Berrian is the Forgotten Man

Lake Forest - Bernard Berrian has been wearing a red jersey in practice since the start of the season, which is usually designated for quarterbacks. Every week he plays the role of the opponent's best receiver on the scout team, but it appears he's far from fulfilling the same part for the Bears.

Berrian has one reception in two games and there's a possibility he will see even less action this week. He's currently backing up Muhsin Muhammad on the depth chart. That's a far cry for a player that was competing to start opposite Muhammad in training camp.

The former third round pick had a better preseason statistically than Justin Gage, with 7 receptions to 3. However, he's limited in terms of being an every down player because of his 180-pound frame. He can be taken out of the game by a cornerback that is willing to be physical.

It appears Gage and Mark Bradley will share the bulk of the reps opposite Muhammad, who leads the team with 12 receptions.

"It's understandable when you got a player like Moose, he's got to touch the ball as much as he can," Berrian said. "Sometimes defenses will start collapsing (on him) that's when you've got to find other people. So when you've got the opportunity you've got to make the best of it."

The question is where does Berrian fit in the offense?

Bobby Wade is sure to be active as the punt returner after returning a punt 73 yards for a touchdown against Detroit. He's also the top option in the slot.

Since being taken out of punt return duties, Berrian doesn't contribute on any special teams. While Carl Ford is the last receiver on the depth chart, he's a gunner on punt coverage and also plays on other special teams.

Berrian has the speed to stretch the field, but even if he's active on game days his opportunities will be limited. The lack of consistent reps could make the second year receiver press the issue when he is on the field and lead to an unforced error.

"You can't really look at that too much cause if start thinking I can't make a mistake that's when mistakes start to happen," Berrian said. "You've just got to out there and be yourself and play."

Considering 41.4 percent of Orton's completions have gone to Muhammad, the only way the two-time Pro Bowl receiver is coming off the field is if he's hurt.

"That's just life," Berrian said. "It's hard but things you've got to do though."


Bear Report Top Stories