"You're doing great, man," the coach exclaimed. "You're getting better!"
Jerry's former teammate, brother Peria, was a first-round pick in April by the Atlanta Falcons. John Jerry won't be a first-round pick but he'll be an early-round selection as either a guard or right tackle. He certainly is helping his stock at the Senior Bowl, where he is arguably the second-best tackle prospect behind LSU's Ciron Black.
Q: You played two positions in college, right?
A: I played right guard and right tackle.
Q: Same thing here?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Any preference in the NFL?
A: It don't matter. I think I could be a better guard because I like getting real physical and I like being on the inside. It allows you to get on guys a lot quicker. If a team needs me to play tackle, I'll do it. No hesitation.
Q: But tackles make more money, you know.
A: Right! (big laugh)
Q: For those of us who don't live in the South and haven't seen a lot of you, what would you say is the strength to your game?
A: I think the strength of my game is my run blocking, definitely.
Q: Is there anyone who was instrumental to you getting to this point?
A: I credit my big brother. He took me in and pretty much showed me the way. I'm pretty much just following the road that he laid out for me.
Q: He plays defense and you play offense. Who wins that battle?
A: I don't know. I can't even say I'm going to win. It's going to back and forth. I'm competing with his (butt). You know that would be personal.
Q: Is this fun, considering what's at stake this week?
A: Man, this is fun. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I'm just enjoying getting to know different guys from all across the country. It's great, it's great.
Q: Playing in the SEC, you face good competition every week. But is this still a measuring stick for you?
A: This is all about competing. Whenever you get out there, you've got to compete. That's what it's all about. I'm a competitor. I hate to lose. It will eat at me all night. I'm going to compete.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com.