Tag:Bernard Berrian
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:28 pm

Jabar Gaffney curses at fan in Twitter exchange

J. Gaffney had an exchange with a fan on Twitter (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Apparently, Redskins receiver Jabar Gaffney didn’t learn the lesson taught by former Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian that it’s not a good idea to argue with Twitter followers and it’s an even worse idea to insult them.

After the Cowboys escaped from Washington with a 27-24 overtime victory, an apparent Dallas fan tweeted to Gaffney that he laughed out loud at the Redskins “3-9” record. According to the Washington Times, here was Gaffney’s response (the tweets on his page have been deleted).

"we 3-7 u dumb [expletive]" and then “3-7 ain't a record to be proud of I'm just proud I ain't you get a life or kill urself.” Later on his page, Gaffney explained, “I don't want the man to really kill himself it was just a way of saying [expletive] off or leave me alone to all you lames keep up or don't follow."

You’ll recall that Berrian, while he wasn’t so profane, tweeted at a Minnesota state legislator who also happens to be a war veteran without legs (facts Berrian didn’t know at the time), "Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them. ... and if not sit down n shut up!!"

Berrian later apologized, but a few weeks later, the Vikings released him (it wasn’t solely because of his Twitter mess, but that didn’t help his cause). Gaffney would do well to heed Berrian’s social media warning.

"Cowboys fans, that’s how they are," Gaffney said Monday. "I was just telling the dude: ‘Y’all won. All right, leave me alone. Don’t talk to me.’ That’s all it was."

But as Rex Ryan rediscovered today, cursing at fans isn’t a good way to go if you don’t want the NFL lifting anything out of your paycheck.

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Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:01 am

Lack of effort was Berrian's undoing

BerrianPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When Leslie Frazier met with former Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian earlier this week, before the team ultimately released him, Berrian tried to convince his coach that he wanted to help the team win. But as 1500 ESPN reports, Frazier simply wasn’t willing to believe him.

Though Berrian made some memorable gaffes this year (engaging in a Twitter war with a Minnesota state legislator who is a veteran without legs; missing meetings to get himself deactivated), that ultimately wasn’t what led to his dismissal from Minnesota.

Instead, Berrian wasn’t trying to help the team or make himself better, and he wasn’t even giving the effort to pretend like he was. That’s ultimately why the team rid itself of him.

"The thing you have to be concerned about is, if he's a starter, how is he producing? And then, what's the attitude?" Frazier told reporters Thursday. "If he's not producing, but he's practicing hard, playing hard, doing everything you ask -- you've just got to find ways to try to help that guy be a productive player for you. But if the production isn't there, the attitude isn't right, then you've got to say, 'OK, is he giving us anything in the locker room?'"

Berrian's Attitude
The Vikings determined Berrian was not. Especially since, as Pelissero writes, the aloof Berrian might have been more concerned with fashion than football. As one teammate said, it was unclear whether Berrian knew some of his fellow Vikings’ names.

"He stands by his word," receiver Greg Camarillo said, referring to Frazier. "He's always said we're going to have not necessarily the 53 most talented football players, but we're going to have the best 53 people for this team. And he stood by that. If you're not a team-oriented guy, you won't be here."

And now, Berrian is not.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:28 pm

Vikings release WR Bernard Berrian

Berrian is looking for work after catching just nine passes this season. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been a tough month for Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian. He got into a Twitter spat with Minnesota state legislator and wounded war vet John Kreisel (and that led to this), he was inactive for two of the team's next three games, and Tuesday, he was released.

Berrian met with head coach Leslie Frazier Monday to discuss his future, and said that he wanted to remain with the organization, pointing to the pay cut he took this offseason as proof. That said, he admitted to having "no idea" about the team's plans for him.  Also on Monday, Frazier was noncommittal when asked about Berrian's role in Minnesota going forward.

“We’ll make a decision about how we want to handle things going forward,” Frazier said, according to the Associated Press, while declining to specify the reasons Berrian was benched against Green Bay Sunday. He added: “We’re going to have a little meeting of the minds, and see where we are.”

Where we are, it turns out, is without Berrian on the roster.

The Star-Tribune's Dan Wiederer writes that "The move brings to a close Berrian’s wildly inconsistent tenure with the Vikings and allows Frazier to move forward without a player that had caused him too many headaches this season."

Berrian should've known his days were numbered when on Monday backup quarterback Donovan McNabb called Frazier's decision to bench the wideout "kind of a shock," before calling him a "great" player and adding, “[Berrian's] been through it. He’ll bounce back for this week and be ready to go.”

We guess McNabb meant "ready to go pack up his locker and get on with the rest of his life."

For the season, Berrian has seven catches for 91 yards and no touchdowns.  The AP reports that, as a vested veteran, the Vikings must pay him all of his $1.9 million salary unless another team claims him.

Rookie wide receiver Stephen Burton was elevated from the practice squad to take Berrian's place on the active roster. Also, defensive end Cedric McKinley was released from the practice squad, leaving two open spots there.

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Posted on: October 24, 2011 1:12 pm

Is Berrian close to being released?

BerrianPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian was surprisingly deactivated in Week 5 two weeks ago, you still could make some sense of it.

After all, he had been involved in a Twitter war with a Minnesota state legislator/war veteran who had no legs, and when the unknowing Berrian called on his opponent to sit down and shut up – not to mention Berrian missing a couple team meetings – a seat on the bench probably was the right move.

But what do we make of coach Leslie Frazier’s decision to deactivate Berrian once again Sunday vs. the Packers? It probably means Berrian isn’t long for Minnesota’s roster, especially since Frazier didn’t have a great explanation when asked why Berrian didn’t play.

“Just a decision that I made about whether or not he was going to be active or not active,” Frazier said via VikingUpdate.com. “Just a decision that I made that we’ll probably get into later on in the week, but just a decision that I made.”

What makes the decision even stranger is that Berrian was coming off a four-catch, 54-yard performance vs. the Bears, his best stat line since Week 9 of the 2010 season.

When asked about Berrian’s future, Frazier continued to speak in vague generalities.

“It’s something we’ll talk about this week and we’ll talk about it more this week,” he said.

As the website pointed out, Berrian took a paycut of $2 million before this season, but with his base salary slated to rise to $6.9 million next year (he makes $1.9 million this season), there’s little chance he’d be back next year without restructuring his contract again. But with his production and disciplinary problems, I wouldn’t count on it.

And considering Frazier won’t get specific, it seems likely Berrian is very close to having to turn in his playbook.

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Posted on: October 9, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2011 12:17 pm

Bernard Berrian surprisingly deactivated

BerrianPosted by Josh Katzowitz

What do you get when you combine a receiver who’s made exactly two catches in the first four games of the season with a Twitter user who insulted a Minnesota state legislator who happens to be a permanently-injured war veteran who also has been a big supporter of a new stadium for the Vikings? You get a deactivated Bernard Berrian.

It sounds like his benching could be a punishment for his Twitter war with state legislator John Kriesel. After Kriesel ripped Berrian after Berrian complained on his feed about not being targeted enough by Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb, Berrian responded by writing, “"Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them. ... and if not sit down n shut up!!"

The problem with that exchange was that Kriesel has no legs, a fact Berrian didn’t know at the time. He later apologized to Kriesel, and Kriesel said he was not offended or upset by the exchange, saying, “I'm a big boy. I can handle myself. I ripped him, he ripped me back. We had it going back and forth on Twitter a little bit. I have fun with Twitter. I'm over it. I was never offended by it.”

But it seems like the Vikings organization was offended, particularly since the reason the exchange began was because Berrian was complaining about his role in the offense.

"I have talked to Bernard and we do ... matter of fact Bob (Hagan, the Vikings director of public relations) and some of our PR people actually talk with our team once we come to training camp," Frazier said this week, via ESPN 1500. "Just about social media and what our relationship should be with social media.

"It's something we've talked about, something we'll continue to deal with and talk about. Bernard kind of knows where we stand on that issue and we'll move on from there. ... We want to make sure that our focus is on football and trying to win football games. I think going forward he'll handle things the right way."

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Posted on: October 3, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 12:03 am

Bernard Berrian makes a big Twitter no-no

B. Berrian got into a Twitter spat with a state legislator (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian has had a terrible start to the season. In four games, he’s got exactly two receptions, and considering  he’s coming off a 28-catch season in 2010, he has to be wondering how much time he’s got left on Minnesota’s roster.

Which probably means he’s pretty crabby, which is probably why he lashed out at a Twitter follower’s statement that was actually somewhat mild. Thing is, Berrian didn’t know that the Twitter follower in question is actually, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a Minnesota state legislator who’s trying to get the Vikings a new stadium.

It all started when Berrian agreed with a follower who had written that he was constantly open on Sunday by writing, “Been like that the past four years.” That prompted Rep. John Kriesel, who co-sponsored the bill to open a new stadium in Arden Hills, to tweet this: "If you want to follow a hilarious twitter account, try @B_Twice who says that he's open a lot and should get the ball more." 

Responded Berrian: "Anytime u wanna watch the film with me. Not just one game but all of them. ... and if not sit down n shut up!!"

The problem with that -- and this is where it gets awkward -- is that Kriesel is an Iraq war veteran who lost both of his legs.

Berrian called Kriesel this morning to apologize, and Kriesel later said, “I'm a big boy. I can handle myself. I ripped him, he ripped me back. We had it going back and forth on Twitter a little bit. I have fun with Twitter. I'm over it. I was never offended by it.”

And, of course, Berrian had no idea who Kriesel was or what his story is.

So, everybody is cool with everybody else, and it seems like this story will get lost in the atmosphere sooner rather than later. But it’s a pretty good reminder for an NFL player who likes to get on Twitter. Maybe you’re just better off if you completely ignore your mentions. You never know when you’re going to make yourself look like a fool by telling a man without legs who served his country to sit down and shut up.

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Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 2:30 pm

Film Room: Cowboys vs. Lions preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

For the first time seemingly since their Portsmouth days, the Detroit Lions will enter a nationally-followed non-Thanksgiving game with high expectations to live up to. They’re taking their 3-0 record to Dallas to face Tony Romo’s Ribs and a Cowboy defense that is getting more potent by the week in Rob Ryan’s scheme.

You’ll hear plenty this week about how the Lions can bring some much needed joy to the struggling Motor City, and about how they have crawled out of a miserable past decade, and about the wonders of NFL parity and turnaround stories.

These human interest stories are nice, but they’re only relevant because of what the Lions do on the field. Here’s a look at that.

1. Open formations
The Lions have lined up in shotgun 67 percent of the time this season, mostly in a 2 x 1 single-back set (two receivers to one side, one to the other). Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has taken this approach because it plays to the strength of his two young backfield stars: Matthew Stafford and Jahvid Best.

The semi-spread formations clarify the reads for Stafford and propagate a lot of quick-strike throws (which he has the arm strength and compact release to execute). Because defenses are compelled to roll coverage to Calvin Johnson (by far the most athletically gifted wideout in the NFL), Stafford has opportunities to exploit the seams.

This is a big reason why Detroit drafted Titus Young in the second round. Young is an unrefined route runner at this point, but route running precision is not the end-all, be-all when you’re attacking zone coverages from the slot.

Also helping spread the field is the way Detroit crafts sideline routes for Johnson. When a receiver runs a downfield pattern outside the numbers, safety help over the top often becomes irrelevant due to the nature of the limited spacing. Thus, you get a one-on-one matchup by default. Johnson has never been great at beating double teams.

That’s partly why the Lions specifically send him on isolation patterns outside. They’ll do this at least five or six times Sunday because the Cowboys, like most teams, don’t have a corner who can handle Megatron alone.

Detroit’s running game also benefits from the three-receiver shotgun sets. The very nature of the formation creates extra spacing, which is what a finesse runner like Jahvid Best needs. It also aids Detroit’s blocking. Receiving tight end Tony Scheffler often aligns in the slot as the third receiver. Scheffler has never been a great run-blocker, but as a slot receiver he doesn’t have to rely on strength and technique as much.

When it’s a wideout in the slot, it means the Lions get to run against a nickel defense, something they’ve done with alacrity thus far. Best’s rushing numbers aren’t great, but the Lions’ run game overall is not the weakness it was a season ago.

2. Receiving X factors
Detroit’s second and third best receiving weapons are not wideouts. Tight end Brandon Pettigrew caught 11 balls for 116 yards against Minnesota. He’s a plodding runner with softer hands and more effective agility than you’d guess. Stafford loves when Pettigrew is matched up on a linebacker. It will be interesting if that’s still the case after he watches outstanding Cowboys inside linebacker Sean Lee on film this week.

Pettigrew ranks third on the team in receiving. Ranking second is Best, who has 15 catches for 182 yards. Best, who has great elusiveness and acceleration, hurts opponents as a true receiver out of the slot, and he kills them as a screen receiver out of the backfield. One of the unheralded reasons Best thrives on screens is Calvin Johnson is a superb downfield blocker.

3. The much-ballyhooed defensive line
The Lions front four is as good as advertised. And it may only get better this week if Nick Fairley debuts as a pass-rushing defensive tackle (the first-round rookie has been out since undergoing foot surgery in August). Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch plays with great leverage and tenacity. Opposite him, Cliff Avril is a vastly underrated athlete who has recently gotten faster and stronger. Inside, underrated Corey Williams can play both a one-and two-gap style.
Of course, Ndamukong Suh is the driving force of Detroit’s front four. Suh’s greatest asset is his ability to quickly exert power off of movement. Elite defensive tackles like Vince Wilfork, B.J. Raji or Haloti Ngata often overpower opponents with their sheer size and force.

But those guys all weigh 330-plus and are wide enough to play the nose. Suh, at 307 pounds, is a beast, but he doesn’t quite have that exceptional raw power to dominate every down in a phone booth. However, he compensates by having the initial quickness and agility of a Pro Bowl caliber defensive end (that’s end, not tackle).

Suh is off to an incredible start this season because he’s now learned to consistently use that quickness to create favorable positioning immediately off the snap. Moves that take most players two seconds to execute, he executes in less than one. Thus, he’s always facing blockers who are caught just a little bit off-guard. That’s all Suh needs to take their manhood.

For the most part this season, the Lions have relied on straight four-man pass-rushes. But last season, against upper-tier offensive lines, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham would have a few of his linemen roam around before the snap in order to create confusion. Given Dallas’ inexperience, it would not be surprising to see Cunningham move Suh around on Sunday.

But Cunningham won’t dig too far into that bag of tricks if he doesn’t think it’s absolutely necessary. He knows there are also plenty of ways to create matchup problems with his traditional fronts. For one example, see the illustration below:

From this alignment, Suh creates a mismatch either for himself or the defensive end next to him – it depends on how the Cowboys choose to block it.

In this formation, the Cowboys have three players to block two. But personnel is still a problem. By splitting the defensive end out wide (in what’s called a nine-technique) and putting Suh in the B-gap (between the offensive guard and tackle) the Cowboys have three options here, all of which put them in an unfavorable position.

Option A: They double-team Suh with guard Kyle Kosier and tackle Tyron Smith, which leaves their tight end (either Jason Witten or Martellus Bennett) overmatched one-on-one against Cliff Avril.

Option B: They let OT Smith block Avril, which leaves a terrifying one-on-one matchup for G Kosier against Suh.

Option C: They send the tight end on a passing route, but it will have to be a short one because they’re still dealing with a one-on-one matchup between G Kosier and Suh.

Option D: The Cowboys slide protection to the right side, which is unlikely because it makes life too easy for Detroit’s other two defensive linemen and could also compromise the left side of the field for passing route options.

4. Lions pass defense
The secondary has been the Lions’ Achilles heel the past two years. But this season, the Lions are allowing only 188 yards per game through the air, fourth best in the NFL. That could just be a function of weak opponents, though. In Week 1, the Lions faced a Bucs receiving group that lacks speed. In Week 2, the Lions faced a Chiefs offense that was without dynamic tight end Tony Moeaki and thin behind the seemingly detached Dwayne Bowe.

In Week 3, the Lions faced a Vikings team that humorously believes Michael Jenkins and Bernard Berrian form an adequate one-two punch outside. A true test for the Lions secondary may have to wait another week, as the Cowboys without Miles Austin have a fairly feeble receiving corps.

Quality of opponent aside, give this secondary credit for its improvements. The Lions play a lot of Cover 2, but their corners have performed well in man coverage on third downs. Plus safety Louis Delmas has sharpened his ball-man prowess against tight ends.

5. What to expect
The Lions have not seen a defense as conceptually difficult as Dallas’. Against the Bucs and Vikings, Stafford had to only read zone coverages behind basic four-man pass-rushes. This Sunday, he and his offensive line will have to decipher more blitzes and sub-package personnel.

They have an ultimate resource in Calvin Johnson, though. The Cowboys simply can’t cover him.

If the Lions can exploit that mismatch early and play from ahead, they’ll make the Cowboys offense one-dimensional and vulnerable in long-yardage situations. That should be enough to get to 4-0.

So who will win? Check our expert picks for all Week 1 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: March 26, 2011 3:57 pm

Would Vikings actually keep Bernard Berrian?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Bernard Berrian has no future in Minnesota, right? The 30-year-old wideout is set to cost $3.9 million in 2011, which is too much to pay a guy coming off a 28-catch, 252-yard season. And those are tB. Berrian (US Presswire)he numbers he put up despite starting nine games and playing with Brett Favre.

So it’s safe to assume that once the lockout ends, Berrian will be axed. Unless, of course, we’re to believe Leslie Frazier. As the owners meetings this past week, the Vikings head coach spoke as if the lanky veteran will be back.

"We need to get him up to speed," Frazier said, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. "He's a talented guy. He can run with the best in the league and he did put up some big numbers for us a couple of years ago. So we've got to get him back in the fold and get him to where he's a major contributor to our offense. We're going to need him this next season in a big way.”

Frazier apparently has shared these sentiments with Berrian.

"I talked to him just about that," Frazier said. "[About] how important it's going to be for him to step up and be a featured player in our offense in order for us to get to where we want to go as an organization. So he understands what's ahead and what he has to do and I'm looking forward to when he gets back. Just seeing a renewed attitude and coming back with some vigor and really trying to have a great season."

So do we believe Frazier? Or is this just something a team says when it’s hoping to trade a guy?

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com