Kansas City Chiefs rookie Eric Berry didn’t light the world on fire during his NFL debut, but he did get involved early on with a tackle on the opening kick off. The fifth overall pick in April’s draft told reporters he always likes having that early tackle.
“It’s always good, especially when you have those pregame butterflies,” he said. “I always want to get that first hit out of the way, especially on kickoffs so I can be ready for defense. That’s what I try to do.”
He also talked about the difference in speed from college to the NFL.
“I just wanted to get out there and get a feel for it,” Berry said. “It was a lot faster, but I adjusted early.
“I knew it was going to be faster. I just tried to put it in my mind before the game that I had to move quicker, react faster. I was prepared for it to be fast. I just didn’t know how fast it was going to be. As soon as I figured it out, I adjusted and ran with it.”
Berry didn’t play the role of savior or embarrass himself in his first game as a pro. The final verdict after Friday night’s game is somewhere in the middle for the rookie. He made a couple quick tackles early on and the rest of his time he showed a little confusion but didn’t look out of place. Very simply, it’s something for Berry to build on.
Next week Berry will have a much more favorable match up against an inexperienced Tampa Bay offense led by Josh Freeman. Unlike the Falcons — a team returning most of their starters at every position — the Bucs are very much a team rebuilding, which should lead to a lot of opportunities for Berry and the Chiefs defense to come up with big plays.