Berry, Colts great, named to coach QBs


PONTIAC, Mich. -- Raymond Berry, a Hall of Fame receiver and a Super Bowlcoach, was hired yesterday as the Detroit Lions' new quarterbacks coach.

That's right -- quarterbacks.

No, Berry has never coached quarterbacks.

No, he's not at all familiar with Lions quarterbacks Rodney Peete or AndreWare.

No, he has no working knowledge of the run-and-shoot offense, although hedid see the Lions play on television a couple of times last season.

And, yes, coach Wayne Fontes was aware of those factors when he gave Berrythe job.

"I talked to a lot of people," Fontes said, "and I went after RaymondBerry. I felt he would add more to this program than any of the coaches I'dtalked to.

"He's been a winner, he's been a player. As far as coming in here andcoaching quarterbacks, I felt with his experience coaching receivers and thepassing game, he would have no problem whatsoever coming in here -- whateveroffense you're in -- and doing a great job. He gives this program tremendouscredibility."

Berry, 57, admits the Lions' run-and-shoot is new to him.

"That's one of the things that's very appealing to me -- a chance to learnthe offense and a system that has the ability to pressure defenses and createa lot of problems."

During his 13-year NFL career with the Baltimore Colts, Berry andquarterback John Unitas formed one of the most prolific passing combinationsin NFL history. Berry retired in 1967 and was elected to the Pro Football Hallof Fame in 1973, his first year of eligibility.

Berry wasn't the only man with Baltimore ties to land an NFL jobyesterday.

Berry remained out of football until 10 days ago, when former Green Baycoach Forrest Gregg suggested him as a candidate for the Lions quarterbackcoaching job.

Berry wasn't the only man with Baltimore ties to land an NFL jobyesterday.

Gary Tranquill, who coached at Navy from 1982-86 (20-34-1), joined BillBelichick's Cleveland Browns staff as quarterback coach.

Tranquill spent the past four years at the University of Virginia, wherehe coached quarterbacks to 2,000 yard passing seasons every year he was there.

Joe Ferguson, who stood in the pocket for 17 long years in the NFL, iscoming home to Ruston, La., to work with friends. The quarterback will becomethe quarterback coach at Louisiana Tech, near his hometown of Shreveport.

Ferguson was at Buffalo for 12 seasons, Detroit for three, and a year eachat Tampa Bay and Indianapolis.

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