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Chiefs rookies draw inspiration from Eric Berry

Chiefs safety Eric Berry worked out at Chiefs training camp Wednesday in St. Joseph. It was the first time Berry had been cleared to practice since undergoing medical treatment for cancer.
Chiefs safety Eric Berry worked out at Chiefs training camp Wednesday in St. Joseph. It was the first time Berry had been cleared to practice since undergoing medical treatment for cancer. deulitt@kcstar.com

Eric Berry’s return to the Chiefs this week after beating Hodgkin lymphoma has brought some good vibes to training camp, among players and coaches, alike.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid spoke at length on Wednesday about what Berry’s return meant to the team, and on Thursday, a few of Berry’s rookie teammates were afforded the opportunity to do the same.

Cornerback Marcus Peters, in particular, was asked what he has taken from playing next to Berry the past few days.

“Leadership, and a whole lot of courage,” Peters said. “Just for him to come back and fight from what he was going through, and for him to come back like nothing has changed. He’s been out here, and been an excellent guy in the room for us to learn from, so that’s been good.”

Peters, the team’s first-round pick this year, said his interaction with Berry thus far has been “amazing.”

“He’s an excellent leader,” Peters said. “We learn from him, if we need something, he’s going to give us the help that we need. So it’s amazing.”

Cornerback Steven Nelson, one of the Chiefs’ two third-round picks this year, agreed. He actually grew up in Warner-Robins, Ga., which is approximately two hours away from Berry’s hometown of Fairburn, Ga., where the three-time Pro Bowler has spent the last eight months undergoing treatment.

“He grew up in my home state of Georgia, so I used to actually go to his high school games,” Nelson said. “Being on the same field with him is a big inspiration.”

Tight end James O’Shaughnessy, a fifth-round pick, has actually had the chance to match up against Berry — who has been held out of the team portion of practices — on a few occasions.

“It’s awesome, he’s obviously one of the best safeties in the league,” O’Shaughnessy said. “He can cover, he can hit, and I have been watching him since he was in Tennessee. You can just tell when you go against him that it is a little bit different than everybody else.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com or call 816-234-4489. Follow him on Twitter @TerezPaylor. Tap here to download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

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