October 31, 2009
I know I promised that Eric Berry would pick off a pass last week. I apologize for being wrong. I was falsely under the impression that Bama QB Greg McElroy would actually throw the ball more than 2 yards downfield.
Eric is the best DB in college football, but even he can’t pick off passes that are in the air for only .92 seconds. Eric is quick. He anticipates well. But Doc Einstein proved in the Magna Carta that nothing is faster than the speed of light. No DB can get to a pass that is only thrown a few feet.
Say what you want about The Ol’ Ball Coach, but at least he has guts. His team will throw the ball downfield. I just hope Eric doesn’t faint from the shock of seeing someone have the courage to test him.
Being a god ain’t easy.
October 15, 2009
I’m sorry for the lack of recent activity. I felt the only fair thing to do was lay low and give the other 10,000+ college players a chance to have their day i the sun. Now…time’s over. Eric is livin’ large and in charge and I’ll be documenting every minute of it. So let’s talk about my favorite subject, Mr. Eric Berry.
UT is halfway through the season. 6 games are in the books and let’s look at EB’s stat line:
35 tackles – 15 assts – 4.5 TFLs – 4 PBUs – 1 INT
Taylor Mays and his 1 INT and 14 solo tackles are impressed. Eric’s pick came off Hypeman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Berry also gave Tebow a concussion with a big hit. Oddly, the concussion didn’t totally flare up until late in the Kentucky game. Pretty weird, huh? EB has had some other monster hits so far this year. Game time is pain time when EB’s out there huntin’ you up.
Like me, Eric felt it necessary to give other guys a chance to shine. He only had the one pick. He didn’t have any interception return yards. That’s about to change shortly. This Saturday is the Vols bye week. After that, the classic third Saturday in October matchup with Bama looms. What better way to break the NCAA record for INT return yardage than vs the Criminal Tide, aka Bama? Book it.
My sources tell me EB is going to unleash his fury on the Nicktator and QB Greg McElroy. No one’s face will melt off, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, but you can bet that some retinas will be scarred by the blinding light of EB racing upfield with the ball after a breathtaking pick.
Get ready 2nd half of the season. EB and I are rarin’ to go.
September 6, 2009
The stat line only reads: 3 tackles, 1 pass break up. Watch the game. Or better yet, listen to his holiness:
“You know, we didn’t get a lot of action back there, but that’s great,” safety Eric Berry said. “Whatever is going to help us win and keep guys off of us, that’s what we need to do.
“Our (defensive) line, you should just see how they work at practice to be honest with you, just to see how they prepare for Saturdays. You’ll see why they made those big plays.”
Berry is the one UT typically relies on to make them, but it barely needed its star against the overmatched Hilltoppers.
The junior had an acrobatic pass breakup early in the game and finished with three tackles, but those numbers won’t help him win any hardware in December. Eventually Berry figures to start cranking out some highlights, but that would depend on the guys in front of him actually giving him a chance.
Eric just missed picking off a pass early in the game. It would have been a cakewalk TD. In his infinite wisdom Eric decided that the sportsmanlike thing to do would be knock the ball down and let Western Kentucky enjoy their season for an additional 5 minutes.
Great player, even more great of a human being. When Mother Teresa left us a few years back there was a giant void in humanity. Eric has clearly filled that void, on and off the field. I hope UCLA doesn’t count on his kindness. Eric owes them payback for a loss from last year. I wouldn’t trade places with UCLA for all the whiskey in Ireland.
September 1, 2009
GoVols has a piece up covering some of Eric’s greatest moments. Here’s the link:
Choosing Eric’s greatest moments is pretty tough. That is like choosing William Shakespeare’s greatest lines. Or maybe the best Beatles songs of all time. Or the greatest episode of Cop Rock. How the heck do ya do it?
I’m gonna borrow a bit from my homeboy Nostradamus and say that Eric’s greatest moments are all in the future. Here goes:
* Sept. 19th at Florida – Berry hits Tim Tebow, who is trying to score on a run inside the 10-yard line. Berry knocks his head off…literally. Tebow still scores, but is exposed as a cyborg.
* Oct. 10th Georgia – Berry picks off new QB Joe Cox in the endzone and runs the pick back for a 100-yard TD. The Vols decide to go for 2. They put Berry in on offense. Eric does a triple somersault into the endzone, spelling out V-O-L-S with his hands while in the air.
* Oct. 24th at Alabama – Eric comes up into the box on a short yardage running play. Bama has put Terrence “Mount” Cody in at FB. Eric flies through the line and hits Cody like a ton of bricks, pushing him back into the runner and stuffing the play. Later in that same game Berry hits WR Julio Jones on a crossing route. Julio spontaneously combusts. The last known incident of this happening was Spinal Tap drummer Mick Shrimpton, who just exploded onstage in the middle of a set. Eric Berry isn’t charged because…well, he’s Eric Berry.
August 26, 2009
That’s what this SI article would have you believe.
Thief on the Field
I had already started calling my attorney when I realized the article was referring to Eric’s propensity for picking off passes. (A lot of alliteration goes a long way. ) I wasn’t about to let some Sports Illustrated hack insult Eric the Great. Luckily the writer is on board with the truth…Eric is God.
I apologize for not posting for a few weeks. I spend time every August with some buddies re-enacting battles. From the Punic Wars. I love to be Hannibal. We can always find some hills or mountains to substitute for the Alps. The hard part is finding elephants to use.
Thankfully I’m back and will have regular posts on Mr. Berry. Any zoos that wish to inquire about missing animals should talk to my friend Snappy. I don’t know anything. I swear.
August 8, 2009
Here’s a link to an article about how much Monte Kiffin loves Eric Berry.
My reaction…I saw him first, Monte. Find your own star defensive back to get excited over. I started a blog about Mr. Berry. All you do is coach him.
Anywho…the article does pose a really interesting idea: cloning. Imagine a field full of Eric Berrys. How awesome would that be?
Monte says that he will move Berry around this year so that opposing offenses can’t count on him being in the same place all the time. Berry is one of the few DBs that can make a difference when playing deep, shallow, or attacking into the backfield. Monte was generally pretty vanilla with his Bucs defenses. I certainly hope that he is creative with Berry and gives him a chance to make plays all over the field.
Week 1 just can’t get here fast enough.
As for Me vs Monte, I’ll let you be the judge:
I’m pretty sure Eric would make the right choice.
August 6, 2009
Eric Berry isn’t one of those guy who just plays hard when the cameras are on. He works hard. He practices hard. Check out this note from Day 2 of practice:
Kiffin said junior defensive back Eric Berry accounted for four or five turnovers, and junior defensive end Chris Walker — named most improved player during spring practice — has continued to be a solid pass rusher.
It would be awfully easy for Eric to rest on his laurels and coast into the NFL. It doesn’t sound like that will be happening. Good. I’m looking forward to Eric having a great season and putting up some insane numbers.
Here’s another practice note. This one is from Randy Moore.
They say you play like you practice, and All-America safety Eric Berry is proof. He practices with more enthusiasm than any player I’ve seen in nearly 30 years covering the Vols.
Covering tight end Ben Bartholomew on a drag route over the middle, Berry tipped the pass, then Bartholomew tipped the pass. Berry tipped it twice more and Bartholomew tipped it twice more before the ball finally dropped to the ground. Berry and Bartholomew shared a laugh, then hugged like a couple of brothers reunited after a five-year absence.
Several times in Tuesday’s workout Berry raced 30 yards or more downfield to overtake receivers and strip the ball from them when they relaxed their grip on the ball, thinking they were in the clear.
I can’t wait for Week 1 of the season to get here.
July 31, 2009
GoVolsExtra has a piece up that talks about Eric visiting a hospital. The article also talks about his phone conversation with Ed Reed. Apparently Ed is a big fan of Eric’s. I always knew that Ed was a smart guy.
July 31, 2009
There are just certain things we know for sure. Jessica Alba is the most beautiful woman in the world. Cream style corn is better than regular corn. Roger Ebert should never wear a Speedo. Skinheads and soccer moms don’t mix. Killing a person with post hole diggers is harder than it sounds. Again, these are all obvious, well known facts.
We also know that Eric Berry is the greatest man walking the face of the Earth right now. I’ve already covered his exploits on the football field. He is regarded as the best defensive player in college football. Some (the smart ones) consider him the best college player period. Surprisingly it is Tulane Punter Ross Thevenot who gets some votes and not Timothy Tebow.
What about Eric Berry the person? He is better than Eric Berry the player, believe it or not. Here are some of his many accomplishments:
– Eric ended the Cold War by telling Russia, “Back off…or else”.
– He defeated both Downtown Julie Brown and the redheaded Julie Brown. They were forced to leave Earth and return to the 1980s. The world rejoiced.
– Eric brought peace to the Middle East. He started with Presbyterian and Methodist tourists. Next up he’ll deal with the Israelis and Palestinians. No reason to rush things.
– He got Metallica to team up with Rick Rubin and get back to playing good music.
– Eric saved Timmy, the boy who was trapped in the well.
– He got Klondike to put a thicker chocolate shell on their ice cream bars.
– Eric does volunteer work with veterans of the Falklands War.
– He hasn’t yet cured cancer, but scurvy, measles, and polio are no longer running rampant in most countries.
I think you get the point. Eric is a great man who does great things. I think we all owe him a big thank you.
Thanks, Mr. Berry.
July 30, 2009
Eric Berry’s arch nemesis in the SEC is Tim Tebow. Nationally his biggest rival is USC safety Taylor Mays. Both Mays and Berry are star DBs for their respective teams. They are compared frequently. USC fans and Pac-10 apologists will try to convince you that Mays is the better player. Sane, intelligent people (or me) know that Berry is hands down the better player.
By the numbers:
Mays (3 year starter) – 39 games – 112 solo tkls – 4 Ints – 18 PDs – 2 TFLs
Berry (2 year starter) – 26 games – 101 solo tkls – 12 Ints – 10 PDs – 10.5 TFLs
Clearly stats don’t always tell the whole story. I think they do tell a major part of the story in this case. Mays is bigger and faster than Berry. Taylor is 6’3, 230. He is a linebacker with DB speed. Berry is 5’11, 203. There isn’t anything special about him athletically.
The difference is that Berry has great football instincts and is a playmaker. Mays has games where he looks great, but then he will disappear for long stretches. Berry is there every game, doing everything he can to win. He makes more plays behind the line of scrimmage. He makes more plays in coverage. He makes more plays when he does get hold of the ball. Eric has 3 INT return touchdowns in his career. Mays has 4 INTs period. Eric averages 40 yards per INT return. Mays has 40 total return yards in his career. See the difference?
Mays wanted to go pro last year, but got a disappointing grade back from the NFL advisory committee. He wasn’t the Top 10 player he hoped. Berry’s lack of ideal size and great athletic ability may keep him out of the Top 10, but he will be picked ahead of Mays. I’m willing to bet my TV Guide collection on it.