Nobody really ever knows what's going through Bill Belichick's mind. That is, until you see what the New England Patriots are doing on the field. Now that Tom Brady is gone, Belichick could be whipping up anything this offseason.
It seems one of his offseason experiments involves former Ohio State tight end Rashod Berry, a college backup who totaled just 17 catches and four touchdowns in 50 career games. He eventually signed with New England back in April as an undrafted free agent.
What's interesting about Berry is that his position listing on New England's roster is now "TE/DE".
It's not likely that Berry's 17 catches in 50 games stood out to Belichick. Instead, the legendary coach might have liked Berry's stretch as a defensive end in 2019 when Chase Young served his brief suspension.
Berry's defensive play got a raving review from current Boston College head coach (and former Buckeye defensive coordinator) Jeff Hafley.
"I think that’s an awesome pickup," he told WEEI's “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria. "Last year at Ohio State, I was the defensive coordinator but he was on offense for the first part. I would tell (Ohio State head coach) Ryan (Day) all the time, ‘This kid is explosive, he’s quick-twitch, he can get open.’ We weren’t really using him that much."
At the end of the year, Hafley asked if he could get Berry as a pass rusher, "In the Penn State game, he beat a tackle so fast off the edge and hit the quarterback … I wish I had this kid for two years."
Berry wasn't in foreign land as a defensive end. He was a star at the position at Lorain High School (Cleveland area) and was recruited by Urban Meyer. It wasn't until Berry got to campus that he made the switch.
"It’s always a 50-50 chance,” Berry told Cleveland.com about asking for repetitions on defense. "It’s like when you ask your mom, ‘Can I stay the night at my friend’s house?’ You don’t know. It’s a 50-50 chance. You never know. So I kept asking."
The full interview with Berry and Cleveland.com is below.
Belichick sees talent in different ways, and he likely sees Berry as a low risk, high reward player. If the Lorain native impresses this preseason, he's going to be one of many undrafted free agents that have stuck in New England over the years.