Berrian claims he's open, but stats still suffer

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2011 - 7:21 AM

He's not blaming the quarterbacks, but he says the proof is in the film.

As far as bold statements go, wide receiver Bernard Berrian saying he's been open for the past four years is far more relevant than his ensuing Twitter back-and-forth with State Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, on Sunday night (see accompanying story).

And it's something Berrian, who has only two catches this season, isn't about to back down from. Berrian responded Sunday night to a tweet from a fan saying he'd been open several times during the Vikings' loss to Kansas City. His response: "been like that the last 4 years."

So does that mean Vikings quarterbacks have been ignoring him?

"I'm not saying anything about ignoring," Berrian responded. "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."

Berrian, in his eighth NFL season and his fourth with the Vikings, made 48 catches for 964 yards and seven TDs in 2008. In 2009 he had a career-high 55 catches, but for only 618 yards and four TDs. Last year his production dropped to 28 catches.

So why is he not getting the ball if he's open?

"It's a matter of everything," Berrian said. "A lot of times, there's penalties. You make a catch, there's penalties. Sometimes there's a false start when a play is called for you. Sometimes it's the line, protection. Sometimes I'm not open."

Berrian would not, however, lay the blame on the quarterbacks he's played with here.

"No," he said. "I just said being open. That's all I said."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said the team still wants to get Berrian involved.

"He knows that we are trying to get the ball to him," Frazier said. "We tried a number of times [Sunday]. We connected, I think, once. ... We're going to continue to try and get him the football. We missed him a couple times [Sunday], but we're not going to give up on trying to make that connection. We think he adds a lot of value to our offense."

Rushing record

Percy Harvin set a team record for rushing yards in a game by a receiver when he turned four end-around plays into 67 rushing yards. The four plays went for 8, 13, 23 and 23 yards. That bested Bob Grim's total of 62 rushing yards against the Giants in 1971.

The plays were designed to take advantage of Kansas City's aggressive nature, especially outside linebacker Tamba Hali.

"It's definitely fun if it gets dialed up right," Harvin said. "It can be a headache if that backside end doesn't cooperate. But we knew [Hali] was a big motor guy. He can get up the field a lot. So we were able to dial it up and make him pay sometimes."

Etc.

• According to Vikings vice president Steve LaCroix, fewer than 2,500 tickets remain for Sunday's game with Arizona at Mall of America Field. That's down from 6,500 last week. The game needs to be sold out 72 hours before air time to avoid a television blackout in the Twin Cities.

• Frazier said left tackle Charlie Johnson sustained a triceps injury in Sunday's game, forcing him to miss the Vikings' last series, but should be OK. "Charlie is going to be fine," Frazier said. "He should be fine to work this week."

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