All Aaron Berry wanted was a second chance. And Rex Ryan was one of the few people willing to give it to him.
The Jets new cornerback practiced with the team Wednesday – a week after being reinstated by the NFL following a three-game suspension for violating the team’s conduct policy.
“He pretty much told me he’s a guy that gives people second chances,” Berry said in front of his new locker Wednesday. “He feels like everybody deserves a second chance. He just wants me to come in here and respect everybody in the locker room and just be disciplined.
“If they take me in, then I won’t make the same mistake as I did before. I’m just going to take that in and like I said before, I’m blessed to be here and thankful that they gave me a second chance.”
In June, the former Detroit Lion was arrested for suspicion of DUI and subsequently entered the league’s substance-abuse program. A few weeks later, he was accused of pointing a gun at three people in Harrisburg, Pa.
On Monday, the Jets signed him to two-year deal to sure up a secondary that now is without Darrelle Revis (ACL tear).
Coincidentally, Berry, 24, was a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh when Revis was a senior. Quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh also was on the Panthers coaching staff during his collegiate career.
Berry said he’s sure Revis put in a good word for him with the team and added that the All-Pro corner has provided encouragement whenever they see each other in the facility.
Berry still is getting acclimated to the Jets defensive concepts and schemes, but he’s somewhat relieved the Jets employ more man coverage than most teams. That something “I did relatively well in Detroit,” he said.
Berry expects it to take a few weeks before he feels comfortable with the defense. And though he remained active during his time away from the NFL, he said “nothing compensates” for football training.
“It’s a blessing,” he said of his role on the Jets. “They gave me a second opportunity that a lot of people don’t get. I plan to take full advantage of it and do what I can to help this team win some games.”