A big loss for the NFC South

August, 31, 2009
8/31/09
10:32
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

I know a lot of Carolina fans are upset with how the Panthers looked in Saturday night's preseason game, but here's something that puts that in perspective.

Tom Berry, who covered the Panthers for years for the High Point Enterprise, passed away Sunday morning. I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with Tom during the nine seasons I covered the Panthers for The Charlotte Observer and will always consider him a friend.

Tom wasn't out at the Panthers' facility every single day because he had so many other duties at the Enterprise, but he provided top-notch coverage of everything he reported on. If you ever read Tom's work, stop for a second and thank him for his excellent work.

More importantly, thank Tom for being a great guy. He was the strong, silent type (I once saw him stand up -- very professionally -- to Steve Smith's bully act) and didn't take himself too seriously. He was very dedicated to his family. He was a true pro as a writer and a person. He's going to be missed deeply.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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