This just in: The Chicago Bears are better off without Bernard Berrian...
[Chicago] wide receivers coach Darryl Drake admitted he's prone to hyperbole from time to time. But even after the Bears lost Bernard Berrian, a wide receiver they were willing to invest more than $5 million per year in, and released veteran Muhsin Muhammad, Drake sees a better corps of playmakers this season.
Granted, after losing Berrian there's really no direction to go but up, but after minicamp Drake likes what he has seen.
''There's a lot more explosion out here right now,'' he said.
A bit of sour grapes, eh? It's OK, Darryl...in Minnesota, we understand what it's like to convince yourself that you'll somehow be better off after losing a playmaking receiver. If you click the link to read the full article, you'll find that Drake's especially impressed with powerhouse receiver Rashied Davis, as well as veteran Marty Booker (who's gotta be roughly 50 years old by now). Devin Hester's performance in Chicago's minicamp has also drawn praise.
So there you have it, Bears fans: You're coaching staff is counting on Davis, Booker, and Hester. Clearly, you guys had absolutely no need for Berrian this season. Especially when you have such a prestigious quarterback as Rex Grossman throwing those gentlemen the football.
Anyone wanna set the over/under on the point in the season when Drake's optimism vanishes, and a sense of reality sets in? My guess: With approximately 13:42 remaining in the first quarter of Chicago's season opener against the Colts, the Bears punting unit will be trotting onto the field and Drake will think to himself, "Man, I wouldn't mind having Bernard Berrian on this receiving corps right about now."
Of course, I don't fault the Chicago coaching staff for expressing optimism to the media; they've gotta convince the public that things are better than they seem at Soldier Field. But let's be real: This wasn't the smartest thing to say about a player who has just moved to a division rival. You can bet that Berrian's more psyched than ever about the Vikings' October 19th meeting with the Bears in Chicago.
Here's hoping that the Chiefs defensive line coach will state that his unit's better off without Jared Allen. And that the Bengals secondary coach will claim the Cincinnati defense is better off without Madieu Williams. The more perceived adversity this team faces, the better -- the overwhelming praise the Vikings have been receiving from the media is surely refreshing, but I also don't mind some criticism directed towards them. The feeling that you need to prove someone wrong is unbeatable motivation.
*In case you've been disappointed by the lack of Vikings-to-L.A. speculation lately, check out this tidbit from Pro Football Talk. Mike Florio reports that the 49ers might be among the handful of teams that could move to the Los Angeles area, but concludes that the Vikings are the most likely contender for relocation:
So who will make the move, if anyone? If we had to guess, we’d say that the Vikings will eventually join their purple-and-yellow predecessors who have done fairly well for themselves as the predominant basketball franchise in Los Angeles after leaving long ago the land of 10,000 lakes.
Well, the proposed football stadium in Los Angeles does have purple seats, so I guess the California developers who designed the stadium might have a preferred tenant in mind.
The state legislature has been routinely ripped on this blog, but to be fair, Zygmunt's gotta make his move: Partner up with a county and present a concrete stadium proposal to the folks at the state capital. He'd better have his s*** figured out by 2009, because the clock is ticking.