Eric Berry talks about injury, Tennessee football

Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is progressing just fine from a knee injury, and he believes his former team at the University of Tennessee is doing just as well.

Only time will tell for both.

Berry, chosen by the Chiefs with the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is coming back from a season-ending knee injury sustained in the 2011 season opener against Buffalo.

Tennessee, meanwhile, is on the rebound from its second consecutive losing season under coach Derek Dooley.

Berry worked out with some of the Vols on Thursday — the day before he took part in the D1 Elite Defensive Skills Camp and the Eric Berry Iron Sharpens Iron Camp at Grace Christian Academy.

"I'm good," Berry said when asked about his knee Friday. "I actually had the privilege to go out (Thursday) and do one-on-ones with guys on the (UT) team. It was very, very competitive, very good."

Berry said he got all positive vibes while being around his former teammates at the UT campus.

"Right now, everything looks like it's progressing," Berry said. "Whenever we're progressing, I'm happy. As long as we're not moving backwards or just staying the same, then I'm cool, and I feel like we're progressing right now. I was in the (UT) complex (Thursday). It was nothing but positive energy. The guys seem very confident about this season. They've been working hard. I can tell, and I'm looking forward to the season."

Likewise, Berry is looking forward to his third NFL season.

Berry sustained a torn ACL in his left knee on a block by Buffalo wide receiver Steve Johnson early in the Bills' 41-7 victory over the Chiefs last Sept. 11 He had surgery Sept. 29.

Berry said he's "very close" to being 100 percent.

"Still a little timidness, but as far as just getting out there and running around, I feel very good," Berry said.

Berry doesn't expect to be at all timid when he gets back into the heat of NFL action.

"By the time I'm on the field, I'm going to be ready when it's time to go," Berry said. "But right now, I just want to make sure I get my feet back up under me and get used to cutting off of somebody else's movement."

Berry got a chance to do that Thursday while working out with the Vols, and he wasn't going up against slouches.

Berry spent time defending Vols receiver Justin Hunter, who sustained a season-ending knee injury in the Vols' third game of the 2011 season against Florida.

"It was definitely good going against Justin Hunter," Berry said. "My opinion I believe he's NFL ready right now, but that's just my opinion. It's been very good just being out here working out with those guys."

Berry had a breakout rookie year in 2010 when he started 16 games, made 92 tackles (77 solo), and had four interceptions — returning one for a touchdown.

That was enough to land him a spot in the Pro Bowl. He became the first Chiefs rookie to make the Pro Bowl since linebacker Derrick Thomas was selected in the 1997 season.

Now, Berry must prove himself again by showing that he's fully recovered from the injury and surgery.

Berry said he doesn't feel pressured to make a statement on the field once he's back.

"It's never any pressure," Berry said. "I know what my goals are. As long as my family's happy and I'm happy, it's never any pressure. I know what I expect out of myself. I know what I've been through, and I know where I'm at now, so it's never any pressure.

"I'm going to always try to please myself and make sure I'm doing everything to the best of my ability. I hold myself to high standards, so if there's any pressure, it's going to be pressure that I put on myself, not from anybody else."

Nor will Berry put any pressure on his two twin brothers, Evan and Elliott, who are rising juniors at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga.

Evan Berry has numerous offers from SEC schools, including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Auburn. Evan plays quarterback and cornerback at Creekside.

Elliott Berry worked out at linebacker when the twins attended a camp at UT on Monday. The twins have said they would like to play football for the same college.

Big brother Eric is staying out of their decision-making process.

"I'm not influencing," Eric said. "I'm out of it. If they need me to tell them what did I do in a certain situation or what to look for, I'm there for them, but I'm not pressuring them to go to any one place. I want them to make their decision for themselves."

Dave Link is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 24

jack4444 writes:

Eric Berry.

ambrown64 writes:

You know, he's always seemed mature beyond his years. Nice comment about his brothers - shows personal restraint and respect for roles and boundaries. Eric Berry seems like a great guy.

trubleoj#657755 writes:

14

redskinvol1 writes:

Berry twins = Vols for Life

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to ambrown64:

You know, he's always seemed mature beyond his years. Nice comment about his brothers - shows personal restraint and respect for roles and boundaries. Eric Berry seems like a great guy.

It's wise of him not to push them. They could blame him if things went wrong, or if they weren't happy in some way.

UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST writes:

Berry, like Manning, was 0 for against UF. Is that really what the twins want?

SevenT writes:

The Berry twins would be smart to NOT go to Tennessee. All this talk is nice but I will bet older brother has told them "anywhere but UT"

govolsn3 writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Berry, like Manning, was 0 for against UF. Is that really what the twins want?

UNLIKE YOU, Eric Berry is a class act. Go to back to where you came from, probably Memphis and crawl back in your play pen with your sippy cup. TROLL

123forVOLS writes:

Great guy, great player, smart brother, this al is Eric Berry. As for his brothers, it's up to them where they go. I feel they will make the decision they feel best fits them. It would be wonderful to see them in orange and white but that is neither my call or anyone else's but theirs. Best to EB this coming fall and GO BIG ORANGE!

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Berry twins would be smart to NOT go to Tennessee. All this talk is nice but I will bet older brother has told them "anywhere but UT"

I'm grateful for your post. Here...on the same page...we have the opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to class and maturity.

First, a great story about one of the Vol greats, Eric Berry.

At the other end, we have you.

ambrown64 writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Berry, like Manning, was 0 for against UF. Is that really what the twins want?

Yeh, maybe we could have some fine young gents like Percy Harvin. Then again, we've had our share of such. Where was Travis Henry from? Frostproof where? Call us rednecks, call us losers but...at least our state doesn't have a transient culture that attracts grifters and breeds serial killers. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google: "Gainesville and Ted Bundy."

Ryno writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Berry twins would be smart to NOT go to Tennessee. All this talk is nice but I will bet older brother has told them "anywhere but UT"

Yeah, I'm sure that while EB was working out with the UT WRs on the UT campus in his offseason, he was also telling his brothers to go "anywhere but UT." Stupid.

Eric feel free to pressure, influence, and threaten your brothers to get them to go to UT. Show them you care.

givehim6 writes:

I like the way some former Vols still love to help the current Vols out. Hope to see the Berry twins in orange soon.

givehim6 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Everone knows? I gess we are not all privileged to know the Berry's like you to get this inside info, didn't Eric say in the interview if his brothers wanted his advice he would give it to them? gess other family are doing the meddling.

The_Post_Corrector writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The Berry twins may sign with Tennessee as long as Dooley is around here. The Berry family likes his commitment to the players and their development. It's as obvious as the orange pants Dooley loves to wear. With their loyalty to UT, only a true vol fan, like Dooley, will hope to see them get on campus. ___VFL

Your post has been corrected.

The_Post_Corrector writes:

in response to SevenT:

The Berry twins would be smart to NOT go to Tennessee. All this talk is nice but I will bet older brother has told them "anywhere but UT"

The Berry twins would be smart to consider to go to Tennessee. All this talk is nice and I will bet older brother has told them "nowhere but UT"

Your post has been corrected

mountainbrook writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Berry, like Manning, was 0 for against UF. Is that really what the twins want?

They don't have criminal records so they won't fit in at the University of Felons at Gainesville.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to UTistheOLEMISSoftheEAST:

Berry, like Manning, was 0 for against UF. Is that really what the twins want?

And both are multi millionaires!!!
Is that really what the twins want

RobbieT writes:

Wasn't that Stevie Johnson , # 13 , that played at UK that knocked a UT player out for the season , wonder if he saw it coming !!!

volgrog#210164 writes:

in response to Nasty_Rat_of_the_Week:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hard to take someone seriously who constantly plays word games on names.

That said, Berry would have to be a total two-faced liar to state that UT's headed in the right direction and also not be able to stand Dooley's "arrogance and incompetence". Chuck Norris wears Eric Berry pajama's, so I'm thinking your logic isn't very sound. Just sayin...

VolGrad writes:

I see the lunatics are allowed to run free here.

TitanandVolfan4life writes:

EB has always been a good student, hard worker, smart and a classy guy that loves our Tennessee Vols.

He proves that again by coming to Knoxville to take time to work with and mentor our players and to enjoy being back on campus for awhile and getting to know our newest coaches and players.

EB will always be a true VFL and he'll help his twin little brothers make their own decisions based on truth and facts and NOT the Lies and hyperbole garbage spread around here by Tennessee hating losers.

EB wanted to play his Senior year at Tennessee like Peyton did but EB had no options since neither his mom or dad were working since their jobs were downsized and the Berry family had on income.

That forced EB to go to the NFL since he saw it as his responsibility to help take care of his family.

EB will always be a fan favorite and a Tennessee supporter because he's a fine young man and loves our Tennessee Vols.

I won't be surprised of the Berry twins follow in their big brothers footsteps and end up playing in Tennessee orange.

VFL...GBO!!!

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

in response to givehim6:

Everone knows? I gess we are not all privileged to know the Berry's like you to get this inside info, didn't Eric say in the interview if his brothers wanted his advice he would give it to them? gess other family are doing the meddling.

LOL good post

VOLFAN4LIFEgovols writes:

Im glad to see Eric Berry back here. In my eyes he is one of the best to ever wear the orange. Im looking foward to him play this year cause no safety hits like EB

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