When you're a first-round pick, the scrutiny you receive is always going to be more magnified than some other players. The 2009 first-round pick, Peria Jerry, knows this all too well.
A significant knee injury ended Jerry's rookie season in the second game of the year. To that point, he'd shown a lot of promise with his ability to push the pocket and pressure the backfield. It's been a long road back for Jerry, but this offseason he has been blessed with solid health and an opportunity to get more snaps.
With Corey Peters missing the entire offseason and not yet cleared to practice in training camp, Jerry has been getting many of the first team snaps, lining up with the likes of John Abraham and Jonathan Babineaux. So far, Jerry and his teammates believe things are going well for him.
"It feels good to be out there with Abe and Babs and they're telling me I'm looking good, and I'm learning from them, as well," he said. "It feels good to be out there with veteran guys that are pushing me to be a better player. I respect them and I give shout outs to Abe and Babs."
Jerry's focused on keeping the aggressive and powerful play that made him a first-round pick out of Ole Miss, but has been supplementing all of that with work on what he calls the small things about the defensive tackle position: hand placement and technique. He's working hard and relieved to have injuries behind him and be working in camp with a 100 percent clean bill of health.
"I feel like I'm over the hump now," he said. "The only thing I can do is go out there and show everybody why I'm here."