Kevin Byard

Kevin Byard reveals his first order of business with the Bears

The Bears' new safety, Kevin Byard, spoke about how he plans to impact the team both on and off the field

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Kevin Byard is ready to make an impact on the gridiron for the Bears this season, but the newly-signed safety knows his first order of business will take place off the field.

"The first thing I always try to do with any group of guys is earn their respect," Byard said Thursday. "I think one of the best ways you earn their respect is by showing up every single day, working extremely hard, studying in the classroom, practicing. I've never missed practice before in my career, other than for the birth of my children. Being available, being there, being a good resource. I think once you earn their respect, then you can actually, vocally, have a little bit of clout with the guys.

"That's the first thing I want to do — earn the respect of my teammates, my coaches, everybody in the building, to let guys know how much I really care and how much this thing means to me. I think that's one of the few ways you start off by being a leader — by earning guys' respect."

The Bears were in search of a replacement for Eddie Jackson who would compliment Jaquan Brisker's playing style at safety and be a leader for the Bears' young defense. Byard fits that bill.

"I've been a vet for a while in the league now, but I'm excited about the younger guys and the things I've obviously seen on film," he said. "I think at this point, it's all about service. Servicing this team, servicing this community and obviously servicing these guys in the locker room the best I can.

"Obviously, I'm going to be one of the elder statesmen on the back end so like I said, just that leadership perspective, coming in, doing everything the right way and leading by example, but also vocally as well. So I'm excited for sure."

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