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Five Things We Learned from the Coordinators on Thursday

4. What was your assessment of how safety Eric Berry played in his return?

SUTTON: “I thought he brought a lot of energy. He was very aggressive. One of the things you really notice when you have him on the field is the physicality he brings to the defense. Some of them aren’t big plays, but all of a sudden a hole is stuffed up differently. I thought he played real aggressively. There are some things he needs to do better, obviously, just from being out there. I think the thing you’re always concerned about when a guy has been out that long [is his reactions, and those] were pretty good. You’re just never sure. I don’t even know if he knows. There’s going to be an upgrade on that the more he plays. I thought he did a really good job. He got in 30 snaps or something and that is as many as we hoped for. He played, he came out of it pretty good and, hopefully, he can just keep going.”

5. Schematically, are there things he does that make his teammates better?

SUTTON: “He’s got such great range. He can eliminate a lot of plays in the sense that instead of it being an 18 to 20-yard run, it’s a 10-yard run. Maybe it’s a throw down the boundary, and instead of coming out for 25 or 30, it comes out for 12. Speed on defense isn’t only in making plays, but preventing them. There’s no stat for that, but you know when he has it. I think the other thing is his quickness in both breaking on underneath routes when he’s playing as an underneath cover guy and also the ability to fill those holes. There’s a play that sticks out on the goal line. The ball looked like it was going in and then he comes out of nowhere. That is what you really do. That’s just his play-making ability, which is a great tool in leadership because you are making plays and then people respond to you. You are a playmaker guy. That’s what he’s been his whole career, as you know. He’s blessed with great speed. I think he is our most physical football player. He does a great job. When we got here, he was almost exclusively a dime. He played in line all the time. The next year, we said, ‘Look, we need his speed on the back end,’ for the kind of things we just talked about – the ability to cover the whole field and do those things. He is our best cover safety. He does a great job in all of those areas.”

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