Leslie Frazier doesn't 'foresee future problems' with Bernard Berrian
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn -- A day after deactivating Bernard Berrian for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier gave no indication that the wide receiver's roster spot might be in jeopardy or that any further disciplinary action might be forthcoming.
"We'll get him back on the field on Wednesday and he'll get back into the rotation," Frazier said Monday at his day-after-game press conference at Winter Park. "I don't foresee any future problems. I really expect him to play at a high level for us and play well."
Frazier said Sunday that Berrian did not suit up for disciplinary reasons. Berrian had a much-publicized Twitter exchange on Oct. 2 with Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, after the Vikings' 22-17 loss at Kansas City in which Berrian told Kriesel to "sit down n shut up."
What Berrian did not know is that Kriesel is co-author of the Vikings stadium bill and also is a war veteran who lost both his legs while serving in Iraq. Berrian also did not help himself the same day by responding to a tweet that he had been open by saying it has, "been like that the last 4 yrs."
But Frazier said Sunday the decision to sit Berrian for the Vikings' 34-10 victory over Arizona had nothing to do with the Twitter incidents. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Monday that Berrian missed two meetings at the Vikings' team hotel on Saturday.
"I really don't want to get into why we chose to have discipline in this particular case, but one thing that all of our players know, we're going to try to do the right things when it comes to what we're asking of him and we expect a reciprocation from them to do the things that we're asking them to do," Frazier said. "Then there are consequences. But Bernard knows what we want to get done, just like the other 52 guys on our roster."
Frazier gave no indication that Berrian might be released -- he is playing under a one-year, $1.9 million deal -- and said he did not think it was to the point where a change of scenery might be best.
"No," Frazier said. "We fully expect Bernard to help our football team be successful in 2011 and we're looking forward to him making a major contribution over the rest of this season. We're counting on him. He knows that. We need him to play well for us in order for our offense to continue to improve."
Berrian, though, has only two receptions this season. Devin Aromashodu, who was signed as a free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Bears, got additional time Sunday with Berrian out and played well.
Aromashodu had two receptions for 81 yards, including a 60-yard catch-and-run, and now has four catches for 120 yards and a touchdown this season.
So will Aromashodu at least move ahead of Berrian?
"Devin did a good job and Michael (Jenkins has) been doing a good job for us, so we'll talk about that a little bit more, but we don't want to shortchange Devin," Frazier said. "He's doing some good things, but we're counting on Bernard to step up and play well for us. We'll see how we end up developing a rotation for this next game."
Added Frazier: "I think Bernard's head is in the right place. He wants to help this football team win. We're going to give him every opportunity to help this football team win."