Berry, who has completed six seasons in the NFL, is an interim-type
quarterback. He is not apt to pass anybody to a divisional title, though
he is an excellent competitor in the vein of a Billy Kilmer.
Unfortunately, he is about the same size as Kilmer, about 5-11. His arm
is not especially strong but he is a good scrambler and a fairly good
athlete. After three seasons on the bench, Minnesota gave up on him and
placed him on waivers before the 1968 season. Atlanta bit and, when
healthy, he has been the Falcon's starting quarterback.
The fact that he starts over Randy Johnson, who is 6-3, 210, is
surprising. Johnson, on the surface anyway, looks much better. His arm
is stronger and, though he can be a little erratic (inexperience), he
throws the football with fine action, putting it on target. Johnson
either has some bad traits that aren't obvious in films or he is in Norm
Van Brocklin's dog house... or both.
Atlanta's offense is gauged on what Berry can do. The Falcons mostly
roll out and half roll to throw.
Berry throws more to his backs than any other quarterback. After his
backs, he goes to tight end Jim Mitchell, who outside of Detroit's
Charlie Sanders is probably the best all-around tight end in the NFC.
Mitchell is his target more often than not in the clutch. Berry just
doesn't have the arm to have a good passing game with his wide
Bob is an accurate short ball passer and gets rid of the ball quickly.
Difficult to trap because he utilizes the screen pass well, slowing down
an all-out rush. Naturally, the roll outs also generally make him more
difficult to trap. When under a good rush, he tends to get wild. He
seems to read defenses well but Van Brocklin calls about 50 percent of
his plays for him ... at least, he did last season.
Seems devoted but there is a club house story about him. Berry is said
to have missed a light workout one Saturday morning and later, during a
meeting, Van Brocklin braced him about it.
"That'll cost you $500," Norm was alleged to have said, "for missing the
workout. I guess you were home in bed. But if I had a wife like yours,
I'd have missed the workout myself."
Berry has a very attractive wife, and definitely rates high on the
quarterback list in this aspect.
"He's a fireball, pesky type quarterback," noted the scouting report.
"But he just isn't blessed with professional football's level of
ability. He simply can't throw the ball as well as a good NFL
quarterback must do."