Falcons' Jerry set to challenge younger brother in Miami

BY foxsports • September 20, 2013

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — It’s
not terribly uncommon in the NFL for brothers to compete against each
other on opposite teams, but when it does happen — as in last week’s
“Manning Bowl” — so often it often seems the brothers happen to play on the
same side of the ball.
 


That
also was the case in 2010 when Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan
Babineaux played against Seattle when his brother Jordan, a safety, was
a member of the Seahawks.
 


But
actually having to block your brother or to beat him to make a tackle — that’s a bit rarer. It’s also exactly what will happen on Sunday
for the first time in a regular season game between brothers John Jerry
of Miami, an offensive right guard, and Peria Jerry of the Falcons, a
defensive tackle.
 


“Overall,
it’s kind of odd going against your brother because, you know, you’re
invading a man’s space and you don’t like to give up your space,”
Peria said. “It’s going to be kind of odd.”
 


Peria,
29, a first-round pick of Atlanta in 2009, is two years older than John, a
third-round pick in 2010. Both went to Ole Miss. Peria was
recruited by head coach David Cutcliffe, currently Duke’s coach.
However, Peria was mostly coached by Ed Orgeron, who recruited John, who
arrived also as a defensive player. (Peria said he had nothing to do
with his brother’s decision to play for the Rebels.)
 


But
when Orgeron’s staff moved John to offense, it was as a tackle.
Consequently, Peria said that he didn’t practice much against his
brother.


Mostly, he said, he practiced against the team’s guards.
 


“So we never really faced each other until this right here,” Peria said.
 


John
and Peria are the youngest of seven siblings. Peria has one sister and
his older brothers played other sports but none have enjoyed as
much success as the youngest have.
 


“We had to stick together,” Peria said. “It was never just a battle between us because we were battling the older ones.”
 


But
now it is a battle between them – a battle for the line of scrimmage
that will help to determine whether Miami remains unbeaten or the
Falcons
can improve to 2-1.
 


“I’m
sure they’ve had lots of battles, growing up,” Falcons head coach Mike
Smith said. “I’m sure that if you talk to Peria’s brother down in
Miami, he’s won the majority of them. I’m sure if you ask Peria here,
he’s won them. It is an interesting dynamic. It’ll be fun to watch those
guys go out and compete.”
 


Selected 24th
overall in ’09, Peria was expected to be a disruptive force for the
Falcons’ interior line. However, he suffered a season-ending injury in
the first game of his career and it has taken him years to get back to
the form that Falcons once expected of him. Over
the next three seasons, he started just 13 of the 46 games in which he
played. Early on in 2013, the indications are positive.

He registered
a sack in Week 1, just the third of his career.
 


“He’s
improving quite a bit,” Atlanta defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, in
his second season, said on the Tuesday before the season started.
“When I got here, I watched a lot of tape of the guys. P.J. was one of
the players we were hoping to get more out of. Obviously, he was coming
off the knee. They talked about it lot here among the other coaches, as
far as coming along slowly because of the
knee, but he has played well the last year and he has played well this
preseason. He has done a real good job.
 


“Hopefully, he continues to get better because he really he has. He’s better now than he was during the season last year.”
 


On Sunday, he will yield 50 pounds to his younger brother, who goes 345.
 


“There
are a lot of things I learned from Peria,” John Jerry was quoted as
saying by the Associated Press. “I caught on pretty fast ... and outgrew
him pretty fast.”
 


With the game in South Florida, Peria said he would let his brother handle the ticket requests.
 


“Man, I don’t think they’re going for nobody in this one,” Peria said of his family. “They’re coming to have fun.”


share story