View Full Version : Chiefs Eric Berry Interview

03-17-2011, 11:36 PM
Shutdown Corner: I wanted to start out by asking you about the adiZero 5-Star cleat adidas has signed several of the bigger names in this draft class after working with you and C.J. Spiller and other players last year as well. I wanted to get a sense from you as to how the new cleat affects, or helps, your game.
Eric Berry: I actually had a chance to wear it last year, during the last part of the season testing it out at practice. And the way it hugs your feet when you put it on, it's not slipping here and there. At the same time, it kind of feels like a sock. You know you're wearing shoes, but at the same time, there's no added resistance or added weight to the lower part of your body. So, me personally, I like the way the shoe feels, You obviously feel faster when you're wearing something lighter, and being fast is a mindset if you think you're faster, you're pretty much going to be.

SC: So, how did that affect you on the field, in drills, going up against receivers, things like that?
EB: In drills like I said, it's a mindset. If you feel faster, you're going to play with more confidence. Going up against wide receivers and tight ends, I felt like I could take more chances because I felt faster I was jumping a lot of routes and playing with more confidence. I started to see myself making more plays from taking chances, and when you have that confidence, you can go ahead and take the gamble on a play.

SC: Going back to your rookie season, how did it feel to win the Mack Lee Hill trophy?
EB: That was definitely a great honor; I thanked my teammates for voting for me. I felt that I made an impact last year, and that's what I wanted to do come in and help the team. I was very proud of that. The season was a good experience as a whole; just going out there and seeing how well we jelled together. A lot of people on the team were saying that they hadn't seen people on a team this close in a long time. And a lot of the veterans there wasn't any of that hazing stuff that you hear about. When we came in, the veteran just took us under their wings and just showed us the ropes. I think a lot of the credit goes to them for helping me go through the rookie season the way I did.

SC: You came into the NFL and really had an out of the box impact I know you did a lot of different things at Tennessee, and your versatility was one of your main selling points in the draft, but did the Chiefs use you differently in any way? Was there anything you had to adapt to or get used to?
EB: Really, the NFL was just an adjustment for me. The speed of the game, the size of the tight ends I never really covered tight ends in college and that was more of a difference. I was covering wide receivers in college, so that was an adjustment. And a lot of the guys who play tight end (in the NFL), they play a lot of basketball they'll get to the top of their routes and use basketball post moves on me that I wasn't used to. So, that was probably the biggest adjustment.
As far as the Chiefs having me do something different, I'd say no they just tried to put me in positions where I could make plays and help the team out. That was the biggest thing they did.

SC: On the other hand, most rookies come in and there's an adjustment period. Did you experience that, where it took a while to get up to speed?
EB: I would say that every game was a learning experience for me, especially early on in the season, going up against guys like Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, and Todd Heap. You're going to have some learning experiences with those guys they're Pro Bowl players. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to be out there, learning from them. This offseason, I've been watching the film to see things I could improve on, so that next season, I won't be so surprised, I guess you could say, at what might happen.

Shutdown Corner: One advantage you have is that you're up top with a cornerback in Brandon Flowers, who can do so many things play off, play press, redirect receivers where he wants them to go. It's my belief that he's one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the league. What is it like working with him?
Eric Berry: That's my opinion, too. I think that Brandon doesn't get a lot of the credit he deserves throughout the league. To me, he's one of the best lockdown corners. There have been times when I watch him and say, 'Wow he really locked that guy down for the whole game.' There's been games where we've asked him to be one-on-one for a whole game Cover-0 and things like that.
We started our friendship before I got drafted, because I was training in Florida, down in his hometown. He was talking to me about stuff and actually helping me out on the drills for the scouting combine. That's why it's so crazy that we wound up on the same team. So, he was helping me out before and after the combine. I think that was pretty cool.

SC: You and Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks (who was taken 14th overall) will be linked for a long time as the two guys in a draft class where safeties were maybe more valued than ever before do you guys talk to each other? What's your assessment of his game, since the Chiefs and Seahawks faced off last season?
EB: We talk not just because we were the top safeties in the draft, but we were talking before that. We would talk about football, and random stuff that was going on. I have nothing but respect for his game the way he plays in coverage, making tackles, breaking up passes, and he's always going to do it full-speed. But the thing I realy admire about him the most is that he plays a lot of special teams snaps. It's kind of hard for people to understand the value of playing special teams snaps until you've done it. You're dead tired from playing a series, or though a whole game, but you have to go down on a punt or kick return and make a tackle. To see him do that for the Seahawks team says a lot about him, and he just loves the game. And anyone who has a true love and passion for the game, I have nothing but respect for them.

SC: The Chiefs enjoyed a real breakout season in 2010, where a lot of things came together after some down years. What do you think was the primary reason or reasons for that?
EB: I think a lot of the guys just bought into what coach (Todd) Haley said. What he wanted us to do as a team. He told us not to worry about anything that was going on in the media, or what people were saying about us, because a lot of people were talking pretty badly about us before the season. But what we did was to rally together as a team, and like I said, we followed our veterans. They weren't saying that they were the veterans and we didn't have any input. They pretty much showed us the ropes as far as being rookies and younger guys they just said, 'Get on the train and let's go.' And that's what we did.

SC: Obviously, you didn't see the team going out in that rout against the Ravens in the wild-card round of the playoffs, but you have a great game 10 tackles and four passes defensed. What do you think you and your team learned about yourselves that will help you the next time?
EB: I think the biggest thing we probably learned was that we don't have to do anything great in the playoffs, we just have to come together and play as a team. Nobody has to do anything spectacular, or off the wall, you just have to make the plays when they come to you. So, that's probably the biggest thing that I learned from it.

SC: What has it been like working with defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas?
EB: It's been really fun working with him. I've learned a lot from him, obviously with him being a Hall-of-Famer and being around football so long. But at the same time, he's the kind of guy you can approach and ask about anything. Those are the types of coaches I like, as opposed to the ones who just say, 'Oh, here's what you have to do because I said so,' it's more, 'This is what you need to do and this is why.' He tells you the reason you're doing it and he doesn't leave you in the dark. I don't really respond to that other type of coaching too well, but Coach Thomas has helped me out, and he's helped us all out. We're a young secondary, and what we needed was someone with a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge.

SC: What would you like to tell the players coming into the league in this draft about the NFL experience? What's the one thing every rookie should know before he even starts?
EB: Don't get frustrated early. A lot of guys coming into the league, they're used to doing well doing good all their lives. So, when they come into the NFL, there are going to be some rough times where you get beaten on a pass or you miss a tackle. Don't beat yourself up; learn from that mistake and keep moving forward. At the same time, you just want to make sure that you're making progress every day and every week. From week to week, you want to make sure you're not getting beaten and messing up on the same things, you just want to keep getting better and better. It's a gradual pace, and you want to keep making that incline upward. That's the biggest thing you want to go into the league thinking.
Also, go in with an open mind, and listen to different points of view so that you can learn. Always be willing to learn, because there are things you can learn from everyone. Don't shut out anyone just because they're not a starter, or just because they haven't played in a while. A lot of the older guys, the guys who have been around football, can help you out as well.

Part 1 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/The-Shutdown-Corner-interview-Eric-Berry-Pt-1?urn=nfl-wp328)

Part 2 (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/The-Shutdown-Corner-interview-Eric-Berry-Pt-2?urn=nfl-wp331)

03-18-2011, 06:50 AM
Nice read, thanks for posting!

03-18-2011, 06:58 AM
that kid's going to be REAL good.

03-18-2011, 07:04 AM
Anybody that didn't want to draft Eric Berry can eat a handful of glass right now.

03-18-2011, 07:15 AM
Favorite chief. I need a berry jersey stat. When he learns to cover tight ends he will be terrifying.

03-18-2011, 07:21 AM
Good read. Good kid.

03-18-2011, 07:35 AM
I think the biggest thing we probably learned was that we don't have to do anything great in the playoffs

To what? Lose?

03-18-2011, 07:38 AM
He's a shoe-in for the Pro Bowl on this interview alone.

03-18-2011, 08:59 AM
The more I see from him on AND off the field, the more I like him.

03-18-2011, 09:20 AM
To what? Lose?

I believe what he's suggesting is that you have to play your game.
Do the things that got you there.

03-18-2011, 09:25 AM
great, great, GREAT draft pick.

03-18-2011, 09:30 AM
I love this guy

03-18-2011, 10:44 AM
We could not possibly ask for a better building block for our young D.