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Tribal Warfare
04-22-2010, 10:49 PM
Chiefs expect top pick Berry to make immediate impact (http://www.kansascity.com/2010/04/22/1896925/chiefs-expect-top-pick-berry-to.html)
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

This time, the Chiefs aren’t planning to wait to get big help from their first-round draft pick. They’re expecting safety Eric Berry not only to start immediately but also to help lead a long-awaited defensive transformation.

“Eric has the characteristics we’re looking for,” coach Todd Haley said. “The captain of his college team. Extremely productive. Loves football. That’s clear when you’re around him for any period of time. Competitive. He’ll come in here and amp the competition up, and not just the secondary but all areas.”

The Chiefs selected Berry with the fifth pick in the first round of the draft, which began Thursday night. The draft continues today with the second and third rounds. The Chiefs have two picks in the second round and another in the third.

The Chiefs still have needs at wide receiver, tight end and linebacker, among other places

“When you have the type of year we had, you have a lot of needs,” Haley said. “We went through the process with the staff and at times we had to laugh about it: ‘We could use this and we could use this.’ But you’ve got to narrow it down, and you’ve got to try to take the guy you think can help you the most.”

Haley and the Chiefs are happy to wait until today to attack their other needs after choosing Berry, a 6-foot, 211-pound safety.

Safety was arguably the biggest hole on their roster. Among established players, they have only Jarrad Page, who missed much of last season because of injury, and Jon McGraw, mainly a special-teams player.

Berry, who declared for the draft after his junior season at Tennessee, had 14 interceptions in his three collegiate seasons.

The pick differs from last year’s selection of defensive end Tyson Jackson in the first round. The Chiefs expected Jackson would need time to grow into the position.

Not so for Berry, who has been compared to Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu and Baltimore’s Ed Reed for his ability to affect a game as a safety.

“I watched a lot of film on Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu,” Berry said. “I just try to take both of them and try to make my own kind of safety. I just try to look and see the way they attack ball carriers, the way they disguise the plays, the way that they use their instincts to make plays. I like the way they play the game.”

Berry is a versatile player. He has good coverage skills, so the Chiefs can use him in a variety of ways on passing downs. He is also a big hitter and a solid run defender.

“He’s a physical player,” Haley said. “He looks for contact. I don’t think he’s afraid to make big plays. He’s versatile. He has the ability to cover and in the division we’re in, we’ve got to cover tight ends and receivers and backs.

“That’s one of the big positives with him is that he does have some position flexibility, so to speak. He’s shown the ability to cover in man-to-man situations and he’s a very good down in the box hitter and he’s been real good in the back end out in the open field. On top of that, he looks like he has a little knack for pressuring the quarterback.”

Available to the Chiefs when the picked were, among others, Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung and Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain.

But Haley indicated the Chiefs settled on Berry, as long as he was available, long ago.

“As the time went on, it just became more and more clear this was the fit for us. This is a kid … on Fridays of game week they’d find him in the equipment room helping the equipment manager shine the helmets before a game day Saturday at Tennessee. With what you see on the football field, obviously, it just became clear that this was the guy for the Chiefs.

“It’s been building. There were a bunch of points during this process where (general manager Scott Pioli) and I would look at each other and whisper to each other that this may be the guy.”

The Chiefs drafted a safety in the first round only once, that being Jerome Woods in 1996. Safeties generally aren’t picked quite so high in the draft. The last safety to be picked as high as number five was Sean Taylor by Washington in 2004.

“This was the fit for us,” Haley said. “I don’t think we were going to let a lot of things take us out of that.

“The game’s a little different. When you look at some of the numbers around the league, specifically the last two years, you’d better have some guys to defend the pass.”

Fairplay
04-22-2010, 10:50 PM
I would expect him to be.

He had better live up to the hype.

vailpass
04-22-2010, 10:54 PM
Wow. Pinning an awful lot on the shoulders of one guy. A rookie safety at that. It will be interesting to see if he can live up to the savior role.

T-post Tom
04-22-2010, 10:59 PM
Wow. Pinning an awful lot on the shoulders of one guy. A rookie safety at that. It will be interesting to see if he can live up to the savior role.

He's not expected to be the savior. Just an elite college player that should transition into a very good pro player. A player that can anchor the secondary for years to come.

vailpass
04-22-2010, 11:03 PM
He's not expected to be the savior. Just an elite college player that should transition into a very good pro player. A player that can anchor the secondary for years to come.

I get a different impression from this board and the Teicher article. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

Micjones
04-22-2010, 11:09 PM
The only impression that I got is that the Chiefs believe he's an NFL-ready player who won't take 3 years to make a significant contribution.

He's just one player. When we help him with an impact NT and LB tomorrow...
The picture will become clearer.

GoHuge
04-22-2010, 11:12 PM
Another master of the obvious gem from AT........keep up the good work!!!

T-post Tom
04-22-2010, 11:12 PM
I get a different impression from this board and the Teicher article. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

I suspect Berry will not be feeling any pressure from Teicher or any of us.

vailpass
04-22-2010, 11:13 PM
The only impression that I got is that the Chiefs believe he's an NFL-ready player who won't take 3 years to make a significant contribution.

He's just one player. When we help him with an impact NT and LB tomorrow...
The picture will become clearer.

You are in a better position to judge than I; I'm looking in from the outside.

T-post Tom
04-22-2010, 11:19 PM
You are in a better position to judge than I; I'm looking in from the outside.

"That's what she said."

http://beingamomisgreat.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/michael-scott-steve-carell.png

vailpass
04-22-2010, 11:20 PM
[QUOTE=T-post Tom;6701230]"That's what she said."
/QUOTE]

:clap: