Berry’s Confidence Grows … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

It’s a moment that is part of every rookie’s initiation into the National Football League.

Call it the AW S&@T! moment.

That’s when a rookie realizes, usually at the last instant, that he’s been had. Whether it was play action by the quarterback that had him biting on the fake handoff, or the double move by the tight end who doesn’t do double moves, all the sudden he’s out of position. That’s never good for a defensive player, most especially a safety.

Eric Berry says he hasn’t had his AW S&@T! moment yet.

“Not in a game, but I’ve had a few in practices,” Berry said Monday with a smile. “I’m sure coach (Emmitt) Thomas can give you the details. I try to forget them.”

As the team’s first draft choice and the fifth player selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, Berry has come to understand there are a lot of eyes on him. When that time comes in a game, when a good fake has him jumping and pulled out of position, everybody will notice.

His goal is to make sure that moment doesn’t come. Not as a rookie and not in the future. Like the perfect game every player seeks but never holds in his hand, a safety without an AW S&@T! moment is a safety that hasn’t played many games.

Berry has played three games. The first was in Atlanta, a night that even now is a blur for him. He had family and friends sitting all throughout the Georgia Dome that night. He was nervous, uptight, running around a little bit like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off.

“I wasn’t comfortable,” said Berry. “It started that way and eventually I calmed down a bit and just played the game. It seemed so fast, much faster than what I had experienced in college and faster than I expected.”

Besides that AW S&@T! moment every rookie also has a point where the speed of the game slows down, where sorting through the bodies flying around on the field goes from double fast-forward to normal speed, even a bit of slow motion.

That’s how the second game of Berry’s career went down in Tampa.

“Everything really slowed down for me there,” Berry said. “I felt real comfortable out there. It didn’t feel like I was struggling. I didn’t do everything right, but I was much more confident in what I was doing.”

And what about last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, in game No. 3 of what everyone hopes is a long career?

“It slowed down even more,” Berry said.

When the game was over, Berry led the Chiefs with six total tackles and a pass defended. It was his most productive game of the three. Against Atlanta, he had one tackle, and he had three in Tampa. He’s got 10 tackles total, with two more on special teams.

“There’s a lot to learn, a lot to get through and I’ve gotten a lot of help,” Berry said. “The one thing you know is that nobody is going to stop to let you catch up, so you had better keep moving. I’ve just put my head down and tried to move forward.”

One thing that Berry says has been especially helpful is the draft class of 2010. Head coach Todd Haley always talks about how these rookies have a special aura about them, how they are not intimidated or overwhelmed, and how important football is to all of them.

“There’s no way I ever felt alone, because we all stick together and we’ve all gone through this together,” said Berry. “It’s been great having guys like Kendrick (Lewis) and Javier (Arenas) and Dexter (McCluster) around. We hang together on the field and we hang together off the field.”

And now there’s one more pre-season game sitting on the schedule, Thursday night against Green Bay. Berry does not know how long he’ll be on the field against the Packers. Starters usually only get a series or two in these final pre-season games, but as a rookie with just three games under his belt, Berry expects to play more. That’s fine with him.

“It’s still the best part, being out there playing,” Berry said. “I’ll play the whole game if they want.”

That’s unlikely, but coming now less than two weeks away is the regular-season opener, the Monday night matchup with San Diego. If the pace seemed fast for Berry in that first pre-season game, he’s about to see it hyped even more against the Chargers.

“I’ll be better prepared this time,” said Berry. “I’ll be hyped up; I always am.”

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR MONDAY, AUGUST 30

  • BEARS – released QB Matt Guttierrez, WR Zeke Markshausen and DE Maurice Evans.
  • BENGALS – the NFL suspended WR Maurice Purify one game for violating the league’s conduct policy; placed S Tom Nelson (ankle) on the reserve/PUP list; released injured LB Rashad Jeanty (leg).
  • BILLS – released OT Kyle Calloway, DL Lonnie Harvey and WR Aaron Rhea.
  • BRONCOS – released RB Justin Fargas; released injured CB Tony Carter (hamstring).
  • CARDINALS – acquired RB Charles Scott from the Eagles in a trade for CB Jorrick Calvin; released TE Dominique Byrd, OT Casey Knips, WR Isaiah Williams and C/G David Mossman.
  • COLTS – placed CB Kevin Thomas (knee) on the injured-reserve list ending his season.
  • COWBOYS – released TE Scott Sicko, WR Terrell Hudgins and S Pat Watkins; placed LB Stephen Hodge (knee) on the reserve/PUP list; placed TE John Phillips (knee) on the injured-reserve list, ending his season.
  • DOLPHINS – released injured TE Joey Haynos (foot).
  • EAGLES – acquired CB Jorrick Calvin from the Cardinals in a trade for RB Charles Scott.
  • LIONS – signed LB Rocky Boiman, late of Titans and Chiefs; released WR Eric Fowler, DE Chima Ihekwoaba and LB Lee Campbell; released injured FB Jake Nordin (shoulder).
  • PANTHERS – signed OL Tim Duckworth, last with Broncos.
  • RAIDERS – released TE Tony Stewart, WR Paul Hubbard, FB Chane Moline and G Allen Smith.
  • RAMS – acquired TE/FB Dennis Moore from the Redskins in exchange for a conditional draft pick; released CB Marcus Brown, T Joe Gibbs and RB Jamie McCoy.
  • RAVENS – placed OL Daniel Sanders (shoulder) and S Marcus Paschal (right leg) on the injured-reserve list ending their seasons; released CB Doug Dutch.
  • REDSKINS – acquired DE Hal Davis from the Rams in exchange for a conditional future draft pick.
  • SEAHAWKS – placed DT Jon Lewis (thumb) on the injured-reserve list, ending his season; released WR Kole Heckendorf, K Clint Stitser, G Gregg Peat and OLB Ricky Foley.

6 Responses to “Berry’s Confidence Grows … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 31, 2010  - Brad says:

    I’m glad that Berry is trying to avoid silly mistakes, but I hope that it doesn’t turn him into too cautious of a player. I’m willing to tolerate the occassional mistake from a rookie in exchange for some game-changing plays. You have to take chances now and then like jumping routes. It is the playmaking that we just haven’t had in recent years.


  • August 31, 2010  - el cid says:

    Remember Kevin Ross, his first start (i think) he was burnt toast. Never happened again and was a stud the rest of his career in KC. Let Berry make his bones and let’s get the season started.


  • August 31, 2010  - el cid says:

    Lance Long got cut to reach 75 man roster.


  • August 31, 2010  - charles says:

    it was him with the big hit that put DeShean Jackson out of the game. he is looking really good


  • August 31, 2010  - Edward says:

    Definately an upgrade over Pollard. For all the Chiefs fans complaining about Pollard being gone I’ve much rather have Berry. He seems to cover better and actually wraps the guy up for the tackle versus going for the kill shot everytime and whiffing on tackles. Also Lewis has got to be confident as well he’s had just as good of a camp and preseason as Berry. Come on Haley start Lewis week 1 we did it with Carr and Flowers starting two rookies we how that worked out GOOD.


  • September 1, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    Edward, i agree completely! And i will add that Berry isn’t a mouth like Pollard was! You won’t see him arguing w/ coaches!!




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