Berry looks the part of a fearsome, ball hawking cornerback who can lay a good lick on a wide receiver and make him think twice about going over the middle of the field to make a catch. There’s ink up and down his arms and Berry has eyes that pierce when he talks, the look of a fearsome player gazing up at you. But that isn’t who Berry is; rather he’s a soft spoken family man who sits quietly in the corner of the locker room and quietly watches as his new teammates walk in and out of the room. There’s a peace about him and a quietness that is rather surprising.
And Berry insists that he’s not the player who was twice arrested this last offseason and summarily cut by the Lions.
“Most definitely this is a second chance, doing what I want to do, going through what I’ve gone through,” Berry told The Jets Blog. “This is a second chance, I wanted to prove what I can do on the field and show what type of man I am.”
The man is the question mark right now, following those arrests just a handful of months ago. Berry insists he isn’t the man that the arrest records would indicate.
He had to prove that to Jets head coach Rex Ryan this past week when he sat down with team management before signing his contract. His new team wanted to make sure that Berry wasn’t going to be a liability.
“I just told him that I had those bad situations, I made some mistakes that were dumb but that those weren’t the types of things that I was about. That was my first time ever getting into trouble,” Berry said.
“I’m a simple guy, I’m relaxed, I stay at home, play video games, television – right now a lot of my time is spent getting the playbook down. I think he felt that as well. I wanted to try and get it across to him so he can see who I really am.”
He’s a player who needs the Jets, this opportunity and this chance quite frankly to atone. His new team needs him to step up and play and help fill the void left behind by Darrelle Revis following his ACL tear two weeks ago.
There were no emotions in his return to the field this week for practice – “It’s just football, go out there and play” – but he is eager to prove himself on the field again.
“I do have a chip on my shoulder. I know what I can do, I just always have one, always have a chip. I’m undrafted, that’s a lot to prove. I played at a high level last year. This is about me coming in and stepping in and helping my new team and the guy’s in this locker room,” Berry said.
“You live and learn, everything happens for a reason. You live and learn but now I just want to play.”
Kristian R. Dyer covers the Jets and can be followed for practice updates and news @KristianRDyer