Vikings are best when Harvin is raising havoc

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 18, 2012 - 10:04 AM

He's been tough, he's been productive and he's the spark that ignites the offense.

If you're keeping a running log of Percy Praise this season, it's time to add Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and Ken Whisenhunt to the register.

With the Cardinals preparing to march into Mall of America Field on Sunday, both Fitzgerald and Whisenhunt are fully aware that Percy Harvin has been a major catalyst for the Vikings' fast start.

And neither were shy with their compliments Wednesday.

Fitzgerald, tuned in enough to appreciate receiving brilliance from afar, labeled Harvin "the most dynamic offensive player in the game" right now.

"It's hard to miss him," Fitzgerald said. "He's on ESPN every weekend with the highlight plays."

So often, in fact, that Fitzgerald compares Harvin's fearless playing style to Adrian Peterson's.

"He's not scared of contact," Fitzgerald said. "He doesn't shy away from it. ... Those kind of guys make me glad I don't have to play defense. There's no way I'd want to have to tackle guys with those kinds of moves and that kind of power."

Whisenhunt, meanwhile, is busy formulating a plan to contain Harvin, a task he knows has few obvious solutions.

"He's all over the place," Whisenhunt said. "It's tough. You have to be aware of where he is and try to understand how they're going to attack with him. ... He's versatile and explosive and tough."

The long and short of it

It'd be outlandish to suggest the Vikings are underutilizing Harvin, whose 49 catches are the most ever by a Viking through six games. Harvin has been targeted on 62 passes this season and has also added 15 runs for 63 yards, clearly a focal point in offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's attack.

But there remains some question as to why Harvin is used almost exclusively on shorter passes.

Of his 49 catches, only four have been hauled in more than 15 yards downfield. And of Harvin's seven receptions this year for 20 yards or more, three were caught behind the line of scrimmage or within 4 yards.

Said quarterback Christian Ponder: "Obviously, the stuff underneath is working really well. [Percy] caught a go-ball a couple weeks ago [against Tennessee] and we had a deep ball against Washington caught down the middle. We're going to find ways to get him downfield and keep getting him stuff underneath.

"But we're going to keep giving him the ball no matter what."

This week, there's also the matter of those nine first-quarter red zone plays the Vikings had in Washington where Harvin didn't touch the ball.

On Wednesday, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier again attempted to explain Harvin's limited red zone role.

"We had some things where we would have liked to try to get him the ball when he was in there," Frazier said. "But they did a good job on defense."

True grit

Still, it's hard to look back on Harvin's first six games with anything but glowing praise.

Perhaps more impressive than his productivity has been his toughness. Against the Redskins, for example, it wasn't just that he had a career-best 11 catches for 133 yards. It's that after almost all of those grabs, he went into Tasmanian Devil-mode, zooming around and slamming into defenders at every opportunity.

That's a big reason Harvin's 415 yards after the catch leads the NFL by a wide margin. (New England's Wes Welker is second with 300.)

Yet even with all those demolition derby collisions, Harvin continues to bounce back up.

"I'm a little sore," he admitted Monday. "But no sorer than anybody else."

A year ago, Harvin was listed on the injury report before seven games, slowed by injuries to the point that Frazier and his staff felt compelled to rein in his role a tad.

But so far this season, Harvin has yet to miss a practice and surfaced on the injury report for the first time last week with a minor hamstring injury.

At this point, with Harvin providing the green light, the Vikings will continue turning him loose, still conscious of keeping their playmaker in one piece but no longer feeling restrained in how they use him

Said Frazier: "We're going to always try to do what's best for the team. And what's best for our team is to have Percy on the field. That's obvious. "His style of play is not going to change, so we're going to utilize his talents to the fullest."

  • related content

  • Week 7 three-and-out

    Wednesday October 17, 2012

    1. Larry Fitzgerald can't seem to find continuity with a quarterback.

  • Week 7 scouting report: Arizona Cardinals

    Wednesday October 17, 2012

    game 7VIKINGSVS. ARIZONANoon SundayMall of America FieldTV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)Line: Vikings by 6ABOUT ARIZONARECORD: 4-2• The Cardinals lost at...

  • Vikings turn to espionage

    Wednesday October 17, 2012

    Backup cornerback A.J. Jefferson has been a popular fella among the coaching staff at Winter Park this week.

  • Chart: NFL's leading receivers

    Wednesday October 17, 2012

    2012 NFL RECEPTION LEADERS Longest receptionsPlayer Rec. Yds. Avg. 20+ yds. 40+ yds.Percy Harvin, Vikings 49 540 11.0 7 1Wes Welker, New England 48 622 13.0 6 2Victor Cruz, N.Y. Giants 43 496 11.5 5 1Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta 43 430 10.0 2 0A.J. Green, Cincinnati 43 628 14.6 7 3Reggie Wayne,...

  • VikesCentric: Percy's prolific pace

    Thursday October 18, 2012

    We take a look at Percy Harvin's pursuit of both the NFL's and Vikings' single-season reception record.

  • Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin on the opening drive at FedEx Field in Andover, Maryland.

  • VIKINGS WEEK 7

    Up next: Noon Sunday vs. Arizona

    Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 FINAL
Washington 5
Boston 8 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 8
Toronto 0 Top 8th Inning
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 50 3rd Qtr
Chicago 48
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 3 3rd Prd
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Minnesota 2 3rd Prd 2:25
Washington 1
Toronto 1 3rd Prd 17:33
Tampa Bay 2
Dallas 2 3rd Prd 19:16
Florida 3
NY Islanders 2 2nd Prd 1:10
Nashville 1
Vancouver 0 1st Prd 5:38
Arizona 0
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 83 FINAL
Bucknell 90
Western Ky 88 FINAL
Charlotte 84
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
UAB 59 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 64 2nd Half 0:13
Appalachian St 67
SC State 49 2nd Half 7:22
Bethune-Cookman 57
Delaware State 93 2nd Half 1:51
Coppin State 83
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 64 2nd Half 1:00
Ga Southern 74
Norfolk State 65 2nd Half 6:32
Hampton 58
NC A&T 50 2nd Half 5:45
NC Central 54
Savannah State 28 2nd Half 20:00
Florida A&M 23
Southern Miss 43 2nd Half 9:11
Louisiana Tech 54
Marshall 42 2nd Half 7:21
Old Dominion 56
Rice 68 2nd Half 3:12
TX-San Antonio 66
South Alabama 47 2nd Half
Arkansas State 33
Alabama State 18 1st Half 9:50
Grambling St 8
Alabama A&M 19 1st Half 5:00
Jackson State 31
Sam Houston St 17 1st Half 8:00
Lamar 12
Georgia State 29 2nd Half 16:21
ULM 37
Central Arkansas 24 2nd Half 20:00
Nicholls 40
Portland State 23 2nd Half
Northern Ariz 22
Southern U 17 1st Half 9:35
Prairie View 20
Alcorn State 21 1st Half 5:00
Texas Southern 33
Houston Baptist 29 2nd Half
TX A&M-CC 46
Ark-Little Rock 27 2nd Half
Louisiana 32
SE Louisiana 26 1st Half 8:10
New Orleans 22
California 14 1st Half 10:01
Arizona 25
Memphis 22 1st Half 6:04
Connecticut 12
VA Commonwealth 9 1st Half 10:15
Davidson 21
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 25 1st Half 5:35
Southern Utah 24
Northwestern St 20 1st Half 9:20
Stephen F Austin 31
North Texas 18 1st Half 5:26
Texas-El Paso 33
Colorado 24 1st Half 4:03
Washington 11
Idaho 15 1st Half 7:48
Weber State 21
Abilene Christian 4 1st Half 18:00
Incarnate Word 0
Eastern Wash 31 1st Half 3:52
Idaho State 25
Marist 18 1st Half 11:52
Quinnipiac 14
Eastern Ill 2 1st Half 14:51
Belmont 15
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 36 2nd Half 17:21
(15) North Carolina 41
Presbyterian 33 2nd Half
High Point 31
Charlotte 51 2nd Half 9:07
Western Ky 65
Texas-El Paso 46 2nd Half 7:50
North Texas 49
Wichita State 68 2nd Half 5:59
Evansville 54
Loyola-Chicago 48 2nd Half 7:39
Northern Iowa 51
Bradley 47 2nd Half 6:36
Drake 68
Vanderbilt 25 2nd Half
(12) Kentucky 24
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Colorado 15 1st Half 11:28
USC 15
San Francisco 26 1st Half 8:38
Pacific 22
Idaho State 15 1st Half 8:38
Eastern Washington 18
Weber State 10 1st Half 9:20
Idaho 21
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
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
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close