Q&A with Eric Berry - 4/22

Posted Apr 22, 2010

“I am very excited to be a Kansas City Chief..."

“I am very excited to be a Kansas City Chief. They have great tradition, great fans and I am excited to get to Kansas City and get to work. I am looking forward to putting on the pads.”

Q: What happened to your voice? It sounds horse.

BERRY: “I was very excited this whole week. It has been a blessing to be in this situation.”

Q: Who called you?

BERRY: “(General Manager) Scott Pioli called me and he asked if I was ready to be a Chief. He told me to remember all the things we talked about in the meeting room. Just come in ready to work.”

Q: What were your impressions of the Chiefs when you interviewed with them?

BERRY: “I loved it. Not only did I like the coaching staff, but they are also a very good staff and they are about their business. I feel like it is a privilege to work with those guys. They have a lot of wisdom on the defensive side of the ball, particularly with (defensive coordinator) Romeo Crennel and (defensive backs coach) Emmitt Thomas. Guys like that on the defensive side of the ball that I can look up to and they can kind of show me and groom me into the kind of safety I need to be.”

Q: What do you bring to the table?

BERRY: “I bring intensity and passion for the game. Also, I bring in all the character things, things off the field. I love working in the community, I love just being a great guy to people and I am just excited to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs with all the wonderful fans.”

Q: On Fridays before games you helped the equipment guys. Why did you do that?

BERRY: “I just wanted to help the guys out and give a sense of appreciation to the managers on our team. They work so hard and I wanted to put myself in their shoes so I could appreciate what they do for me. They always make sure my equipment is all intact; my shoulder pads are good and make sure my helmet is looking good. I wanted to see what they went through on a day-to-day basis to help me and show my appreciation to those guys.”

Q: How much did you benefit from playing under Monte Kiffin?

BERRY: “Coach Kiffin showed me so many things. He showed me a lot about defense and why he was calling plays. Not just telling me to just run that or run this, but he actually showed me why we were running it and what plays it was going to stop. I felt like he really prepared me for this level.”

Q: How does it feel to be one of five safeties taken in the top five of the draft since 1970?

BERRY: “I feel really good about that, but at the same time, it doesn’t faze me. I think the current safeties playing in the NFL, guys like Darren Sharper, Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu have showed GMs that if you have a valuable safety, that you can win games and they can definitely affect the outcome of the game.”

Q: Growing up, what prepared you for the NFL?

BERRY: “I think working with my dad showed me just what hard work was about and what you had to do to accomplish goals. This is one of the biggest goals that I had in my life. He always motivated me and showed me that I need to work.”

Q: What do you know about the one flag you accumulated at Tennessee?

BERRY: “That was a pass interference call my freshman year. I don’t know if it was pass interference, but they called it on me. After that, I really did put pride in not getting penalties. I don’t like to put my team in bad situations so I made sure that I did everything to just try and play good, clean football.”

Q: Does it still bother you that you got that one penalty?

BERRY: “A little bit, but at the same time, I think it is a pretty good trade.”

Q: Where is your dad? Is he with you right now? Did he ever get a chance to try out in the NFL?

BERRY: “Yes, he is up here right now. He tried out for the Dallas Cowboys and he had injuries during camp, he was signed as a free agent and then he got released.”

Q: Have you ever seen tape with him?

BERRY: “Oh yeah. A lot of college film and high school film.”

Q: What kind of a running back was he?

BERRY: “He would probably be one of my nightmares, just the way he hit the holes, the way he blocks. Just the way he does everything, he does it full speed and with a passion and that is what I try to bring to the safety position.”

Q: Did it help having one of the top defensive linemen in the country playing in front of you (Dan Williams)?

BERRY: “It helped a lot. It helped me out having the big Dan up front eating up blocks, putting pressure on the quarterback. A lot of my success in my career goes to big Dan. It also goes to other players in the league already like Jarod Mayo. He kept blocks off me also so he and big Dan deserve a lot of credit.”

Q: Is it important to your success to have those type of guys in front of you?

BERRY: “Yeah it does mean a lot and I do appreciate that.”

Q: A lot of people are comparing you to S Ed Reed. Who do you think you compare to?

BERRY: “I watched a lot of film on Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. I am just trying take both of them and make my own type of safety. One that will come up and hit, but at the same time get interceptions and take them to the house.”

Q: When you watch the tape of those two guys, what do you look for?

BERRY: “I just try to look and see the way they attack ball carriers, the way they disguise before a play, they way they are not afraid to go and make plays. I like the way they go and play the game.”

Q: Going in the top five is pretty good but you said earlier in the week that you were going to be paying attention to every team that passed you up in the draft. Is that just part of your competitive nature?

BERRY: “Yeah, that’s part of my competitive nature. Right now I’m just so excited to be with the Kansas City Chiefs and it feels good to be a part of this organization. They are in the back of my mind but at the same time I’m ready to get here and go to work.”

Q: You know that dental school is going to have to wait now, right?

BERRY: “Yeah, I’m fine with that.”

Q: What are you going to do with your money? You have anything in particular you want to buy right away?

BERRY: “No, I just really want to get the 2010 Camaro. I love Chevy. That’ll be the first thing maybe. I already took care of my mom. My mom has a Range Rover but I’m just looking forward to putting the rest of that of way so when I get my car I’ll buy a nice comfortable place to stay. I’ll be done with all that and be on to training camp.”

Q: Do you consider yourself a leader?

BERRY: “Yes I do consider myself a leader, especially because I was voted captain summer of my freshman year and was actually a four-year captain. I went into my sophomore year although I was only 19 at the time but at the time, 23, 22 and even 24-year olds were voting me as the team captain.”

Q: Do you expect to be in training camp on time since you mentioned it already?

BERRY: “Oh yeah I really expect to be in training camp on time. I’m ready to go to work. That’s one of the big reasons why I picked my agent because that’s one of his main things also.”

Q: Who is your agent?

BERRY: “Chad Speck.”

Q: I saw a story somewhere that you got into studying tape when your mom made home movies of you playing in high school?

BERRY: “Yeah. Actually she used to videotape me when I was like 11. She would videotape me at little league football and I used to look at it when I got home and at first it was just entertainment – I used to like to see what I did and see how I scored but then I saw there were things that I could improve and so once I started doing that and started critiquing myself, I just tried to become a better football player.”

Q: What’s your mom’s name?

BERRY: “Carol Berry.”