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News » Minnesota Vikings Inside Slant 2008-08-07


Minnesota Vikings Inside Slant 2008-08-07


Minnesota Vikings Inside Slant 2008-08-07
While the acquisition Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen dominated the headlines of the Vikings' offseason moves, the team also made a significant investment on the offensive side of the ball.


Bernard Berrian, who spent his first four seasons with Chicago, was signed to a six-year, $42 million free-agent deal that included $16 million in guarantees after the team sent owner Zygi Wilf's private plane to pick up the receiver from his California home.

Berrian had led the Bears in all receiving categories in 2007 with 71 receptions for 951 yards with five touchdowns in 16 games. Yet, he was never considered Chicago's No. 1 receiver.

That is no longer the case in Minnesota. Berrian is clearly the top guy and the Vikings are counting on him to provide a vertical presence that simply did not exist when the speedy but far from reliable Troy Williamson was the only hope to stretch the field.

Early in training camp, Berrian looked a bit slow and appeared to be thinking in some situations. That led to some dropped passes. But that could be attributed to him adjusting to the Vikings' West Coast system.

As the days progressed, Berrian became more comfortable and began making the types of catches the Vikings were hoping to see.

This could be a huge addition for coach Brad Childress' offense because it would give Tarvaris Jackson a downfield threat and force defenses to respect the Vikings' passing game.

Suddenly putting eight or nine men in the box on a consistent basis in order to stop Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson will become nearly impossible. Berrian's presence also will enable the Vikings to leave Bobby Wade in the slot, a spot at which he's best suited.

"He makes a difference, no doubt," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of Berrian. "One with his speed, two with his experience. He has had a couple of dropped balls. We do not want to look over those and we are going to continue to improve that. But it is nice to see us completing balls behind the defense, the deep balls. It's nice to see that."

CAMP CALENDAR: The Vikings will break camp in Mankato, Minn., on Aug. 15.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 7, 2008

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Robert Ferguson Name: Robert Ferguson
#89
Position: WR
Age: 28
Experience: 8 years
College: Texas A&M
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