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Chiefs' Eric Berry used poetry to get through lost 2011


Last season, NFL Films documented Houston Texans running back Arian Foster's love of poetry. It turns out that Foster is not the only University of Tennessee product with a passion for writing poetry.

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Kansas City Chiefs safety and former Vol Eric Berry, who earned Pro Bowl honors after being the No. 5 overall draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, used his love of writing poetry to help him through a difficult 2011 season, which was ended by a torn anterior cruciate ligament after just five plays.

"I really leaned on my poetry and my writing throughout the whole process," Berry told Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star of his rehabilitation process.

"I do a lot of performing in front of my friends at home. I just stand up and go off, and everyone in the house is listening to me do poems, and I just freestyle a poem off the top of my head. Sometimes they think it's just a speech or something. I pick a subject, and it will be so random, out of the blue. Give me a subject and I take it from there."

While his most memorable August play might be getting upended by Seattle Seahawks running back Leon Washington while in pursuit of Russell Wilson, Berry dressed and started in all four preseason games and his knee appears healthy enough to allow him to return to his game-changing form. That's good news to his teammates, who are often puzzled by other parts of Berry's anatomy.

"A lot of people don't know how my brain works," Berry said. "I see the bigger picture ... my teammates call me weird. Someone called me strange last week, and I take it as a compliment, just because, who wants to be normal? I'm the type of guy who is going to be himself. My dad always told me, 'Be yourself because everybody else is taken.' "

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.


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