Yesterday Bertrand Berry announced his retirement from the NFL. The 34 year old DE/OLB was a third round pick in 1997 and has played for Colts, Broncos and our very own Arizona Cardinals. During his twelve year career he's appeared in 160 games, recording 232 tackles, 65 sacks, 17 passes defended and 13 forced fumbles and he retires as one of the Arizona Cardinals best free agent acquisitions of all time. He led the team, and the NFC, with 14.5 sacks in his first year as a Cardinal, 2004, and that sack total ranked third all time in the team's single season record books. He'd also lead the team in sacks in 2008 and if you add in post season stats, he also led the team in sacks this past season. His 40 career sacks, regular season totals only, as a Cardinal ranks sixth all-time on the team's leader board and he's also been quite an ambassador for the game off the field. His charity, Bertrand Berry foundation, offers children a better life experience by raising funds to benefit two non-profits: Childhelp and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The man affectionately known as B-Train has also hosted a weekly radio show, Big Red Rage, for several years and he delivered his retirement news on last night's final installment of the show. Here's a look at B-Train's five best games as a member of the Arizona Cardinals:
#5 - 10/12/08 - (1 tackle, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble) - Statistically speaking this wasn't one of Berry's memorable games but he was one of the Cardinals defenders who practically lived the Cowboys' backfield. He mercifully pressured Tony Romo and his "poster-izing" sack of Romo was one of the most memorable moments of the entire season.
#4 - 1/2/05 - (2 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 pass defended) - This was a very "Bertrand Berry" type of game in that he effected the game in only one aspect but his contributions might have been the difference in the outcome. His only two tackles of the game, both of which were sacks, came on third downs which forced the Bucanneers into punting situations. The Cards would win the game 12-7
#3 - 1/10/10 - (2 tackles, 2 sacks) - It seems weird to say one of Berry's best games was a game when the defense was torched for 45 points but Berry's two sacks were one of the only things that slowed down Aaron Rodgers on this day. His first sack forced the Packers into their only punt of the entire game.
#2 - 10/22/06 - (5 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass defended) - While Berry's performance in this game couldn't propel the Cardinals to a win, his three sacks and two forced fumbles were about the only thing that kept this game close. Both of his forced fumbles were recovered by the Cardinals and the offense converted both turnovers into field goals, totaling six of their nine points.
- #1 - 11/14/04 - (7 tackles, four sacks) - Berry's best game as a member of the Arizona Cardinals came in his very first season wearing red and it might just go down as one of the defining moments of this decade. Not only did Berry record four sacks, his game high as a Cardinal, he also effectively ended Kurt Warner's short tenure with the New York Giants. The Giants entered the game 5-3 but the team's fourth loss sent Warner to the bench for the remainder of the season and we all know the rest of the story.
According to Darren Urban, it probably won't be too long before we see Berry again though considering that he's already laid some groundwork for entering the world of broadcasting. In addition to hosting his own radio show, Berry's also been through the league's "broadcast boot camp." All in all it been great to watch Berry work his craft over the past six seasons and it should be remembered that he was one of the many reasons why this franchise has turned a corner.