St. Joseph, Mo. – Eric Berry produced a head-turning first day in pads Sunday afternoon. Still, the Pro Bowl safety that missed most all of 2011 exited practice feeling unsatisfied.
Monday was a different story.
Berry was on the field for the good stuff this time around. Romeo Crennel had held Berry out of 11-on-11 work against the offense on Sunday. On Monday, it was full-go for all practice periods.
“Eric Berry threatened me, that if I didn’t let him go in and play some…,” Crennel joked.
So Crennel let Berry go in and play some on Monday. He did the same with Kendrick Lewis and Jamaal Charles, who were held out of Sunday’s team periods as well.
“Anytime you step on the field you want to actually be out there on the field,” Berry said. “I’m glad that I got out there (for 11-on-11 work) today. I got some of the rust knocked off and I’m looking forward to being out there again tomorrow.”
Whatever rust Berry kicked off couldn’t have been much. He was in lock-down mode during his return to full-padded work nearly 11 months since he last wore on shoulder pads and football pants.
On Sunday, Berry shut down Jonathan Baldwin - who’s otherwise turned in a standout camp - in one-on-one drills and then parlayed that performance by going juke-for-juke with Dexter McCluster in the open field.
Two receivers whose skills are polar opposites of one another were unable to best Berry in a drill where offensive players carry a distinct advantage. Berry looked about as close to Pro Bowl form as one could be following 10 months of knee rehabilitation.
“Dexter is such a quick guy and he’s smaller while Jonathan is a big receiver that is so strong and can jump,” Berry said. “I’ve just been putting in a lot of work this offseason in trying to make sure I’ve mastered my technique when I step back there on the field. I’m looking to maximize my craft and just get better.”
That was the most impressive part. After months and months of rehab Berry stepped in and shut down two vastly different NFL regulars like he never missed a day of work.
Maybe that’s what Crennel really wanted to see before Berry went full-go? Regardless, the 2010 Pro Bowler was quarterbacking Kansas City’s secondary during Monday’s scrimmage periods.
“I just want to keep being consistent and building on top of that,” Berry said. “It doesn’t stop right there. That’s just one drill. I want to keep going farther and keep getting better and better