Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Weekend at Berrian's

"Making catches look easy since 2004"

I like Bernard Berrian. He's fast, can make great plays, and ultimately provides a safety net for Grossman's deep balls (that came out wrong). In the Grossman offense, Berrian is a necessary component. Rex heaves the short balls to Clark, the short-middle to Moose, and everything else to Berrian.

Interestingly, Berrian is a FA at the end of this season. He's on pace for 80 catches and almost 1,100 yards -- big numbers for a Bears receiver, and certainly worthy of the big bucks. In a Grossman offense, he's worth every penny.

Let someone else pay for him.

Call me crazy, but I don't think that retaining Berrian is going to help improve this team -- especially with Grossman on the way out. Hester has shown that he's an explosive offensive force, and he's faster than Berrian. Let him run those streaks with Rasheid Davis. Incorporate Mushin Muhammad into the offense more -- you know, that guy we signed for a huge contract not too long ago? Let's get our money's worth.

As a matter of fact, that style of offense can work. Look at Berrian's numbers when Griese was at the helm -- average of 5 catches for 60 yards and one touchdown over four weeks. Very solid, but nothing absurd. Moose, on the other hand, averaged 3 catches for 35 yards and almost a touchdown a week -- his only three touchdowns of the season came in that four-week span.

Along with Muhammad, Greg Olsen has put up better numbers without Rex, too. In those four weeks, Olsen averaged 4 catches for 40 yards and a 50% chance of scoring a TD. Again, Olsen's only two touchdowns and best games of the season came during the Griese reign. Even Kyle Orton managed to use Hester more on Monday Night than Grossman did all year (Hester can actually run a route that doesn't involve him running in a straight line like he was shot out of a cannon).

I'm not saying that Berrian is bad. I remember watching when Marcus Robinson and Marty Booker left the team, and I missed them dearly. On the other hand, I really think the rest of the team can flourish with multiple receiving threats instead of one. Berrian's best numbers came with the Sex Cannon, and with Rex likely out of town (or at least riding pine), Berrian becomes expendable.

I'll miss you Bernard -- just don't make the mistake those other guys made and go to Miami -- if you need an idea of how their QB situation has looked, Cade McNown was once on that team too.

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