Holler: Berrian drops the ball with comments

Bernard Berrian (Denny Medley/US Presswire)

Bernard Berrian still contends he's been open for the last four years, but he stopped short of saying quarterbacks are ignoring him. If he would make more plays, he would get more passes thrown his way. As it is, he's only caught two of the 17 passes thrown his way this season.

Of all the things Leslie Frazier has on his plate, dealing with comments from Bernard Berrian that he has been (intentionally or unintentionally) not targeted for four years probably wasn't high on that list. But, at his Monday press conference, Frazier was forced to respond … as did Berrian.

On the question of not seeing the ball enough, Berrian said, "I'm not saying anything about ignoring, but I made a comment about being open. Yeah, I've been open the last four years. There's nothing to deny that. We can go watch the film if you want to watch the film with me. That's the proof with me."

Frazier responded to the comment, saying that the Vikings are trying to get Berrian the ball and that, when he is open, the quarterbacks have done their best to make sure he does get his share of targets.

"He knows we're trying to get the ball to him," Frazier said. "We tried a number of times [Sunday]. We connected once and it was a big play for us – fourth-and-14 – and we needed that play. It led to a touchdown, and put us in position to win the game. We're going to continue to try to get him the football. We missed him a few times yesterday, but we're not going to give up on trying to make that connection. We think he has a lot of value for our offense and he's a big play guy. We've got to continue to try."

Where the problem comes in is that Berrian is not the big-play threat that he and Frazier seem to believe he is. When is the last time anyone remembers Berrian laying out to make a catch or fighting for a jump ball and winning? The truth is he doesn't. If the ball is on target, he makes plays. If he is asked to make the extra effort to make a play, it simply is lacking.

During training camp, Berrian blamed Brett Favre for his lack of production the previous two seasons. While he didn't throw Donovan McNabb under the bus, his comments that he has been open and simply not targeted are largely without merit. If he was open, he would get the ball more.

The Vikings aren't about to set the Bernie Ratio (like Mike Tice did with his Randy Ratio). Why? Berrian isn't talented enough to garner the type of coverage that star receivers do. Simply stated, Berrian is a decent complementary receiver. When the Vikings lost Sidney Rice prior to the 2010 season, Berrian was asked to be a go-to receiver. He proved he couldn't handle that role. Complaining about some sort of conspiracy to keep him from getting the ball makes no sense on too many levels to be taken seriously.

Berrian took a pay cut this summer for a reason – to avoid being released. Whether he wants to admit or not, he isn't the star he thinks he is and, if the media watches film with him, it will help to prove that point.

TUESDAY NOTES

  • Those who watched Monday Night Football last night may have noticed the trademark Hank Williams Jr. opening wasn't part of the telecast. ESPN, which is owned by the Disney Corporation, made the decision to pull the Williams opening after comments he made about President Obama Monday on FOX News. Are you ready for some political repercussions?

  • The Vikings are looking to avoid going 0-5 for just the second time in the 51-year history of the franchise Sunday when the team hosts the Cardinals.

  • As of this morning, Sunday's game has yet to sell out, leaving the option open that the Cardinals game could be blacked out for the first time since 1997.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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