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Gaining The Extra Edge: WR Bernard Berrian

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 30, 2010 – 10:38 am

#5 – CB Lito Sheppard
#4 – WR Bernard Berrian

We kicked off our “Gaining The Extra Edge” series on Tuesday by presenting CB Lito Sheppard as a player (not including obvious stars such as Jared Allen or Brett Favre) who holds the key to the Vikings gaining the extra edge in 2010. Today we introduce #4 on the list and he is WR Bernard Berrian.

With the emergence of WRs Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice last year, one might question the inclusion of Berrian on this list. I don’t doubt that Harvin and Rice will be pillars in the Vikings passing game again in 2010, but I also know that opposing teams will be zeroed in on them. And that’s where the 7th year pro out of Fresno State comes in.

Berrian was a 3rd round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2004, but the 6-1, 185-pound WR signed with the Vikings as a free agent prior to the 2008 season and then delivered on expectations. Coming off a 2006 season in which he helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl, Berrian followed up that effort by registering career highs in receptions (71) and receiving yards (951) in 2007, which made him the best free agent WR available prior to the 2008 season. In his 1st season with the Vikings, Berrian led the NFL with a 20.1 yards per catch average.

The speedy, big-play WR had the Vikings 5 longest receptions of the 2008 season and led the club in receiving yards 8 times. Berrian also had 4 of the Vikings longest 5 TD catches (99t, 86t, 54t, 49t) and he put up his 3 highest single-game receiving yardage days of his career – 131 vs. Detroit, 122 vs. Chicago and 110 at New Orleans. And no one will forget the 99-yard TD reception he had against the Bears in a significant Week 13 Sunday Night Football win – it was a play that personified the element #87 brings to every snap.

The 2009 season was not quite as grand for Berrian. I believe a preseason injury he suffered in Indianapolis prevented him from developing an early rapport with QB Brett Favre and the results lingered throughout the season. But now with a full season of Favre under his belt and because he was at Winter Park for much of the team’s offseason program, Berrian is poised to regain his 2008 form and add yet another lethal weapon to a Vikings offense that ranked 2nd in points per game in 2009.

With Berrian at his best, the Vikings pass offense improved from 28th in 2007 to 25th in 2008. With Favre at his best, the Vikings pass offense jumped from 25th in 2008 to 8th in 2009. And now with Berrian at his best and playing with Favre, the Vikings offense may very well make another leap forward and help the club gain that extra edge in 2010.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 39 Comments »


39 Responses to “Gaining The Extra Edge: WR Bernard Berrian”

  1. By VikesFan on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    Bernard being a downfield threat in 2010 is so critical. It’ll open up Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, and others even more. Glad to hear he’s working hard this offseason!

  2. By Chaz on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    I am a huge Berrian fan, my girlfriend often enjoys pointing out that he is the cutest Viking. His speed was essential element to Rice’s success. His numbers don’t show it, but he matters greatly to this team.

  3. By Tom on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    If he stays healthy he should make a big impact with Favre at QB.

  4. By michandre on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    I hope the upcoming season is a great one for him and the team.

  5. By Rogerthevikefan on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    He helped last year not with catches but by opening up rice and harvin. In the nfl speed kills bb is proof of that now people will zero in on rice so bb will get one on ones and burn them for tds then teams will work on him and rice and harvin will torch them. Then we will have the 1 scoring offence no joke. Go VIKINGS!

  6. By gilsenheimer on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    I hope Berrian has an awesome year…. and I agree, he will have to be accounted for by all defences so it will help out the team more than it’ll show on the stat sheet.

  7. By Ragnar's Disciple on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    it seemed like Bernard was making big plays last year in a different way than in 2008. In ’08 he was the deep threat. in ’09 he was a reliable chain mover that picked up 1st downs in crucial situations by making defenders miss. He made such plays most memorably in both Green Bay games, and one turned into the nail in the coffin TD at Lambeau to put the game out of reach. He won’t be as productive in ’10 as he was in ’08 because of Rice’s emergence as a Larry Fitz clone, but he is a crucial part to the teams success

  8. By BUCK on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    i am a vikings fan through and through. i have family 20 minutes from the dome and they too are fans for sure. although i love talking about BB and sindney and the “D” one thing remains ………. if we don’t get brett back and or T JACK does not step up to the plate all of this remains mute. lets hope all is well in Mississippi!!!!

  9. By MGR4FUN on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    another excellent article mike thx … i think B_Twice bein 100% will make a huge difference in the total package of the offense in twenty-ten … #87 at full speed is a good bet to get behind any db in the league even that dude in jersey … somethin else that #87 and his crew of wideouts do maybe as well or better than any team in the league and rarely get any pub for is their downfield blockin for one another … when ever you see one of them break a long one the others are there helping to clear the way … they may not be picture perfect blocks but the purple are gettin in the way and givin the reveivers a better chance to break one all the way … this is a huge part of their team character and their sacrificing for each other and #87 abso–freakin–lutely leads by example …

  10. By Johnny Johnson on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    @Chaz, your gf is wrong. My gf says AP is the cutest on the team followed by Fat Pat.

  11. By jokerland on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    he needs 2 b way better than last year. or play 4 a team wear he can sync with the qb they have. skol vikings

  12. By Fu8ck Da saints on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    the vikings are going to have the success and most importantly the LUCK the saints had in 09. 2010 will be our season. In 09 we were plagued by to may injuries and not enough experience in the backfield. This year with 3 healthy wideouts, shanko, peterson, and favre will bring intensity like never before because sadly this willl be his last year i can most definitaly say. Berrian healthy gives the vikes just one more very dangerous and underrated player that most teams wont know how to defend. we have to many weapons and unlike the saints we will be able to run the ball successfully this year because our line will be healthy and more experienced. Our secondary will be not amazing because our focus is stopping the run first which means we will give up more yards through the air but the only way to make that up is for our secondary to go after that ball and create turnovers… 2010 is our year and no one is taking it from us. lets open a new chapter in our 50th season, GO VIKES.

  13. By spahos on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    what they need to do is have them in this order on the line up. harvin, rice, then berrian. berrian is good yes but he has missed some big catches for the vikings.

  14. By Jermaine on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    Berrian is a weapon that we must use to be a successful team in this year

  15. By Rob on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    Barrian is an outstanding WR who was hindered by injury for the past two seasons. It seems to be turf toe or a hamstring pull. If he is 100% this year the Vikes will have one of the very best recieving cores in the NFL. Barrian is a true speed demon that is the perfect compliment to Rice and Harvin. If Sid and Percy are not open Bernard is. Our sucess teaters on our teams health as always.

  16. By Brad on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    If Berrian is healthy and on the same page as Brett, it’s going to make our passing game absolutely awesome this year. Between him, Havin, and Rice someone will have to be open.

    It all really comes down to if our running game can take the pressure of our quarterback and Brett coming back. (I’m certain the second part is pretty much settled.)

  17. By Ryan on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    I hope they involve Berrian more in the offense with short slants we all know he is a threat and can cut and gain yards after the catch.

  18. By Tom on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    MGR4FUN, YO-YO-YO, U GOT DAT RIGHT, DON’T BE FREAKIN’ ON MY BOY B’NARD!

  19. By The Pillager on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    TRADE BERNARD BERRIAN FOR VINCENT JACKSON????

    Berrian unfortunately has been marred with injuries since coming to Minny and has yet to put in a full, healthy productive season. I believe his contract might be up after next year so he may play for a contract and really step it up or the organization possibly is looking at it as an upcoming headache for a receiver about to to turn 30.

    I am in no position to speak about the camaraderie and role Berrrian plays in the huddle and locker room (lets not mess with a good vibe) or for that matter Vincent Jackson’s personality.

    Hypothetically speaking if Vincent Jackson has the Viking style culture and this deal was available I am one to think that is a move the Vikings should make even if we had to throw in a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the draft and a lucrative contract.

    Vincent Jackson 2009:
    REC 68– YDS 1,167 — AVG 17.2 — TDS 9

    Bernard Berrian 2009:
    REC 55 — YDS 618 –AVG 11.2 — TDS 4

    Of course I do not believe Jackson would dress in purple if did not fully believe as we all do that a certain QB is returning for his 20th season.

    Any thoughts??

  20. By Tim D on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    Yes this all going to work out with BB… we have amazing receivers but you all forgot about one thing… they all also have to cover the shank… he had amazing stats last year from what he use to have… the guy has the power and the hands to catch and then run through tackles that other teams ATTEMPT to put on him… with harvin, rice, bb, shank, this will be awesome… but one more thing… last year was the first year rice was fully healthy and had good numbers… lets hope he does the exact same thing this year and then we will take down the sb chumps of last year and then ray edwards can tear brees a new a** hole

  21. By Rogerthevikefan on Jun 30, 2010 | Reply

    Bb is an amazing deep threat when healty then rice who is the clone of fitz the harvin the guy who people can’t take done right away and finally shank the man who was catching every thing near the goal line. They all have roles and with all of them healty we will be unstoppable. Go VIKES!!!

  22. By PurplePeopleEater on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    With all that receiving talent, it gets really hard to understand the addition of 2 quality RBs to the team. There just isn’t enough room on the field for all these guys to be playing as much as their talent warrants. But, on the plus side of that is that with the difficulty of our schedule, we have a lot of high quality players to switch in for replacements to help keep these guys fresh throughout the entire sprint. If BB can get into contention with his 2008 ability, our passing game will become even more dangerous than the running game and defenses will be forced to pick their poison, but the end result will inevitably be the same: ANOTHER VICTORY FOR THE VIKES!

  23. By John on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I definitely think B squared will add a extra dimension for us!! Hopefully Favre comes back and I think they all have a shot to have 1000 yds (BB, Harvin, Rice)

  24. By BONDO BOB on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I THINK WE HAVE ALL THE WEPONS NOW WE NEED SOMEONE WHOS NOT AFRAID TO PULL THE TRIGGER

  25. By link on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Berrian is an asset to the team on and off the field, a positive role model that reaches out to the community as well. He is also a snappy dresser:)

  26. By brad on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I think Berrian gets a little too much credit for his 2008 performance. Even when healthy he is not a true “speedster”. I would expect more of what we saw late last year. More quick slants/possession receptions. That’s good stuff in and of itself.

    Berrian only caught the ball at a 61% (memory) clip last year which makes him the weak-link amongst our receivers despite all of the short routes he ran.

    I will be happy if he just takes that completion percentage up a notch in this offense, that would be great.

  27. By Fu8ck Da saints on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    berrian should be used for slants and screens, every time we used him like that last year he got positive yards/touchdowns. he is to fast for defenders to stay with him on slants. Rice will be the deep threat because of his size and ability to jump and get the ball before defenders can get it. Percy down the middle of the field will create chaos for defenders and his speed will cause defenders to lose their assignments which could leave Rice on a one-on-one which means favre has to just lob it up. Then we got shank. He will cause mismatches. one thing the vikes have to do is use him on more down field passing like the packers did with finley.. we did use him like that in the saints game and made graet catches. Then we have A.P. who we can swing it to and will get 10-15 yards everytime. Thats unstoppable plus our running game will make a huge statement next year and i expect us to run like we did in 08.

  28. By VIKING IN NH on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    the vikings need to make it this year , they were so close last year. i feel that theoffense will be super and the d will be better this year.viking fans hold on to your hat this is the year. this is my pediction.

  29. By likejoeybrowner on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I agree wth you on bb’s ability to ove the chains, i marveled ar the way he torched the vikes on that slant (last year in chitown)….vikes remember too…because the went to it a a few time last…..now that favre has a better chemstry with bb….floodgares will open for three deep II …..to all the other opinions (not yours)…..dont under estimate t jack…he took us to the playofffs…..and has a year wth the master….he understands audibles…and changing plays at the line……in fact I trust all three qb’s….if ure really viking fans…u should know this!

  30. By Fu8ck Da saints on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    I know brett favre will have one more go in this will be our year. don’t worry vike fans t jack will be the next mccnab if not better after all the experience he has gotten. Aron rodgers had time behind favre and now he is one of the best qb’s in the league so dont be surprised if we see a whole new t jack after favre retires.

  31. By Lito on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Berrian will be a big threat since he is healthy Now, please let’s get a huge behemoth 6″6, 330 lbs offensive lineman to protect Bret and create holes for AP and TG.

  32. By Tom on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    TJ did not take us to the playoffs, Gus did. TJ is a lost cause.

  33. By nick on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    Vincent Jackson 2009:
    REC 68– YDS 1,167 — AVG 17.2 — TDS 9

    Bernard Berrian 2009:
    REC 55 — YDS 618 –AVG 11.2 — TDS 4

    dont forget that vincent is number one and berrian is number three and there stats are not too far apart. let us not forget farve spreads ot around 55 catches is a lot for the 3rd wr

  34. By MGR4FUN on Jul 1, 2010 | Reply

    well first of all it is noteworthy to know that #4 started throwin at oak grove high school today thursday july 1st … secondly i in my humble opinion i believe we will see a bit of a change in the purple offense in twenty-ten … in an effort to protect #4 from alot of those big hits he took after releasing the ball last year i think there will be alot more pounding of the rock (adrian and toby) and i am talkin hammerin the opposing defenses … trust me the purple will be very successful at this with an o-line another year healthier and another year more expierenced together … now when a team is a successful runnin team that saves wear n tear on good ol’ #4 … however he is good ol’ #4 and there is gonna be some lightning involved in this offensive storm and that is where B_Twice and his crew come in … a quality rushin team sets up the play-action pass like nothin else can and add to that the best head-and-shoulders-pump-fake in the business and ya got instant lightning to #87 or one of his mates #18 / #12 or #81 … i also agree with someone else who earlier mentioned that #28 & #32 will be an intricate part of the new passin offense differently than before in that gettin the ball outside in the hands of #28 or #32 will strike the fear of “loss of the preverbial jock” by that single coverage linebacker or cornerback … and #87 bein the deep threat will do one of several things … catch lots of long td’s or set up lots of one-on-ones for his mates or maybe all of the above … this will be a huge year for B_Twice

  35. By berrianfancs on Jul 6, 2010 | Reply

    If Berrian is like he was in 2008 and then u add rice and harvins 2009 season with shiancoe in the red zone and A.P holding onto the ball the Vikings could have the best offense in the NFL. But Favre must come back as well

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