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Nat Berhe Offers New York Giants Versatility; Played “Brian Urlacher Position” at San Diego State

May 11th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

When the New York Giants selected San Diego State safety Nat Berhe in the fifth-round of the 2014 NFL Draft, many were surprised given their need for offensive lineman, interior defensive lineman and, of course, their glaring need at tight end. And while Berhe may not be able to fill in at any of those positions, he does offer the Giants significant versatility at several others.

"At San Diego State, I played the Aztec position," Berhe said. "The Aztec position plays linebacker and blitzes off the edge. I played a little bit of free safety and kind of did it all. I am very comfortable playing either role."

The "Aztec position" is the name now given to the position created by the University of New Mexico for Brian Urlacher during his college days. It essentially allows a player to fill in at a multitude of defensive positions, including outside linebacker, slot corner, free safety and strong safety.

"The Aztec position used to be called the Lobo, and was played by Brian Urlacher at New Mexico. His coaching staff came over to San Diego State and we implemented it there, and called it the Aztec," Berhe added. "It basically is a hybrid linebacker/safety. It can be used in different ways, such as blitzing off the edge or being brought down in the box as an extra linebacker. He can play deep pass or safety or line up in the slot and play guys man-to-man. The position makes a lot of the adjustments on defense as well."

It doesn't stop there for Berhe, who also has a lot of Special Teams experience and will likely find early playing time on that unit. But regardless of where he lines up, Berhe says he plays angry and with a constant chip on his shoulder; he says he wants to be the "biggest, baddest dude" on the field and like to lay hits on opponents that would make Ronnie Lott proud.

"I try to be the biggest and baddest dude out there every time. It is just the way I play. It was the way I was taught to play," Berhe said. "I just play with a lot of emotion and anger and I try to take people’s heads off, it’s what I do. I think that is how the safety position is supposed to be played."

And if you think his size will detract from his ability to get on the field, Berhe wants to you remember that he's the same size as other top safeties in the NFL, such as Early Thomas and Devin McCourtney.

The Giants found themselves another team leader. Another guy with a high football IQ. And another guy who is as tough as nails.

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Tags: Brian Urlacher, Football, Nat Berhe, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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2 Responses to “Nat Berhe Offers New York Giants Versatility; Played “Brian Urlacher Position” at San Diego State”

  1.  norm says:

    Given what we now know about the emphasis on “character” this draft, it’s safe to say that the Giants may well have passed on Lewan had he not been selected by the Titans at 11. Moreover, I’d think it’s a virtual certainty that the FO had no intention of trading even up one spot to grab him, even at the relatively modest price of a fourth round pick.

    I believe they would have liked to address tackle but with Lewan presumably off the board, the two remaining OLTs with a legit first round grade were just too far out of reach to even consider the possibility of a trade up. Hence the decision to keep fingers crossed and roll the dice on Beatty in 2014. However, I think Mr. B. will start the year on a very short leash. He won’t be given an entire season to figure things out. If the Beatty of 2013 rears its ugly head over the opening 2-3 games, he will be banished pineward tout suite, Pugh will be shifted to the blind side, and Brown will be installed at ORT.

    Hardly a warm ‘n’ fuzzy prospect, I know. But given the way in which the draft unfolded, it was really the only realistic option for the team at this time. The good news is that Beatty does not need to rebound to anything approaching an All Pro level. If he can manage to raise his play from historically awful to somewhere in the neighborhood of average, this line should be more than adequate for McAdoo’s offense. I don’t think that’s expecting too much of Garment District Willie. At least I hope it isn’t.

  2.  GIANTT says:

    Pittsburghjim wanted the Giants to trade up and give up the 4th rounder which on the face of it sounded good . Detroit took Ebron and seemed VERY happy doing it
    So , two things , first , you have to get a willing trade partner . As Norm says “a relatively modest price of a fourth round pick ” .Well Detroit may have been very happy with their pick and would not trade anyway and/or they may look on the proffer of a 4th rounder too little and they wanted more than that . As we have seen , the Giants are very parsimonious in giving up their picks and I totally agree with Norms comment
    ” it was really the only realistic option for the team at this time. ”
    Sometimes we the fans think of the draft as an unlimited pool with an unlimited number of moves that can be made . With the depth of this draft would the relative cost of a “modest ” 4th rounder really be worth the cost . Im going to go with the Giants were not going to give up anything near this cost to move and I applaud that and I think I am going to wait and see how the draft and UDFAs work out and NOT worry how the Giants coulda woulda shoulda tackled the draft
    I know I certainly dont have the insight and depth of knowledge that even posters on here have . But I can guarantee that nobody on here has the depth of insight as the Giants team of scouts and management personnel . So , I am going with their picks
    Pittsburgh jim , this is the point in a post that I usually get what I call the ‘eyes glazed over factor” So I will call it quits

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