CLEVELAND –** Kevin Byard didn't have thoughts of a three interception game when he took the field on Sunday.
But when the Titans safety started rolling, his teammates let him hear about it.
"Everyone on the sideline kept saying: 'Hat trick, hat trick'," Byard said with a smile.
Byard turned in the NFL's version of a hat trick in the team's 12-9 overtime win over the Browns. The former MTSU star picked off three passes, and was the star of the game on defense.
"It was unbelievable," Byard with a smile. "I am not going to sit here and say I went into the game thinking I was going to get three picks, but I definitely wanted to come in and make the best impact I could.
"It feels great, man. One of my all-time legends is Ed Reed, and I don't remember a game where Ed Reed had three picks. So it definitely feels good to get three."
Byard became the first Titan defender to record three interceptions in the same game since 2007, when linebacker Keith Bulluck did it on a Monday night in New Orleans. Byard spent some time with Bulluck when he was a recent guest on "Titans Tonight With Keith Bulluck" at Martin's BBQ downtown.
"I'm the second KB," Byard said with a smile, "so you have to pay respect to the legend."
Byard recorded his first interception of the day near the end of the first half. With the Browns driving, Byard stepped in front of a pass thrown by Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer and intercepted it, and the game went to halftime with the Titans up 6-3.
Byard came up with another interception in the third quarter, setting the Titans up at the Cleveland 32. Byard ended another Cleveland drive when he intercepted Browns quarterback Cody Kessler at the Tennessee eight-yard line midway through the fourth quarter.
"Any interception is big for this defense," Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. "It's great to see him come out and have a great game like that. He's been ballin' all year long, and to put three interceptions on top of what he has been doing all season. He's been putting in the work all season."
Byard, who now has four interceptions on the season, credits his success to film work, and having a better understanding of the defense.
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard said Byard is maturing every day.
"KB was a bright spot for us last year," Woodyard said. "We knew he was going to be one of our best players, most dominant players, and he showed it today. He came through with three big plays. KB is growing and he'll keep getting better. It is always amazing to see a young kid like that to start to come of age and take over."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)