Chiefs' Eric Berry wonders about hit that left him hurt

David Stluka/Associated Press
Kansas City safety Eric Berry, a former University of Tennessee star, smiles at the NFL Honors show in February.

Photo by David Stluka, AP2012

David Stluka/Associated Press Kansas City safety Eric Berry, a former University of Tennessee star, smiles at the NFL Honors show in February.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eric Berry has his own opinions about whether the Buffalo Bills were out to hurt him in last season's opener, when a deliberately low block resulted in a season-ending knee injury.

The Chiefs' safety knows better than to reveal what he's really thinking, though, instead telling people to watch video of the block and "make your own opinion."

Berry was in the open field and running toward the ball Sept. 11 when wide receiver Stevie Johnson dove at his knee from the side. Berry was upended near the goal line and ultimately left the game, and the full extent of the injury was revealed a couple of days later.

Although the open-field block was legal, Berry tweeted last month: "Sometimes I sit n wonder if they had a bounty out on me ... oh well ... who cares. Either way u can't hold me down."

Berry said that the tweet, sent after revelations of bounties being paid out in New Orleans, was "pretty much a joke." But pressed about whether he thought the hit was intentional, the Pro Bowl safety gave the impression that he still wonders about it.

"They got the tape out there, you can make your own opinion," Berry said. "I mean, my opinion is my opinion. People are going to take it how they want to take it anyway.

"To me, that's in the past," he said. "It is what it is."

The issue of bounties has exploded in recent weeks, after the NFL determined that a program was in place in which Saints players were paid bonuses for on-field accomplishments, which included hurting opponents. Such payments violate league rules.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended coach Sean Payton for the entire season, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely, general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six. The team also was fined $500,000 and will be forced to forfeit second-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013.

Additional sanctions could be levied against some of the players involved.

Johnson said through Twitter last fall that he never intended for Berry to get hurt, and also pointed out in response to sharp criticism that his block was within the rules.

"Regardless of what happens on the film, everything happens for a reason," said Berry, who was at the Chiefs' practice facility Tuesday to participate in the team's offseason program.

Berry said his knee has mostly healed — he spent time rehabbing with tight end Tony Moeaki and running back Jamaal Charles, who sustained the same injury to the same knee in consecutive weeks. All three are expected to be ready by the start of training camp in July.

Berry said the time away from the field made him "more hungry than ever." It was the first time he'd been away from the game for such an extended period of time.

"I've always been motivated, but at the same time, I've never been away from the game so long," he said. "I'm definitely excited, especially to be back with my teammates."

Berry said he's never been around a team, including college, where players were encouraged to hurt other players. He said the only thing that Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel — now the head coach — ever asked of his players is to give maximum effort.

"I've never played on a team where there was anything like that going on," added Chiefs cornerback Stanford Routt, who spent most of his career in Oakland. "Whatever was going on in their locker room, that was their business."

Defensive tackle Tyson Jackson also said he'd never been around a bounty program, whether with the Chiefs or in college, and he hadn't paid much attention to the Saints' situation.

Asked whether he ever felt targeted by an opposing player, quarterback Matt Cassel offered a bit of levity: "I always think I'm in a game when the opponent is trying to hurt me!"

"No, I don't think I've ever had someone come at me with malicious intent," he added. "We play a violent enough game, so you're always shocked when you hear about this stuff. I think it's being handled accordingly, and I think the commissioner's taken a pretty hard stance."

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Comments » 33

orangevolman writes:

Eric Berry, a class act!

Clarkrm0706 writes:

"oh well ... who cares. Either way u can't hold me down."
The guy is a beast physically and mentally.

claiborneh writes:

I'm calling for a permanent ban on the "it is what it is" quote.

RoadTrip writes:

No support for that ban. It is what it is.

Looking forward to the EB payback on Johnson. The difference is EB will do it like a man.

allvol32 writes:

Just watched the video for the first time - I have to say it looks intentional. It may not have been with the intent to take EB out but man it sure looks like it. I hope for Stevie Johnson's sake that it wasn't intentional. I'd hate to have that on my conscience if it was intentional.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I'm calling for a permanent ban on the "it is what it is" quote.

I'llI second that motion if you include "at the end of the day"

AllVol1 writes:

in response to allvol32:

Just watched the video for the first time - I have to say it looks intentional. It may not have been with the intent to take EB out but man it sure looks like it. I hope for Stevie Johnson's sake that it wasn't intentional. I'd hate to have that on my conscience if it was intentional.

I have the feeling that Eric Berry has looked at that film and is looking forward to Stevie Johnson coming across the middle for a pass. Glad I am not in Johnson's shoes because he may not be in them after that hit! Glad to know that EB is coming back. Go Vols!

pvtoe writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are a MORON!!!

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think you where looking through those tebow panties you wear on your head.

Do you ever get tired of being a loser?

hcjournals#206623 writes:

One of us...

69grad writes:

When Eric gets his chance to return the favor to Johnson, it will be straight up and in his face. Johnson, he may sound nice, but he is an animal of a hitter. Good luck.

GreeneCountyVol writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I'm calling for a permanent ban on the "it is what it is" quote.

It ain't over until its over.

Hounddawg writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

I'llI second that motion if you include "at the end of the day"

Let's take this one quote at a time

Juiceair writes:

Glad I was not the only one who thought that Eric.

SevenT writes:

EB was a nice college player, but crying to the media about being hit is over the top. Another season or two and the EB will be out of the NFL.

imw8n4u writes:

in response to SevenT:

EB was a nice college player, but crying to the media about being hit is over the top. Another season or two and the EB will be out of the NFL.

I see all the asylum inmates are taking advantage of their 30 mintues of computer time this morning.

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

FYI - Grown men shouldnt be tweeting! Go Vols!

SoddyVol writes:

in response to SevenT:

EB was a nice college player, but crying to the media about being hit is over the top. Another season or two and the EB will be out of the NFL.

Constant hounding by the press and still give the answer he gave shows great character. Just the opposite of "crying". Why hate EB? Plays for the wrong team?

Vol43 writes:

in response to SevenT:

EB was a nice college player, but crying to the media about being hit is over the top. Another season or two and the EB will be out of the NFL.

At the end of the day, you and that other panhandler, bodeanevol, are just two pitifully miserable chumps. I guess it is what it is.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I'm calling for a permanent ban on the "it is what it is" quote.

You have to start with Calipari...he used that phrase seemingly every other sentence...I love Coach Pat but the word "obviously" is her favorite word...guess we all have those "comfort" words or phrases we use far too often...but "at the end of the day" what difference does it really make...

brokendownoldvol writes:

I made my own bounties in HS. If I went a game without putting someone out even if we won 50-0 I felt like a loser. Football is a man's game. At least it once was.

Vol43 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

You have to start with Calipari...he used that phrase seemingly every other sentence...I love Coach Pat but the word "obviously" is her favorite word...guess we all have those "comfort" words or phrases we use far too often...but "at the end of the day" what difference does it really make...

That's funny. Yeah, I think that was one of Pat's favorite words and have you ever noticed that Bruce Pearl used it as well?

LaneBrains writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

I'llI second that motion if you include "at the end of the day"

We will also agree with both these suggestions if everyone will include "Monte is a genius", we all know that CLK is the "genius" among modern football coaches...

"Urban, Steve, Mark, Nick and Monte...all get in line behind CLK"....a direct quote from many made by visionary AD M. Hamilton.

CLK, Monte and Ed

CroKev writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I'm calling for a permanent ban on the "it is what it is" quote.

It depends on what your definition of "is" is...

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

dweebo never plowed berry. if you watch the video, after they hit, you'll see another player hit dweebo from behind which force both players towards the goal line. dweebo knew what was coming and got so low he could lick the turf. i'm sure he'd seen the alabubba 360 hit, no-shawn and the auby hits.

btw - didn't dweebo whine after peyton manning took his job in denver? dweebo lives to cry.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to Hounddawg:

Let's take this one quote at a time

What he said.

Navaloranges writes:

in response to SevenT:

EB was a nice college player, but crying to the media about being hit is over the top. Another season or two and the EB will be out of the NFL.

More POSING from a Troll, or Trolling from a POSER. Take your pick.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No man, it was you when Tebow decided he had enough of your stalking and put a restraining order on you. loser!

MemphoVol writes:

in response to claiborneh:

I'm calling for a permanent ban on the "it is what it is" quote.

I had a boss that use to turn these around with things like, "We'll burn that bridge when we come to it." And no, my boss was not Kiffin. Although that does sound like him, doesn't it.

murrayvol writes:

in response to pvtoe:

You are a MORON!!!

Give him a break. It's a minimum wage job.

Theo writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

I'llI second that motion if you include "at the end of the day"

Thirds on "just sayin'"

Theo writes:

Could T-bo actually talk if the word "excited" was removed from the english language?

kyvol98 writes:

I know of a DIII head coach that told his defense the opposing teams running back could "Run like a gazebo".... Uh, do you mean gazelle??????????

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