Like most Chargers fans,
Bird’s been busy staying in shape and working out, and the linebacker figured if his former team was ever going to call and bring him back, now would be the time.
He was right.
On Tuesday, the team resigned Bird and on Wednesday, he was back in his familiar number 97 jersey taking part in practice on both defense and special teams.
“I got the call and was extremely excited and I flew out immediately,” he said. “I think I’m a guy who can play a lot of different positions on special teams and defense as well. Even being out for 12 weeks, I still know the playbook very well so I think I’m a guy they trust to go in and get the job done in a number of positions if they need it.”
Head coach Norv Turner agrees.
“He gives us the best chance to get a win,” he said. “When you get to this point, and you have a guy out there available who is familiar with what you’re doing, is familiar with the defense, is familiar with the kicking game, has made plays for you in the past in the kicking game and is a physical player, it’s the best way to give yourself a chance.”
Bird played in nine games for the Chargers last season. He recorded seven tackles, one tackle for loss and one pass defensed. He saw the majority of his time on special teams, where he recorded eight tackles.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder had a very strong preseason for the Bolts earlier this year. He was third on the team in both tackles (16) and sacks (1.5), and recorded an interception in the finale in San Francisco. Bird thought he had done enough to make the team and was disappointed when he was one of the final players released right before the start of the season. Nonetheless, he says he has no hard feelings at all and was honored they called him when they needed to bring someone in.
“It was pretty difficult,” Bird admitted. “I thought I had a pretty good preseason and played as well as I think I could have. But it didn’t work out. Life isn’t always fair, but I can’t be bitter about it. I think it says a lot that when they needed someone they gave me the call, so things worked out in the end. It’s great to be back and see all the guys again.”