “The Leftkoe Show,” Byard explained what happened.

“That was my first time playing him, and they got him running out of the tunnel with the Jay-Z music, and it was like ‘Oh, man, this is real,'” Byard said. “And it’s funny because our defensive coordinator back then, Dick LeBeau, I think it was maybe Tom Brady’s eighth or ninth time playing against him and I think he probably went back to some old film back when they were playing the Steelers back in the day. It seems like he had our number every single time. It was almost like he knew exactly what we was gonna run, switching the run this way, screen this way, dump it off here, touchdown. It’s just like, oh man, here we go again.”

Byard also shared his thoughts on the Patriots’ offfense in the post-Rob Gronkowski era.

“I think they’ll still find a way,” Byard explained. “Knowing Tom Brady, he won Super Bowls before Gronkowski. So I think he’ll find a way. I think they’ll retool their offense a little bit, and he always knows how to get those mismatches. If he has to throw it to the running back 100 times, James White, if that’s what he has to do get the chains moving, I think he’ll do that.”


Trivia: Who is the St. Louis Blues’ all-time goal leader? (Check the bottom of the article for the answer).

Hint: He won two Stanley Cups after leaving the Blues as a free agent in 1998. Though he was born in Canada, he represented the United States in international play.

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On this day: In 1984, the Celtics defeated the Bucks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals. Boston awaited Los Angeles in what proved a seven-game series for the ages.

Daily highlight: Though it wasn’t the game-winner, Mookie Betts’s home run in extra innings on Wednesday night was also crushed.

Trivia answer: Brett Hull