Vikings hope 'fresh start' gets Berrian out of funk

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 12, 2011 - 10:46 PM

The veteran wide receiver was a healthy scratch last week and has only two catches for 37 yards, but he remains in the team's plans.

Struggling deep threat Bernard Berrian had no trouble separating from reporters' questions during a brief post-practice interview session on Wednesday.

Asked several times in different ways for his thoughts on being a surprise inactive on Sunday, Berrian kept saying he has moved on and wasn't willing to look back.

"That's already old news," he said. "That's already past. I'm already over it. Can't do anything about it now."

Berrian wouldn't address reports that he was deactivated because he missed two team meetings the day before. Asked if he was now in good standing with the team, he said, "Yeah. I'm fine." He also said Wednesday's practice was, "Nothing different than I normally do when I prepare for a week."

Berrian has only two catches for 37 yards. He also stirred up controversy with comments on Twitter following the loss in Kansas City two weeks ago. He tweeted that he's been open the past four years, an insinuation that quarterbacks haven't gotten him the ball.

When Minnesota state representative and amputee war veteran and John Kriesel mocked the tweet, Berrian challenged Kriesel to watch the film or "sit down and shut up." Berrian didn't know Kriesel's background or the fact he is a co-author of the team's new stadium bill.

On Monday, coach Leslie Frazier essentially said Berrian gets a fresh start this week as the team prepares for Sunday night's game at Chicago.

"I don't foresee any future problems," Frazier said. "I really expect him to play at a high level for us and play well."

In five games against Chicago, Berrian, a former Bear, has 19 catches for 335 yards and two touchdowns, including a 99-yarder.

Quarterback Donovan McNabb said he thinks Berrian eventually will become a bigger part of the offense.

"I've always been a big believer in spreading the ball around and getting guys involved," McNabb said. "It's not that I've been avoiding him or not tried to get the ball to him. And we're going to connect on those.

"Each week is going to be different in terms of some guys getting more catches. It's the catches that really help us get the first downs or get in the end zone that really stand out. And Bernard definitely has that ability."

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