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Talking Points: Eric Berry tells Ed Reed to shut up

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  • Do not try this at home. Or anywhere, really. Eric Berry, on his surprise phone call from a friend who said Ed Reed was here and wanted to talk to him:
    "I thought someone was playing on my phone at first, man," Berry said. "I'm like, shut up, this is not Ed Reed. Get out of here. Stop playing. He was like, 'No, for real, this is E Reed from the Ravens.' "

    . . . .

    "I told him it was an honor to talk to him, and he said, 'Likewise, it's an honor to talk with you,' " Berry said. "I'm sitting here like, I'm playing college ball, you're Ed Reed. You have records in the NFL, Pro Bowls, and it's an honor to talk to me? He was saying he'd been following me and likes the way I play. He said I play like him and (Reed's former Miami teammate) Sean Taylor. That made me smile ear to ear."
    You know, like we do when Berry gets his hands on the ball.
  • Let him have the candy. Big Vladimir Richard, Office Linebacker.
  • Rich, richer. So yeah, why is it that the best teams in the SEC also seem to have the easiest schedules this year? Alabama has two weeks to prepare for LSU and somehow avoid both Florida and Georgia from the East. Nice.

    And Florida? No road games until weak four against Kentucky. And yes, I misspelled that on purpose. Because I'm that way. Florida also has two weeks to prepare for LSU, which will be coming off a game against Georgia. The Gators' most difficult road game? South Carolina. They also drop Ole Miss and replace them with Mississippi State. How nice for them.

    And Ole Miss? Alabama and LSU are at home, and they, too, miss both Florida and Georgia. Sigh.

    It could be worse. Vanderbilt plays 12 straight games and saves its bye week for the week before the SEC Championship Game. Because, you know, they'll need it.
  • At least some coaches have a sense of humor. And lips. Lane Kiffin and Bobby Johnson get all buddy-buddy at the Wildhorse in Nashville, yucking it up with each other:
    "I wasn’t insulted by the lack of insults," Johnson said of Kiffin’s previous comments.

    . . . .

    "We don’t have the budget that some schools have," Johnson said at one point, tilting his head toward Kiffin.

    "Alabama!" the Vols coach responded.
  • Do the shoes really matter? Yes, actually, according to Bruce Pearl:
    "When we look at that, unfortunately, it has become a part of the equation, no question,'' Pearl said. "adidas, Nike and Reebok, those three shoe companies dominate the basketball shoe industry and invest in AAU basketball.''
  • Dream job. Frank Wilson, who says he left a new job at Mississippi State a mere three weeks after taking it because Tennessee is "one of those 10 schools out there that are your dream jobs," now just has a job on his hands, starting the season with six receivers who have a total of 10 catches (and all 10 belong to Brandon Warren, who was playing tight end last year) among them.
  • Please, no jinx. Whatever you think of the past seven months, give Kiffin and his team credit for zero arrests and the biggest jump in GPA in four years.
  • Prayers to the family of ETSU center Seth Coy, who died in a car accident on Wednesday.
  • Preemptive strike. John Adams warns that the 2009 defense isn't likely to live up to Tennessee defenses of the past despite the arrival of Monte Kiffin in the offseason.
  • That's low. Nick Saban is the 9th-most despised person in sports. Imagine that. (Chest bump to Dr. Saturday.)
  • Gate 21 continues to crank out the 2009 opponent previews with Florida and Ole Miss.
  • Scab.
  • Scab. Go ahead, it's practically falling off by itself anyway. Ooh, blood!