New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has no qualms about giving players with baggage a second chance, and that's exactly what he told cornerback Aaron Berry, who the Jets signed earlier this week to bolster their thin secondary.
Berry, a former Detroit Lion who was signed in 2010 as an undrafted free agent, was dropped from his first team this summer following his second arrest in less than a month. He received a DUI before allegedly brandishing a weapon in a later incident, according to the Associated Press.
Berry just finished the three-game suspension he received from the NFL due to his run-ins with the law.
"He (Rex Ryan) 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," Berry said Wednesday. "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."
The third-year defensive back played in 11 games last season, recording 31 tackles and 11 passes defensed. He also made an interception in his only appearance in 2010.
Ryan said the Jets feel comfortable with the signing based on what they learned doing a background check on Berry. In fact, Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, who was a coach at Pittsburgh when Berry played for the Panthers, gave his stamp of approval.
"We feel that Aaron has a chance to be successful on and off the field here. If we didn't believe that, than we wouldn't bring him here," Ryan said. "… As far as him as a player, I feel he has the physical skill-set we look for in our corners and the No. 1 skill would be man cover skills. We feel he has that."