The Arizona sack artist

"I think people tend to get too caught up in sacks and stats. I just want to help the team win. That is what is most important to me. Not a sack title. I want to help this team get to a level that hasn't been reached around here in a long time. Individual awards are good, but I'd rather have W's. I'm not going to sit here and say (sacks) are not important. But, that is not my main focus right now. My main focus is to beat the 49ers. If that comes along with it, then so be it." --- Bertrand Berry

Q: How does it feel to be leading the NFL in sacks?

Berry: It's definitely an honor, but I attribute it to a lot of hard work and I attribute it to my teammates. Nobody gets to this point by themselves, so I feel like I am a very lucky individual to have teammates that have helped me get to this point and put me in a lot of good positions. Fortunately, I've been able to finish the plays.

Q: Do you usually line up at right end?

Berry: We switch around. It's just to kind of keep things fair and honest. You don't want people locking in on you thinking that they have a beat on you. So, we switch it up every now and then.

Q: What does it mean that you guys are the only team to lose to the 49ers this season?

Berry: It means nothing. It just means that back in October or September, we had an unfortunate game. It has no bearing on this game. The situation is totally different now. So, we really just need to go out and get a win. We're going to try and play to do that.

Q: Looking back on loss to the 49ers, what happened?

Berry: We just didn't finish. We had the game pretty well in hand. We were able to let them score 16 points in less than four minutes, so we just didn't finish the game. For whatever reason, we relaxed and they were able to make some strides there at the end. They played for 60 minutes and we didn't. When you don't play 60 minutes, no lead is insurmountable in this league.

Q: When you were out of the league in 2000, did you ever expect you would be sack leader now?

Berry: Of course, I believe I did. It wasn't a matter of what I believed or not. It's a matter of the respective teams. For a year, they didn't believe I could be there. So, I had to wait for an opportunity and I finally got it. I've been working towards this point for the last couple of years and here I am and I feel totally prepared for it. I'm just going to try and go out and try to stay where I'm at right now.

Q: What did you do during that 2000 season? What training camp were in?

Berry: I was with the Rams. I was cut during camp, so I really just tried to work out and keep myself ready as far as conditioning. I watched a lot of football and kept up with a lot of to kind of see where I might have an opportunity to have a chance to play. So, it was a very frustrating year for myself. I tried to concentrate on my family a little bit. I really made some strides with my immediate family and close relatives and stuff like that. I wish I would have rather been playing football, but it wasn't all negative. It really made me appreciate the opportunity that I had. If I had another opportunity, I would make the most of it. I feel like up to this point, I have.

Q: Do you think the 2000 year was good for you to give you extra motivation?

Berry: Oh, it was great for me. At the time, I didn't really see it as such, but it has been a blessing for to have had it taken away from me and to know how much it meant to me. It's definitely given me a different appreciation for it. I definitely appreciate the game more and I approach it a lot different now. I'm all the better for it.

Q: Is there any revenge factor for you in showing all the teams that passed up on you?

Berry: No, that is not my motivation. My motivation is just to be the best that I can be. The play speaks for that. The fact that I put up numbers that won't justify my being here or whatever you want to call it. But I don't look at it as ‘I'm going to make this team see that they made a mistake with me.' You can't operate with that type of negativism. You have to move forward. The fact that I was out of the league, I don't ever want to go back to that. That is motivation enough. But to try to prove something to an individual team, I don't feel like I have to at this point because I just let my play do the talking for me. It will say whatever it needs to say to anybody who is listening.

Q: What dictates what side you will line up on?

Berry: A lot of it is just call. We just try to give the offense a different look. There is nothing in particular that dictates it. I just sometimes want to rush from the left and sometimes I want to rush from the right. Sometimes I feel comfortable from the left to right. I've always been an either way type of end. So, like I said, we just try to not be so monotonous in our look to the defensive unit. Which side I play on is just part of that.

Q: Who do you spend more time studying this week, Scott Gragg or Kwame Harris?

Berry: They get equal time for me because I feel like I'm going to be seeing a lot of them quite a bit. So, I'm going to definitely put my work on both guys. Of course, we've seen them before and that helps. I'm just going to approach it like I'll be getting the majority of snaps on either side. I look at them both equal now.

Q: Besides experience factor, do you see much difference between Gragg and Harris?

Berry: Not really. I think they are both pretty tall guys and they are both very athletic. They can cover a lot of ground. I'm just going to try and go out and try to rush as hard and fast as I can and try to get to the quarterback. Those guys were definitely tough to beat the first time around. When they need to make plays, they usually make them. The challenge is there and hopefully I can meet it. Hopefully, my team will come out with a win this time.

Q: How many sacks do you think it will take to win the league sack title this year?

Berry: I really don't know. To be honest, I just try to be consistent with it. The way the league is going now, it seems like... I really don't know. Anybody can get hot. You know in the AFC, Freeney got hot last week and got like three. It's hard to tell at this point. With four games left, anything can happen. I just want to go out and more importantly just try and do things to help my team win. I think people tend to get too caught up in sacks and stats. I just want to help the team win. That is what is most important to me. Not a sack title. I want to help this team get to a level that hasn't been reached around here in a long time. Individual awards are good, but I'd rather have W's.

Q: Is it accurate to say you are following the competition now?

Berry: Well, I mean at the same time, they aren't the most important thing, but they are important. I'm not going to sit here and say they are not important. But, that is not my main focus right now. My main focus is to beat the 49ers. If that comes along with it, then so be it. But, you definitely are aware of what is going on. You don't have this opportunity very often, so you keep it in the back of your head. At the same time, it's always team first.

Q: Your coach, Dennis Green, sounded like he has paid a lot of attention to the remaining schedules of the Rams and Seahawks. Has he gone over that with you guys?

Berry: He really hasn't gone over it. Right now, we can't really afford to think about that. Right now, we just need to focus on San Francisco and trying to get a win Sunday because the last three weeks we haven't won and that is frustrating to not have a win. We've felt like we maybe should have won a couple of those games. Right now, our whole focus is just to win a football game. All that kind of stuff will take care of itself if we take care of our business. So, we aren't going to worry about that anymore. I think we have to take it one game at a time. If we wake up and at the end of the day we have won four straight, then we'll be better off for it. We can't keep thinking about that. We have to worry about what is at hand right now and San Francisco is at hand right now so that is what we are worried about.


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