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Birds of a different feather

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  September 13, 2009 07:02 PM

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Patriots rookie safety Pat Chung and Bills defensive back Jairus Byrd were college teammates at the University of Oregon, roaming the same secondary for the Ducks.

Tomorrow night at Gillette Stadium, they'll be on opposing sides. When did they realize that would be the case?

"Draft day," said Chung, who was taken No. 34 overall, eight picks before Byrd went to Buffalo, with a smile.

Chung keeps in touch with Byrd, who is the son of former San Diego Chargers corner and current Chicago Bears assistant defensive backs/safeties coach Gill Byrd. But the Pats rookie said the two have purposely avoided trading any notes on adjusting to the NFL, so as not to tip the other one off to their team's schemes.

"Yeah, we talked but I mean it's a business," said Chung. "But we're friends to the end, d-boys together. He's going to do his best. I'm going to do my best, and hopefully we all come out healthy."

Chung is an excitable player, so he doesn't need the added boost of facing a friend to get up for playing the Bills. If anything, Chung has to make sure he's not overexcited about his NFL debut.

"Yeah, you got to calm down a little bit," said Chung. "But I'm very excited along with everybody else."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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