Kendrick Lewis gets his safety net back

August, 15, 2012
8/15/12
6:00
PM ET
ST. JOSEPH, MO. -- Kendrick Lewis is glad to have fellow safety Eric Berry back, but he gained invaluable experience without him last season.

The two have been a combo deal since 2010 when the Kansas City took Berry with the No. 5 overall pick and took Lewis in the fifth round. The two quickly became close and Lewis started 12 games alongside his fellow rookie Berry, who played every defensive snap for the Chiefs.

They looked like they’d be an inseparable pair on the field for years to come. That suddenly changed in Week 1 of last season when Berry was lost for the year with a torn ACL. Just like that, Lewis was no longer the ‘other guy” at the position.

“I had to take on a whole new responsibility with Eric gone,” Lewis said. “Of course, I didn’t want him to get hurt and I wish he didn’t, but the pressure was a good thing for me, because I really had to pick up my game with him out.”

Lewis started all 16 games last season and many scouts around the league thought he made major strides. The combination of a healthy Berry and Lewis together is another reason why much is expected from the Chiefs’ defense this year.

“We want to be the best safety tandem in the league,” Lewis said. “With Eric healthy and me getting experience, I think we can get there quickly.”

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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