Bernard Berrian's deactivation 'a disciplinary decision,' Frazier says
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
But Frazier said the decision had nothing to do with Berrian's controversial tweets last weekend, nor his subsequent remarks backing up his claim that he has been open for four years.
"Just looking at where we were as a team and what we were trying to get accomplished," Frazier said. "That was it. Just looking at the bigger picture about what we have to get done as a football team. That's not to say that it'll continuously be this way. But there were some things that we needed to get done that had to be done."
Berrian watched the game from the sideline, occasionally miming basketball moves, and left the locker room without speaking to reporters. He has only two catches in 177 snaps this season and got into a spat on Twitter after last week's loss at Kansas City, exchanging barbs with state Rep. John Kriesel and implying it's not his fault he hasn't gotten the ball.
"I've been open for the last four years," Berrian told reporters the next day. "Nothing to deny that. I said (to Kriesel) we can go watch the film if you want to watch the film with me. That's the proof right there."
Frazier first called the deactivation "a coaching decision," then admitted upon further questioning Berrian was being disciplined, although he declined to say why.
"No, it does have something to do with something," Frazier said. "It was a disciplinary decision by me and that was the reason he was not active."
Michael Jenkins started in Berrian's place and Devin Aromashodu played as the third receiver. They combined for 113 yards on six catches, including Aromashodu's 60-yard catch-and-run that set up a field goal in the third quarter. That came on the series after the Cardinals had scored their first touchdown and pulled within 18 points.
"I think it was real big for us to get on their side of the 50 and if anything just change the field position," Aromashodu said of his catch on a first-and-20 play from the Vikings 24-yard line. "We were able to get a field goal out of it, so I think it was huge for our offense to get on their side of the 50 and show that we were going to fight back in the second half."
Asked if he expected his role to increase, Aromashodu said: "I hope so, that's my goal, is to help anywhere. Whether it's special teams or wide receiver. I hope I get a big role. If not, then I'll just be ready whenever they need me."
The fifth-year player, who spent the past two seasons with Chicago, said he wasn't given any real early indication that he might be replacing Berrian other than being told to be ready.
Quarterback Donovan McNabb said he didn't know about the decision until he arrived at the Metrodome. Asked if it was surprising, McNabb said, "It was. But again, that's Coach's decision. The only thing you can focus on is to play and whoever's lined up at the position."
Berrian restructured his contract to remain with the Vikings before the season, reducing his base salary from $3.9 million to $1.9 million this season and having the last two years shaved off the deal. He can become a free agent in March and there is at least some reason to wonder if he might hit the street sooner than that.
Frazier also confirmed cornerback Cedric Griffin was benched for Arizona's opening series for disciplinary reasons, declining again to say what Griffin did.
"Yes, for something that from my standpoint that we have to be right on," Frazier said. "He understands that and we move on."
Griffin declined to comment.