Fulmer claims Berry 'had a shoulder thing'

Sophomore may need surgery after season

John Chavis: Eric Berry is the best DB in the country

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Eric Berry says the Vanderbilt and Kentucky games will be a tribute to head coach, Phillip Fulmer, with players giving 110% on the field.

Eric Berry says the Vanderbilt and Kentucky games will be a tribute to head coach, Phillip Fulmer, with players giving 110% on the field. Watch »

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Coach Chavis talks about the Vanderbilt coaching staff, specifically head coach, Bobby Johnson.

Coach Chavis talks about the Vanderbilt coaching staff, specifically head coach, Bobby Johnson. Watch »

The ongoing talk about Tennessee safety Eric Berry playing offense took a new twist Tuesday.

According to UT coach Phillip Fulmer, Berry has played at least a portion of the year with a shoulder injury that could require surgery after the season.

“I’ve haven’t said this all year, but Eric’s had a shoulder thing going on. Something we really had to be careful with,” Fulmer said during his weekly press conference when asked again about the possibility of Berry, a former high school quarterback, taking snaps on offense during Saturday’s game at Vanderbilt (TV: WVLT, 12:30 p.m.).

Fulmer provided few specifics on Berry’s injury, other than to say it was “an old one.”

Berry spoke with reporters about 30 minutes before Fulmer and did not mention an injury.

So far this season, the sophomore has played one snap on offense, catching a 3-yard screen pass in a loss to Alabama on Oct. 25. Until Tuesday, the reasons given for Berry’s lack of snaps on offense had been a lack of depth at safety, his importance on special teams and a desire to keep him fresh late in games.

“All those things were true during the heat of the season and everything,” Fulmer said. “To get him over there and get him tackled 25 times or 20 times a game or 10 times, at that point wasn’t something we necessarily were going to do.”

Despite being injured, Berry has remained productive on defense for the Vols (3-7, 1-5 SEC). The sophomore ranks third on the team with 64 tackles and is tied for first nationally with six interceptions, including one he returned 72 yards for a touchdown against Mississippi State.

“He managed it pretty well,” Fulmer said. “It’s something after the season they’re going to have to look at and probably make a decision what to do about it.”

Even with the apparent injury, Berry will play Saturday. Berry’s shoulder isn’t serious enough to rule out a few plays on offense against the Commodores (6-4, 4-3), Fulmer said, and the sophomore has not missed practice time because of the injury. He even worked some on offense during the open date last week.

Even if Berry doesn’t play on offense, Saturday’s game will still feature a two-way player.

Vanderbilt cornerback D.J. Moore, who like Berry is a Thorpe Award semifinalist, picked off a pair of passes and caught two touchdown passes in the Commodores’ 31-24 victory over Kentucky last week.

For the year, he has 53 rushing yards on five carries and is one of two SEC players to match Berry’s interception total. Moore also ranks fourth in the SEC with 14.4 yards per punt return.

While Berry spends most of his time watching opposing offenses, he said he occasionally sneaks a peek at footage of Moore on defense.

Needless to say, he likes what he sees. And he can easily see himself doing some of the same things — on both sides of the ball.

“I wouldn’t call it jealous,” Berry said. “I just look at him and say, ‘Man, I could do the same thing.’ It’s pretty funny, though. I truly respect a player that can go both ways. It just makes me want to do it even more.”

There’s little question in Fulmer’s mind that Berry could do for the Vols what Moore has done for Vanderbilt, which became bowl eligible for the first time since 1982 with its sixth win of the season last week.

“If we had better depth at safety, yes. If he hadn’t had any injury, yes,” Fulmer said. “Those are certainly things he could have done.”

Asked if Moore’s performance against Kentucky made him want to lobby coaches for a chance to play on offense this week, Berry chuckled.

“Just a little bit,” he said.

Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.

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Comments » 100

kmarti26 writes:

first

Checkerboard writes:

If he is this good hurt I can't even imagine what level he would be playing at if he was healthy.

newtonrail writes:

Yes, I heard the news conference. A hot shot reporter should have already ferreted this out.. Maybe Naffy can find out from his "crack" staff.

okievol writes:

Must be from all that workin' like heck. Wonder why we would risk further injury by putting him on offense during a lost season?

VolInColorado writes:

Why can't Eric Berry be the new coach?

jturne44 writes:

im calling b.s.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

BS! FuLLLLLLLLmer is full of phooey. EA supposedly played QB all last season with a bum shoulder didn't he? Nice try coach, but you blew it. No injury, real or not, will change the fact that you suck as a football coach and led this team to the worst record in school history on the heels of another bottom 5 worst year in school history just 3 season ago. I'm done with the excuses, the workin' like hecks, and starting the worst QB in the history of football (i.e. #8). We're the laughing stock of the country and YOU are to blame.

JacksonvilleVol writes:

In the words of my roommate way back in the day....

"You best be jokin."

Really? Oh, so that's why he hasn't played QUARTERBACK? haha this is rich. Berry can do it all.

UT_VOLS75 writes:

Fulmer your an idiot.

KENVOL writes:

This is the biggest pile of BS I've ever heard. Can we not pack up Fulmers bags & get him the heck out of here?

Volunatic writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Rogers has also been playing with greased mittens on.

The_Mayor writes:

Just read where Rich Rodriguez told Michigan "fans" to pucker up. Then I went and took a gander at UofM's message boards. You could honestly interchange UM "fans" for UT "fans" and interchange CRR for CPF, and no one would ever be the wiser. I suppose it is consoling to realize ignorance is every bit as rampant in Ann Arbor as it is in Knoxville.

DoubleD writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Rogers has also been playing with greased mittens on.

...and Foster with a hand problem, Crompton with an arm problem...yada, yada, yada!

mattlock writes:

in response to The_Mayor:

Just read where Rich Rodriguez told Michigan "fans" to pucker up. Then I went and took a gander at UofM's message boards. You could honestly interchange UM "fans" for UT "fans" and interchange CRR for CPF, and no one would ever be the wiser. I suppose it is consoling to realize ignorance is every bit as rampant in Ann Arbor as it is in Knoxville.

I take that to mean you are posting on their board as well.

If you don't agree with what us "fans" thihk about this coaching staff, you have two options: 1) Remove yourself from this board, or 2) Remove your head from your arse.

tnbigg writes:

Good grief...

tnbigg writes:

Veek! Veek! Veek!

volunteerbud writes:

Eric Berry is like Jason Witten, he can take the pain in and hold it till the game is over with as long as he can still make the play. Fulmer you are really run out of excuses, just admit it you want to screw them for caning your sorry butt.

bluetick writes:

in response to jturne44:

im calling b.s.

I second that.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I just spit Mtn. Dew all over the screen. I think it is the coaches that have the eye problem. They didn't see that our water boy put on the #21 jersey and snuck into the game.

mattlock writes:

That's right, and a season full of playing free safety and hitting people with that shoulder has worked wonders and with this bye week it is fully healed and ready to go. . .just like Fulmer. Can we have Fulmer day tomorrow and be done with this?

volguy41nlouisiana writes:

UMMMM...Did I say Berry? I uh meant Jones. Yeah, dats right, Gerald Jones is hurt and THATS Berry hasnt had any time at QB. Wait, that doesnt make sense. Errrr thats the reason that Stephens isnt starting...oh Fu@# it!!! Im just trying to mess things up for the new coach.

Phil Fulmer

bhjohnso#207063 writes:

what's the reason BJ Coleman won't play qb this week?

volguy41nlouisiana writes:

in response to bhjohnso#207063:

what's the reason BJ Coleman won't play qb this week?

Fulmer here:

BJ sustained a nasty hangnail injury attempting to put all the cones used for practice up. He is however 2nd on the depth chart, but I really dont have any plan of playing him as he is actually the best of the lot. Him doing good would make me look like....well...like I didnt know how to coach. Thanks for your support

QB_10 (Inactive) writes:

Crompton- throws at ankles, knees and dirt
BJ Coleman- will run for his life
Berry- runs out of bounds and throws the ball at Phil and says I'm done with that go back to the G-Gun
Stephens- sits and wathces and says thank the lord i get to get a chance with a real coach in 2009

lomas98 writes:

Whatever. Please get this season over with.

volguy41nlouisiana writes:

in response to lomas98:

Whatever. Please get this season over with.

Is this what they mean ....a watched pot never boils....sheeeshhhhhhhh

WVVOLFAN writes:

hey hiresanders, before you post
VMI 111
u of k 103
the k stands for kan't play or koach for krap.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hilarious!

And perhaps a tripping problem because he seems to fall down nearly everytime he catches the ball.

Volunatic writes:

Not sure if this link has been posted on GVX boards today:
http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_ru...

jobrando#216494 writes:

I think he is shooting the fans a big bird again

The_Mayor writes:

in response to mattlock:

I take that to mean you are posting on their board as well.

If you don't agree with what us "fans" thihk about this coaching staff, you have two options: 1) Remove yourself from this board, or 2) Remove your head from your arse.

1.) I don't really care how you take it.

2.) There are far more options than the two you so ignorantly came up with.

Thank you for confirming my earlier post. Is it cold in Ann Arbor?

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So has Crompton. (can't see where to throw the ball)
So has Fulmer. (can't see anything, period)
Sounds like an epidemic!

redneckerson writes:

Let me see if I've got this right: all season long, Berry can't play QB because CPF doesn't want to expose him to further risk of injury than he's already exposed to as a hard-hitting defensive back. But now that he's already injured and it's the last two games of Phil's career, he can play QB??? So much for having the interest of the program at heart, huh?

rusty_shackleford writes:

As we used to say in math class...."this don't figure."

whocares writes:

CPF is playing spin doctor to sucker Vandy in when EB throws a 50 yard bomb to .... hold your breath Dvolfan.. Rogers.

Ok, somebody slap me back to reality.

On a second thought, why make the release Berry will see offensive play and then this story? If I was scratching my head at announcing Jon the starting QB this one baffles me more. Unless a spin to get at least a quick score. Jesus, have we named a new HC yet? If not please wake me from this dream and soon before I develop sleep apnea.

pms151 writes:

You KNS guys are right on the spot aren't you? If you did not have the inside info then why are you reporting THIS UNTIL NOW? You guys KNOW more than we do. What a joke. And you get paid for this? Is Mikey passing his used panties to you to smell?

MANVOL writes:

in response to VolInColorado:

Why can't Eric Berry be the new coach?

You think Fulmer wears Eric Berry Pajamas?

whocares writes:

Strange, Adams, Griff, Packer, and Drew get schooled by out of state media constantly.

I keep waiting to see a pic on the sports board of these guys all in clown suits. Bet John would look better with a big red nose and rouge.

MANVOL writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Packer and Griffith are without a doubt the two biggest jock sniffers in the media. Griffith once ripped the VOLS in every sport until he started working on state run radio. now he is hommer of all homers. That Locker room show is brutaul to watch. They might as well kiss Fulmers arse on the show.

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

in response to MANVOL:

Packer and Griffith are without a doubt the two biggest jock sniffers in the media. Griffith once ripped the VOLS in every sport until he started working on state run radio. now he is hommer of all homers. That Locker room show is brutaul to watch. They might as well kiss Fulmers arse on the show.

Add Pennington to the list. He's good at one thing; wetting his finger and raising it into the wind before writing or speaking.

whocares writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agree D....

But really when you stop and think, they all could wear the clown suit and it would fit!!!!

Would be willing to bet they all get schooled on the naming of the new coach.

Volchaz writes:

I guess BJ Coleman just got relegated to third string behind Incromplete and Berry. BJ's footwork really must be bad, he couldn't even throw for 400 yds last week. lol. Fulmer really doesn't want to play Coleman for some reason, he wants to even try Berry, with a hurt shoulder....wow...shocking...

threehundredbowler writes:

in response to mattlock:

I take that to mean you are posting on their board as well.

If you don't agree with what us "fans" thihk about this coaching staff, you have two options: 1) Remove yourself from this board, or 2) Remove your head from your arse.

Mattlock,If anyone needs to remove their head from their rear end it is people like you.Fulmer is gone.There is no reason for anybody to keep on posting their stupidity about him.Examine yourself.There are many things about yourself that could be improved upon.I am glad Fulmer is gone and I wish him and his Family well in his golden years.I believe he is far better man than you and many more of us will ever be.He has had enough pain for the way things are in his life.I truly believe you reap what you sew and some of you are sewing destruction toward yourselves.Let the man rest.

blitzshoot writes:

Keep him out the last two games. No worth risking his talent for next year.

rusty_shackleford writes:

Chris Low with ESPN.com has the inside info. He made tuscaloosa john his bee-atch last week on the coach search, while covering ALL 12 TEAMS IN THE CONFERENCE!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to dvolfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I fourth that.

10 days till this wierd tableau finally fades away.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

I fourth that.

10 days till this wierd tableau finally fades away.

motion passed

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to blitzshoot:

Keep him out the last two games. No worth risking his talent for next year.

Keep Fulmer out of the last two games as well. No use wasting his talent

tnvolfan30 writes:

in response to rusty_shackleford:

Chris Low with ESPN.com has the inside info. He made tuscaloosa john his bee-atch last week on the coach search, while covering ALL 12 TEAMS IN THE CONFERENCE!

Uh yeah...it's his JOB to do that. He works for ESPN, not the KNS or the sports animal. Any drooling 'tard would be able to figure that out.

whocares writes:

WAY off topic but does the ESPN deal mean we are further away from a playoff?

"ESPN and the BCS announced the deal on Tuesday. It includes exclusive television, radio, digital, international and marketing rights for the Fiesta, Orange and Sugar Bowls from 2011-2014 and the BCS title game from 2011 to 2013."

When will this nightmare end. If TT loses to Ok.... and Bama loses to UF we have a mess.... I for one want a Playoff, and will lobby where ever needed..... This just solidifies the fact that the BCS might be intact until 2014. ESPN would stand to loose a TON of cash if otherwise.

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