Berry Excited About New Offense

Junior Mike Berry talks about the changes on offense and getting used to a new coaching staff.

Auburn, Ala.--It's another spring for the Auburn Tigers and in Mike Berry's career that has usually meant another offense to learn.

Entering his fourth year at Auburn as a redshirt junior, this is the third different offense Berry has worked on during spring practice. That doesn't include the makeshift offense the Tigers finished with during the 2008 season.

Because of that Berry says the life of an offensive lineman for Auburn has been pretty challenging the last few seasons, but things are coming together this spring under Gene Chizik and the new coaching staff.

"It's very tough," Berry says. "Going from the first offense, which was predominantly running, to one that we were in a two-point stance all the time, until now. It has been a big transition, but I guess it just builds you up."

First and foremost, the goal for Berry and the offensive line has been getting a feel for Malzahn's up-tempo offense and the terminology and techniques required to run it effectively. A week into spring practice, the junior says so far so good.

"It's going pretty good right now," Berry says. "We're getting the plays down. We're a couple of days into spring ball, but it's coming along.

"I think we're coming together pretty well," he adds. "I see us meshing together and becoming one unit. That's very important as an offensive line because there are five of you out there and if one of us doesn't do a job then all of us doesn't do it."

One thing that has helped the offensive line in their love for the new offense. Getting back to being physical while still implementing the hurry-up strategy, Berry says everything he's seen so far has been very good.

"It's a lot of fun out there," Berry says. "We're still running the ball, but you're going at such a fast pace that it wears out a defense. It helps us out so much more.

"It's a lot different," he adds. "We're still going to run the ball a lot. That's the biggest difference. Whereas in the old offense we were probably going to pass first, we're most likely going to run first now. That helps us out a lot. We're still going to pass the ball, but to establish the run is important."

Also new this spring is a change in position coaches for the offensive line from Hugh Nall to Jeff Grimes. With a couple of months to get to know the former Colorado coach before spring practice began, Berry says everything is beginning to come together now that the coach and players are getting a feel for each other on the field.

"I think we've meshed pretty good," Berry says. "He's the kind of guy that as long as you come ready to work you've going to get along with him. He's going to coach you hard, but at the same time he's not going to just dog you out. He's going to coach you up. I think we're getting along pretty good."

Currently working at guard along with fellow part-time starter Byron Isom on the other side, Berry is a player that has experience playing inside at guard, outside at tackle, and also some at center. He says right now he's adjusting well back at guard after playing there to end the 2008 season.

"I think it helped me out a lot," Berry says. "The more you do something the better you get at it. Getting that experience last season has really helped me this spring."

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