Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Harvin: `I'm at camp, I'm happy, I'm on board.'

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Jared Allen, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin Updated: July 27, 2012 - 2:28 PM

MANKATO -- For those still sad about the level of Percy Harvin's happiness, cheer up. The Vikings' occasionally-moody receiver says he's in great spirits.

"I'm at camp, I'm happy, I'm on board," Harvin told reporters Wednesday after the team's first walk-through training camp practice day at Minnesota State Mankato.

Harvin still won't reveal why he was so upset with the team just a month ago. He caused a stink at mini-camp when he told reporters he was unhappy, hinted that he might not show up on time for training camp, skipped one of the mandatory practices and asked for a trade.

Whatever the problem was, Harvin now insists it's all behind him and the team.

"We're all on the same page," he said. "We're all just trying to win around here. I talked to coach [Leslie Frazier]. Everything is good around here. So I'm ready to get out there, start sweating and get this thing moving."

Apparently, Frazier played the vital role in putting the pep back in Percy's step.

"I love coach Frazier," Harvin said. "I'm a big fan of his. He's almost like a father figure in my situation. I love him. We were in direct contact the entire time. It was great being able to go in there, open doors and really be able to lay it on the line and get feedback. That's the thing you like out of your coach."

Frazier said he "has a lot of respect for Percy as a person." 

Meanwhile, Harvin said his shoulder and his overall health is "great."

"I'm looking for myself, this team, this organization to have a big year," he said. "I'm here now and ready to play football."

In other non-mood-related news:

  • As expected, running back Adrian Peterson was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list as he continues to come back from a left knee reconstruction at the end of last December. Peterson is still on schedule to return for the season opener. He can be taken off the PUP at any point before the regular season begins and not have to miss a game. If he's still on it at the start of the regular season, he'd have to miss the first six games. Frazier said Peterson "put up a fight" about being placed on PUP, "but we got to be smart." 
  • Tight end Mickey Shuler (heel) and receiver Stephen Burton (toe) were placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list and will be evaluated daily. Frazier said neither injury appears to be long term.
  • One of the team's first-round draft picks this year (left tackle Matt Kalil) worked with the first team, while the other one (safety Harrison Smith) worked with the second unit. Smith is expected to win a starting job, but Frazier is showing respect for his veteran safeties by not throwing Smith in with the first unit from Day 1. "In Harrison's case, there's going to be some competition," Frazier said. "We want him to compete and win that job, and we'll see how it plays out over the next few weeks."
  • Everson Griffen, one of the most promising young defensive players on the roster, has embraced the coaching staff's decision to have him focus on learning how to play linebacker in camp. Griffen has been used primarily as the team's No. 3 defensive end throughout his career, but he did see some playing time as a linebacker last year when the team went with an occasional 3-4 front on passing downs. With Jared Allen and Brian Robison locking down the defensive end positions, moving Griffen to linebacker was the only option to get him on the field more. Frazier said the team was concerned about Griffen's weight getting too high when he weighed in at about 276 pounds early in the offseason. After Frazier told Griffen that he would be focusing on linebacker in training camp, Griffen lost nearly 20 pounds and reported to camp on Thursday at 258 pounds. "That's incredible," Frazier said. "He's so motivated to play the position well."
  • Frazier said the team ideally would like to have the right guard competition decided by the third preseason game against the Chargers on Aug. 24. Second-year pro Brandon Fusco is working with the first team today. Geoff Schwartz is working with the second team. Frazier said Chris DeGeare, who spent all of last season on the practice squad, also will get a chance to win the job.

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