VikesCentric: Why is Bernard Berrian still on the Vikings' roster?
- Blog Post by: Bo Mitchell
- October 6, 2011 - 3:48 PM
At the risk of being told to "sit down n shut up" in the comments section below by the surly subject of today's rant, I'll ask anyway: why is Bernard Berrian still on the Vikings' roster?
I mean, seriously, what purpose does he serve?
I know, I know: original stuff, Bo. Vikings fans have been asking themselves the same thing for the better part of the past three years. Yet here we are four games into a winless season and Berrian is still on the team… in the starting lineup no less.
And Vikings faithful seem so adamant about making a change at quarterback? Really?
No, the quarterback play hasn't been great, but I don't think anyone who has watched the Vikings play this season can honestly say Donovan McNabb has been the only problem, or even their biggest problem.
Don't misunderstand me: it is not my intent at all to make excuses for McNabb. His accuracy is not up to its normal mediocre standards. Yet the deadly combination of poor pass protection and a shallow talent pool at wide receiver is doing him no favors.
Let's be honest, with or without McNabb, this edition of the Vikings is not postseason-bound. As such, it could be argued by reasonable people that it might indeed be time to "sell hope" or "build for the future" or "throw in the towel" (call it what you will) by handing the keys of the car over to Christian Ponder.
Admittedly, Ponder's mobility would come in handy behind the Vikings' leaky line; however, there's still that nagging issue of receiver talent. That brings us back to Berrian, who's nowhere near as good as he thinks he is and, looking back, never was.
Before going any further, when I say "lack of receiver talent" I am specifically not referring to Percy Harvin. If I had my druthers, Harvin or Adrian Peterson would touch the ball four out of every five plays the Vikings run. But that's just me.
Beyond Harvin things get bleak in a hurry in the receiving corps. Michael Jenkins is a big target and fine downfield blocker, but he's not a starting NFL wide receiver. Neither is Berrian. And Greg Camarillo can't even scratch out some playing time ahead of either one of them.
Berrian's straight-faced assertion earlier this week that he's "been open for four years" can't be heard while maintaining a straight face. It's laughable. To think that NFL quarterbacks would intentionally "freeze out" a wide open receiver is preposterous. Of course, on a certain level I would not blame Brett Favre, Tarvaris Jackson, McNabb, et al. for ignoring Berrian given his startling lack of production and frequent lack of anything resembling effort to fight for a ball in flight.
And to answer your question, Bernard, any member of the media would love to sit down and watch game tape with you and have you point out how you're open every play. So if that offer still stands, let's set something up with everyone. I'll bring the popcorn.
Since the start of the 2010 season Berrian has been targeted 70 times and caught 30 passes – none for touchdowns. If he has really been wide open on all 70 of those targets (which is what Bernard would lead us to believe) he should have caught more than 30 passes and should have found the end zone at least once or twice.
And things seem to be going from bad to worse – and not just on Twitter – for Bernard. He is currently on pace for eight receptions this season. Eight. In 16 games. As a starter.
The Minnesota native lining up for the Cardinals at wide receiver against the Vikings this coming Sunday frequently catches that many passes in a game (and may catch that many in one half if Antoine Winfield is out).
Enough is enough. If so many folks can call for Ponder to replace McNabb, then I'll take up the cause for Devin Aromashodu to replace B-Twice. If the Vikings are intent on keeping Berrian – and judging from the pay cut he took this preseason in order to stay on the team that appears to be the plan – can we at least have him sitting on the bench more often?
Although I might suggest the Vikes do Berrian and everyone else a favor and release him so that he can go to a team that really knows how to best utilize his vast talents.
With that, I'll just sit down and shut up now. My faithful VikesCentric blog followers, the floor is yours... other than quarterback, what other changes to the starting lineup and/or roster would you like to see?
Bo Mitchell is VP of content at SportsData and co-host of the Fantasy Football Weekly radio show on Saturday mornings on KFAN 100.3 FM.
You can follow Bo on Twitter at @Bo_Mitchell
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