Notebook: Berrian closing in on milestone

Bernard Berrian admits that a 1,000-yard season is a goal of his, but he's been reaching a lot of career highs this season. But how does his production with Tarvaris Jackson compare to when Gus Frerotte was throwing him passes? Plus, what do the Vikings think of Matt Ryan? And get other notes and quotes from a week at Winter Park.

The hits keep coming for wide receiver Bernard Berrian, who performed a touchdown dance last week taught to him by actor Will Smith.

Berrian, the free-agent acquisition that has now eclipsed 3,000 yards receiving in his career and has a career-high four 100-yard receiving games this season, is closing in on a benchmark that would be a career first for him. The speedster needs 135 yards over the next two games to reach 1,000 yards receiving for the season.

"It is a big deal. It's just another milestone you try to reach in your career," Berrian said. "It's in my mind every year. If I get it, I get it. If I don't, I don't. That's pretty much how I look at it."

In order to reach that goal this week, Berrian would have to put on the performance of his career. His single-game most receiving yards to date is 131, set in October against the Detroit Lions, and he has been doing it with different quarterbacks.

Most of Berrian's success – including all four of his 100-yard games this season – has come with Gus Frerotte at quarterback. This week, Tarvaris Jackson will be the starter. While Berrian backs Jackson, he hasn't been as productive with the young quarterback in the game. In Jackson's four starts this season, Berrian has yardage totals of 38, 0, 29 and 41 and reception totals of 3, 0, 3 and 1.

But switching quarterbacks is nothing new for the former Chicago Bear.

"It's not (difficult), especially when you're used to it already," Berrian said. "All my career I've played with a lot of quarterbacks, so you get used to it. It's just making do with what you've got.

"We always knew (Jackson) could do it. It's just a matter of him putting it all together and actually going out there and proving it."

In addition to one catch for a touchdown last week, Berrian also contributed with a tight-rope, sideline punt return that went 82 yards for a touchdown. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Berrian became only the third player in NFL history to score on a reception and punt return in the first quarter of the same game, and the last time it happened was in 1980.

"I thought they were going to blow the whistle I was so close. After they didn't, I just kept running," Berrian said.

Berrian's explosive plays have been part of an offensive resurgence for the Vikings, who have scored 229 points over the past eight games, giving them a 28.6-point average that ranks third in the league over that span.


Vikings coach Brad Childress has been impressed with Falcons rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, who has thrown 14 touchdowns against nine interceptions and taken only 14 sacks as Atlanta's only quarterback to throw a pass this year.

Vikings linebacker Ben Leber said it's Ryan's athleticism that has impressed him the most. Leber said the Falcons have run a number of naked bootlegs with Ryan that the Vikings defense will have to be ready for.

"He's not a slug of a quarterback who just throws the ball. He can kind of do it all," Leber said. "… His ability to feel pressure and his presence in the pocket is very experienced, even for a rookie."

Defensive end Ray Edwards said that Ryan is especially good at getting rid of the ball quickly, an unusual trait for a rookie quarterback.

"I think the offensive line, they do a great job in the way they protect and they definitely help each other. (Ryan) does a great job of getting the ball out. He finds his open receivers real quickly, definitely does quite a bit on his own," Edwards said.

The Falcons are 6-0 when Ryan has a passer rating of 100 or better, and Ryan has a 6-2 record in domes, completing 67.5 percent of his passes for 1,932 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions and a 100.3 passer rating. Of course, the Falcons' home field is in a dome.


  • Jackson won the FedEx Air Air Player of the Week and Adrian Peterson won the FedEx Ground Player of the Week after their performances against the Arizona Cardinals, sweeping the weekly awards that fans vote on at
    B Jackson completed 11 of 17 passes for 163 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 135.5 rating. Peterson rushed 28 times for 165 yards.

  • Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway on Falcons running back Michael Turner: "He's been good, but we hope he's not good on Sunday."

  • Wide receiver Bobby Wade on his career-long 56-yard touchdown agasint the Cardinals: "I've been trying to tell these people that I'm definitely better than Bernard," Wade joked. "No, but it's fun and it's nice to have that opportunity."

  • Defensive end Jared has 57.5 sacks since 2004, the most in the NFL, and he has 12.5 sacks in the past nine games, including three games in a row with at least two sacks. He even sacked Michael Vick twice in a 2004 meeting against the Falcons while Allen was with the Chiefs.

  • RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (knee) were listed as probable on the Vikings' final injury report. DE Jared Allen (knee) and QB Gus Frerotte (back) were listed as questionable. OL Artis Hicks (elbow) and WR/KR Darius Reynaud (foot) are doubtful. All of them were limited in Friday's practice except Robison, who participated fully.

  • All of the Falcons on their injury report – DE John Abraham (thigh/shoulder), OT Sam Baker (hip/back), WR Brian Finneran (calf), DT Grady Jackson (knee), RB Ovie Mughelli (hamstring) and OT Todd Weiner (knee) – were listed as questionable and were limited in Friday's practice.

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