Kansas City’s Eric Berry takes to pass-rushing role

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chargers won the game 41-38. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chargers won the game 41-38. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

As he dragged Robert Griffin III to the cold, icy turf in Washington on Sunday, Chiefs safety Eric Berry found himself in the increasingly familiar position of figuring out how to celebrate a sack, one he admits he didn’t think he’d be in much before the season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Berry not only leads all NFL safeties in pass-rush attempts with 60 — 12 more than the next closest player — he also leads his position in sacks (3 1/2 ) and quarterback hurries (10) and is second in quarterback hits (three), solidifying his status as the rare quarterback hunter at an increasingly coverage-oriented position.

“I didn’t know I’d be doing this much (blitzing),” said Berry, who accumulated a grand total of two sacks during his first three seasons with the Chiefs. “But I kinda just embraced it, figured out what my role was. And like I do in life, I tried to get as much info about it so I could get better at it.”

Thus, despite spending much of his professional career as an in-the-box player, Berry — who said he also didn’t blitz much during his sterling three-year college career at Tennessee — has found it necessary to seek pass-rush guidance from teammates Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. The duo is one of the league’s best at outside linebacker when it comes to rushing the passer, and Berry said neither has been shy about lending advice during practice.

Continue reading at The Kansas City Star

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