NASHVILLE – Kevin Byard has played in a Pro Bowl, and he's been voted a team captain by his teammates.
The Titans safety, who has 17 interceptions over the past three seasons, is regarded one of the best in the game at his position.
But there's something else Byard is even more proud of – he bought his mother a house recently.
"That's probably one of the biggest milestones that I've accomplished in my playing career, for sure," Byard said. "To get drafted, and second to be able to buy my mom her forever home is something that means dearly to me, has meant something to me since I was younger.
"It's kind of been a pipe dream. Something that I never really – something I thought about doing, but I never really thought it was going to be possible. Just been a lot of hard work and dedication to be able to accomplish that goal."
Byard has credited his mother, Artina Stanley, for much of his success.
Following a divorce when Byard was in ninth grade, his mother moved with the children from Philadelphia to Atlanta. While the family dealt with financial struggles, Stanley worked long hours to make sure her children received what they needed. Byard has said he and his older brother "had to grow up really fast" as they helped their mother with taking care of the younger kids in the family.
In a social media post by Byard, he showed his mother in front of the house he purchased.
"When you come from where I come from, stuff like this is a pipe dream that only a few are able to accomplish," Byard wrote. "I hate that we couldn't be there but I'm more happy that everything worked itself out. I love you mom and enjoy your new forever home! ❤️"
Byard, who played collegiately at MTSU, has made an effort to give back to the community.
Last May, Byard hosted 200-plus youngsters at the inaugural Kevin Byard Football Camp at Ensworth School. At the time, he said he planned to hold the camp - which was free - every year.
In September, Byard partnered with UnitedHealthcare to distribute new shoes and socks to over 300 students at Robert Churchwell Elementary School in Nashville. Byard tossed the football with kids, and spoke to them about the importance of making good grades.
Byard joined Titans teammates, coaches, and other members of the organization for tornado clean-up efforts in Nashville in March.
Byard has taken part in the Titans Caravan, and other off-field events in the Nashville area.
On the field, Byard said he wants to keep improving while being even more of a leader.
"We're all in this together," Byard said. "We're all in this to win a Super Bowl. I know for a fact every single day that I come into that building I come into that building to put in the work, and I come into the building to work hard and try to accomplish that goal. I feel like we all should be trying to accomplish the same.
"I'm going to try to hold my guys accountable if I feel like somebody is slacking off, or if I'm slacking off somebody should hold me accountable. I think that's just the relationship that we all need to have in the building, and not be too concerned with emotions and different things like that. It's all about the goal of trying to win a Super Bowl."
A look back at safety Kevin Byard's 2019 season that saw him lead the team for the third consecutive season and tie for fourth in the NFL with five interceptions. (Photos: Donald Page)