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 happy with his role

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Vikings, Lions, Vikings defense, Vikings offense, Vikings players, Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin Updated: October 1, 2012 - 4:33 PM

 While talking about the Vikings’ recent success, receiver Percy Harvin might have shed some light on what had him upset during the team’s mandatory mini-camp in June.

Remember the drama? During one mini-camp Harvin went from saying he was unhappy, to requesting a trade to saying everything was fine.

Monday Harvin was asked about whether his role on the team was the issue last summer.

Close, but not exactly.

“I think it was just the identity of our offense,” Harvin said. “Just not only me, just guys knowing exactly what the coaches are asking of them on a week-in and week-out basis. Not playing one position one week, and come in and not totally having a grasp on what they’re asking for the next week.”

Things apparently are better defined this year. Harvin is third in the NFL in receptions, first in yards after the catch (217) and continues to make his mark as a return man, getting his fifth career kickoff return for a touchdown in the Vikings' victory over the Lions.

Sunday, despite seeing more bracket coverage than he has all year, Harvin caught three passes for 22 yards and ran three times for 12 more.

And he was all smiles. Clearly, Harvin is happy with the way offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is drawing up game plans.

“I think coach Musgrave has done a great job … of putting (Kyle) Rudolph in great situations. We have a package for (Jerome) Simpson, which you’ve seen, where we’ll take shots downfield. So everybody, I think, knows their role, knows what coaches expect of them to do. Now you can just sit back and try to do it a the highest level you can.”

 

Big name motivation

Harvin, who spoke expansively Monday, touched on a number of subjects.

He talked about how he had never been the designated No. 1 receiver on any team growing up and the motivation that came with it. Not even in high school at Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Va., when he was overshadowed by a fellow named Damon McDaniel, who played college ball at Florida State.

Harvin also said he is motivated when playing on the same field as a guy like Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. “And not only offensive players,” he said. “When I go against a great defensive player, too. Like a Charles Woodson, somebody like that, a guy who is respected, it amps my game up so much more.”

 

D-line depth

While neither Brian Robison nor Jared Allen seemed too enthusiastic about the idea of rotating players in and out of the defensive line this season, it appears that the Vikings have developed  some depth there.

Further proof came Sunday, when Everson Griffen and Letroy Guion each had two sacks.

Griffen, who plays both tackle and end depending on the situation, got one sack rushing from tackle and one at end, when he was in for Allen, who was working off a cramp. Guion, meanwhile, has clearly stepped up his game.

“I think having the depth, having those guys inside, has helped us tremendously,” Robison said. “It helps us out; me and Jared, we haven’t had the greatest years so far. (Allen) has two sacks, I don’t have any right now. It’s one of those deals that they help us out and they kind of relieve the pressure off of us.”

Griffen said he has benefited from concentrating on defensive line after the coaches decided to quit trying to have him play some linebacker during training camp. Griffen has three sacks in four games, one off his career high of four from last season.

“That’s just me going out there and showing them what I can do every play,” he said. “

 

Fine expected

Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway said he expects a fine for his hit on Johnson Sunday. Monday Greenway confirmed that he apologized to Johnson afterwards. “Obviously I didn’t mean any intent to hurt him or anything,” Greenway said. “I was just trying to play the game. Once I saw he was in a vulnerable position, I tried to pull off a little late obviously. Glad he wasn’t hurt and I hope he’s good.”

 

 

  • 3
  • Comments

ADVERTISEMENT

Miami - LP: M. Dunn 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 3
Arizona - WP: T. Cahill 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bettis 10
Texas - WP: M. Perez 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Houston - LP: J. Fields 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: F. Rodney 5
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 2
LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: D. Storen 5
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 5
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 10 FINAL
Toronto - LP: T. Redmond 8
Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo 6 FINAL
Detroit - LP: E. Reed 4
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 3
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 5
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 5
Charlotte 97 FINAL
Miami 101
Dallas 113 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Portland 112 FINAL
Houston 105
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Dallas 4
St. Louis 3 FINAL(OT)
Chicago 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many regular season games will Vikings win?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT