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Chiefs Safety Eric Berry: "Got to be prepared" for Dexter McCluster

Posted Sep 3, 2014

CHIEFS S ERIC BERRY

(On his thoughts when he sees a quarterback running toward him)

‘Oh, shoot, what is he doing down here?’ Just because I know we’re dealing with a guy that is pretty athletic or whatever, but that’s one thing you really don’t want to see as a defender, as a secondary defender. The quarterback’s scrambling and picking up yards, because it’s usually not accounted for, but he’s gaining yards and picking up yards for the team.

(On making sure the quarterback slides feet first)

You’ve got to be smart about it, because sometimes he can be hit bad when we’re playing and he slides feet first. You’ve got to be aware of what’s going on, but headfirst you’ve got to be cautious, too, just making sure that he can’t gain any more yards and try to get a stop. Being aware and letting him know that you’re coming. If he does (slide), it’s on the run.

(On using last season as a motivator for this season)

That definitely made us hungrier as a unit. The big thing now is to just finish, no matter what it is, whether it’s winning, a play, a drive, a game, whatever it is it’s just all about finishing. That’s in the season, and we follow offseason and everything else. As far as what we learned, I think this year, it takes guts, it takes bumps and bruises for you to grow up as a team. We know how to handle adversity a lot better and pretty much just try to make adjustments on the fly. Our communication has definitely gotten a lot better. We just want to keep that moving forward.

(On preparing for a game with Dexter McCluster on the opposing team)

It’s very strange, especially for me, because we were in the same draft class and played at
Kansas City. We spent a lot of time together as far as different events and just learning together, so I’ll see him on the opposite side in a different shirt, but at the same time he’s a competitor and I know he’s going to play his game, so I’ve got to be prepared for that.

(On Dexter McCluster playing)

Anytime we’ve seen him make a big play, he would go far for us as a team, and at the same time, we know his capabilities. We know what type of player he is; we know what kind of things he can do on the field not just on offense but on special teams, as well, so we definitely have to be aware of what he can do. He can get really streaky, too, so he just starts making plays. He just starts getting momentum for himself, confidence for himself, and he just turns into an animal. We’ve just got to keep him from gaining momentum.

(On looking forward to hitting Dexter McCluster)

I’m just looking forward to winning. That’s the biggest thing. Whatever helps our team win, that’s what we’re trying to do.

(On Justin Hunter)

First of all, he went to UT, so I always kept my eye on him when he went to UT, and he was a baller at UT as well. When he got to the league, and before he got to the league, he had an ACL injury, which I had, as well, so we talked about that and just starting to regain and keeping your mindset on what you need to do to power back. It’s good to see him on the field moving and playing like it never happened. It’s very good to see him on the field after something like that, and it’s pretty cool to see him mature into an NFL athlete.

(On what stands out about Justin Hunter)

Definitely his speed. With a guy that tall, who can run that fast, and he’s very coordinated, as well. He lucked out, some guys are kind of goofy, and they’re not adjusted to their bodies as they should. He definitely had that in high school, too, and he jumped a very high height, so he’s definitely very coordinated. He played basketball, as well. He can do a lot of things.

(On defending Justin Hunter)

He’s got that long frame, and he can also jump very well. There’s always going to be three or four receivers, so it’s imperative to play good defense.

(On what stands out about the Titans)

The thing I think that stands out about this team is they are a very aggressive team. They’re physical. They don’t back down from an opponent. We saw them last year. They brought a lot of the guys back from last year, so those guys are hungry. We know they’re hungry, and they’ve definitely got a good head coach in there, so we know that they’ll be prepared to play a good game and come out and execute. At the same time, they’ve got athletes at every position, running back position, tight end position and the wide receiver position, so we’ve definitely got to be aware of their playmakers and try to keep them backing up.

(On studying Jake Locker)

I think we just pretty much look at everything. It’s not just what he did last year or this year. You’ve kind of got to look at the big picture. He’s developed very well as a quarterback, and has Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt as his coach, too. A very great offensive mind, so I think he has the right person behind him. You’ve got to try to be put in a position to make plays and help the team win.

(On the environment at Kansas City)

I was telling somebody else today, I think everybody in America should at least experience a game at Arrowhead. The fact that the first game is a home game, it’s going to be just off the chain. The fans are going to be up there before we even have to report to the stadium. It’s going to be barbeque going on. It’s going to be all types of music, tailgating, the whole parking lot is going to be smoked out with barbecue smoke and fans playing games, playing music, getting ready for the game. That gets the juices flowing before we even step out on the field. We get in the locker room and come out for warmups, and the fans are already in the stands, excited, and then when they come in, they all have on red. It just lets you know you’ve got a sea of red. They’re already behind you, and you feel like you can’t be stopped. We just go out there and get our crowd involved very early.

(On Arrowhead Stadium’s noise level compared to another venues he has played in)

Arrowhead is definitely one of the loudest stadiums I have played in.  Tennessee is very loud as well.  I feel like you can’t compare, they are two separate cultures.  Each stadium has their own culture.  Kansas City has their culture that truly loves football and they are diehard fans.  I think every time we step on the field, we bring our A game and they bring their A game as well.  It is definitely fun playing in front of our home crowd.

(On preparing to face the Titans without Chris Johnson in the backfield)

You just have to be prepared and be aware of who is in the backfield.  Each one of them brings something different.  They all are different backs, but they all are very well-rounded and can make plays, so you have to be aware of that.

(On Kendall Wright)

Definitely an athlete with a lot of speed and can make a lot of plays.

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