Notebook: History isn't in Berrian's favor

Bernard Berrian is on a very productive run with the Vikings the last six games, but his history against the Packers isn't an encouraging one. See what the numbers and Berrian had to say. Plus, get other notes from a Thursday at Winter Park.

Bernard Berrian said he doesn't look at his stats against individual teams, and that might be a good thing this week considering his past production against the Green Bay Packers compared to his success of late against the other teams the Vikings have been playing.

"I don't like looking at numbers because if you start looking at numbers, then the numbers start to sting you," Berrian said.

In the last six games, since Gus Frerotte took over as quarterback, Berrian has been having a very solid run for the Vikings – 27 catches for 585 yards, an average of 4.5 catches and 97.5 yards per game.

Against the Houston Texans, Berrian had only two catches, but each of them went for a big gain. The first one was a 55-yarder to open the game and the second was a 49-yard touchdown in the second quarter that gave the Vikings a 21-7 lead in their 28-21 win.

"We were trying to get the ball down the field earlier (in the season), we just weren't able to land them," Berrian said. "Now we're starting to land them and get big chunks of yardage."

But here come the Green Bay Packers, a team that has stung Berrian's production in the past. In the season opener, Berrian's first game as a member of the Minnesota Vikings after signing a six-year, $42 million deal with the Vikings, he had three catches for 38 yards. That receptions total actually tied a single-game high for him against the Packers, who have found ways to limit his production.

Asked about the style of play of Green Bay's accomplished cornerbacks, Charles Woodson and Al Harris, Berrian said, "Man to man all game. Bump, press. You're going to get pressed. They're going to be very physical. They're going to hold you down the field and they're not going to get called for it. We're going to have to live with it."

For his career, Berrian has nine games played against the Packers, producing 16 catches for 306 yards and one touchdown.

In his last four games against the Packers while he was with the Chicago Bears, which coincided with the arrival of Woodson in Green Bay, Berrian was held to one catch in every game but the final matchup between the two teams last year, when he had two catches.

He said the Packers didn't approach him any differently when he was a member of the Bears versus his arrival with the Vikings.

"Down the field is what offenses like to do with me pretty much. They know that and we've got to know that too. It's just going to be a battle, a downright physical battle. Who is going to beat who?" Berrian said.

Berrian knows the aggressive nature of the Packers defense can hang up a receiver near the line of scrimmage, but he said the key is getting away from the initial contact quickly, which can open up opportunities down the field.

"It does, but they know it's coming too and that's the tricky part," he said. "You've really got to beat it and get on top of them. Even when you're running down the field, they still have tricks. I remember last game, I got pulled in the back and it made it look like Al just ran by me. They're pretty crafty with it."

STILL FOCUSING ON PETERSON

No matter what Berrian does – and his production in the past six games has been impressive – he and others at Winter Park don't expect defenses take any attention away from Adrian Peterson and the running game.

"You have to stop him. That's the number one emphasis, to stop that running game. If you don't stop the running game, we'll run the ball all day with those two guys back there," Berrian said.

NOTES

  • Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Frerotte and Berrian: "The biggest change that you do see is the ability to go down the field more and just with the decisiveness that Gus is throwing the football. He looks to have established a very good relationship with Bernard Berrian, and just the way they are committed to attacking as far as when he is throwing the ball based on the timing of the routes and so forth. Conceptually they are doing a number of things that are similar to our offense too, just going through (Wednesday's) practice and running the opponents' squad. So they have changed it up a little bit."

  • Berrian called his 55-yard catch to open the game against the Houston Texans "pure luck. … I felt like they pushed the ball into me and then I held onto it."

  • Berrian said his toe is still bothering him, but it's not as bad as it was earlier in the season.

  • Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier confirmed that Brian Robison would get the start if Jared Allen can't play. Allen suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder on Sunday and didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday.

    "It would be awesome to get Jared on the field and do the things that he does for us, but if that doesn't happen, we feel very confident that Brian would do a good job for us," Frazier said.

    Frazier said if there was a weakness with Robison, it would be in the first- and second-down defense against the run, but Frazier said Robison has really improved in that area.

  • Frazier admitted that going into the first game of the season against Green Bay the Vikings didn't have a lot of information on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In that game, Rodgers completed 18 of 22 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown, and he also rushed eight times for 35 yards.

  • Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was front and center in the Packers' tampering allegations with Brett Favre this summer. With Favre now playing for the New York Jets and being accused of helping the Detroit Lions with their game plan against the Packers earlier this year, Bevell was asked if he has talked to Favre this week. "No, I have not. And I will not. I'll make sure I will not."

  • According to Chris Steuber of Scout.com, the Vikings will be among 13 NFL teams to have a scout at tonight's Maryland-Virginia Tech game.

  • In addition to Allen missing practice, S Husain Abdullah (neck), LB David Herron (hip) and TE Garrett Mills (ankle) were limited in Thursday's practice. WR Robert Ferguson, who missed practice Wednesday for a non-injury related reason, was at practice Thursday but didn't participate.

  • For the Packers, T Chad Clifton (knees) returned to full participation on Thursday. QB Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) and CB Charles Woodson (toe) were limited. LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring) participated fully.


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