INDIANAPOLIS — There was no mistaking the message. When Tennessee safety Eric Berry asked Vols defensive coordinator, and former long-time Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, if he should enter the draft, the answer was pretty simple.
“He told me I’d be a fool to go back,” Berry said at his news conference at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday before a laughing press corps.
Berry, who is expected to go in the top half of the first round, does have an important reason for going pro, after all. His father needs to have heart surgery, and Berry wants to help him out.
“I’d really just like him to sit down and enjoy life a little bit, and not have to (work two jobs)” Berry said. “So I just entered the draft to make that situation better.”
His father has worked for years painting and installing insulation. Berry thought back on being his dad’s painting assistant as a kid, making $5.50 an hour.
“He said I was cheap labor. … I mean, I worked for that $5.50. Don’t get me wrong,” Berry said.
Berry figures to be slightly more expensive labor in a few months.
— Jason Feller