Hartman: Harvin has skills of the great ones

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 25, 2012 - 6:55 AM

 Vikings assistant coach George Stewart lauds the wideout's versatility, toughness and raw speed.

Maybe no one is more qualified to judge pass catchers than Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart, who is in the midst of his 24th season coaching in the NFL.

He worked with Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens in San Francisco, helping Owens to be selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2000-2002. He also mentored Falcons star Roddy White during White's first two seasons in Atlanta (2005 and 2006), when Stewart was wide receivers coach there.

The thing that makes a Hall of Fame-caliber receiver, Stewart says, is that they have qualities that separate them from other greats, a quality he believes is apparent in Vikings star Percy Harvin.

"It's hard to compare Percy, and I'm not a person who likes to compare, but for what he's doing for our football team right now, he's doing an outstanding job," Stewart said. "He's such a versatile player, as you know. He does a great job of returning kicks and as a receiver."

While Harvin has played multiple roles for the Vikings this season, including rushing for 73 yards and a touchdown and also posting 492 kickoff return yards and a touchdown, it's at wide receiver where he has truly put things together.

Harvin is on pace for more than 1,300 yards receiving and 121 receptions. Those projections would surpass his previous career bests -- 87 receptions and 967 yards in 2011 -- by a wide margin.

"I've coached a lot of great ones, Jerry [Rice], Terrell Owens, Tim Brown, a lot of people know those types of guys are all great football players because they all were different and all brought different things," Stewart said. "Percy brings something different than those other guys had, because he has so much toughness and so much raw speed.

"He's a real good one. It's hard not to disclaim, of course, because in different eras there are different players, different times, different people, but he is very special. All those guys are very special, he's another one. He has the complete package in a football player."

What is it that makes Harvin so different from other wideouts playing today?

"It's God-given," Stewart said. "He has a special set of athletic skills that I think other people in the league are envious of because he does have a skill set that is unbelievable. It is hard to compare him, because he brings so much to the table. The other thing I will say about Percy Harvin is his will, his effort, his ability to play the game of football is very unique."

Peterson back in shape

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a fantastic game in the 21-14 victory over the Cardinals last weekend, rushing 23 times for 153 yards and one touchdown. The former Oklahoma great was asked if this performance meant he is back to pre-knee injury form.

"I can just control what I can control and that's pushing each week to help my team get a win and that will get us to our ultimate goal of winning this division," Peterson said.

"What did you think? I think I'm getting better each week, getting stronger, each week I'm getting stronger. I felt pretty good.

"[It was] 100 percent as far as the knee, I'm a little banged up but it comes with the territory, especially at the running back position. You have to be able to mentally push through that.

"I always say hey, you can use me as you like. I'm going to play with the same effort on each snap. A lot of guys contributed to the win on defense and special teams. It felt good to get the win at home."

Use AP in red zone

Harvin was asked about Peterson's performance, especially when the team had a chance to score early.

"In the red zone we want to get it to Adrian, that's one thing we kind of got away from and want to get back to," Harvin said. "He's starting to shake back into form. Anytime we get in the red zone, our first play is to run [No.] 28 and if that doesn't work, try it again and if that doesn't work, try it again and then maybe trying something else.

"If he's not 100 [percent] then I'd say he was 99.8, [vs. the Cardinals]. I saw him getting back to his normal self."

Nelson ready for start

Gophers coach Jerry Kill explained how quarterback Philip Nelson, who going to be redshirted as a freshman, prepared for his first start against Wisconsin last Saturday.

"It was a situation where he took a lot of reps in practice," Kill said. "MarQueis Gray is not 100 percent. We need MarQueis, and I visited with him [about] keeping him on the perimeter and being able to get some play out of him. It's a lot easier to run with a bad ankle on the perimeter than it is on the inside and throwing the football and handing it off.

"We're not physically gifted up front enough yet to just run the ball straight downhill on a Wisconsin football team, and probably several teams coming up."

Kill added that Gray's replacement, sophomore Max Shortell, had gotten dinged up the previous week against Northwestern and had tingling in his shoulder and hands Tuesday of last week.

"I said, 'Hey we need some durability in this thing,' so we took Philip and he got the majority of the reps and we made that decision," Kill explained. "I talked to Philip and [quarterbacks coach] Jimmy [Zebrowski] talked to the quarterbacks at 8:30 on Friday night and and I talked to Philip at about 9:30 on Friday night [to inform him he would start]."

Jones on Tobacco Road

Apple Valley point guard Tyus Jones reported to Rivals.com about his recruiting visit, along with family members, to North Carolina and Duke last weekend.

About North Carolina, he said: "I have a very good relationship with [coach Roy Williams]. He just told me about their program and how good of a school that is. He was just talking about how talented his team is and how important having a good point guard to him is."

About his visit to Duke: "[Coach Mike Krzyzewski] just thinks I fit in really well with their system there and he thinks he can help me out with my game because of how I play."

Jones also said he was impressed with both North Carolina's facilities and basketball hall of fame, and of Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium, which he found inspiring, if surprisingly small.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Craig: Thursday night turnaround hard on players, visiting teams

    Thursday October 25, 2012

    Recovery time is short for players when NFL teams play on Thursday night. Even worse for the road team: They usually lose.

  • The Call: Vikings vs. Tampa Bay

    Wednesday October 24, 2012

    One man's prediction: With their passing attack sputtering, the Vikings seem vulnerable to an upset. But it's hard to get...

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
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: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close