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.


Musgrave wants to get Harvin more involved

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, Lions, Leslie Frazier, Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier, Percy Harvin, Ryan Longwell, Tyrell Johnson Updated: September 22, 2011 - 12:46 PM

Like the fans that follow his team, Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said he, too, would like to get receiver Percy Harvin on the field more often after the team's best receiver played only 30 of 65 snaps in last week's 24-20 loss to the Buccaneers.

"We definitely want to expand Percy's dynamic ability," Musgrave said. "And we want to do a lot of good things, in all packages. In certain packages, Percy's a part of, and certain packages, he's not. But we want to play to his stengfths, make sure  -- he's so  dynamic and plays with such passion that we want to get a good bang for our buck when he is on the field.

"We want to keep growing that package [with Harvin], so we can get more production out of our entire offense."

Harvin has been on the field for only 57 of the team's 108 offensive plays this season. Musgrave said the limited snaps last week were the result of the team's success running the ball early on.

"It was, I think, due to a package we had that we were having success with running the ball," Musgrave said. "Everybody game plans and, at times, the game doesn't always go as we expect.

"We'll look for Percy to be out there as often as we can get him, of course, and the other day, we were having success running the ball early in the game, with a run of 16, a gain of 10, 11, things like that. We have a lot of good plays on offense we try to feature."

It's still confusing that Harvin isn't on the field for running plays, either as a decoy or as a blocker. Especially when coach Leslie Frazier and Musgrave have called Harvin a good run blocker.

"He's one of our best run blockers," said Musgrave, referring to the receiving corps.

Other highlights from today's media access:

  • Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac said the strong safety rotation will stay the same. Jamarca Sanford will start and Tyrell Johnson will continue to play. Johnson was arrested early Tuesday morning on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
  • Pagac said he expects CB Chris Cook (groin) to play against the Lions. Cook missed the second half of the Bucs game because of the groin injury. That would be a huge boost facing the Lions' passing attack. "At this point, I'm saying he's playing," Pagac said. "Again, I'm not the doctor. I'm not [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman or coach Frazier."
  • Asked what the problem has been in the second half this season, Pagac joked, "When you find out, let me know."
  • DT Kevin Williams will start, but the team will monitor his reps since it's his first game back from his two-game suspension. Williams hasn't played since the second preseason game.
  • Special teams coach Mike Priefer said K Ryan Longwell's limit on a field goal attempt at the end of a half or the game is 58 yards. "That sounds right," Longwell said in the locker room. "We've done that in practice."
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