The local buzz surrounding Percy Harvin's playing time isn't loud enough to change coach Leslie Frazier's mind when it comes to what he thinks is best for the Vikings offense.
"I think we've taken the right approach with Percy with his reps and the packages that we use him in," Frazier said Wednesday. "It's the right approach."
Harvin has team highs in catches (nine) and receiving yards (83). And his six carries are one more than backup running back Toby Gerhart. Yet with the team mired in a 0-2 start with a 27th-ranked offense that has scored only 30 points in two games, Harvin's playing time -- or lack thereof -- has come under scrutiny.
Harvin played on 30 of the Vikings' 65 offensive snaps in Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And according a review of playing time by 1500ESPN.com, Harvin played on 27 of the 43 snaps at San Diego the week before. So that's 57 of 108 snaps, or 52.8 percent.
Frazier was asked Wednesday if Harvin needed to show him something else to get on the field more.
"There's nothing he has to prove," Frazier said. "We know what Percy is capable of doing. He's a big-time playmaker, whether it's kickoff return or playing wide receiver. It's just a matter of using his strengths to our greatest advantage, to our team's advantage and picking out spots where we can do that."
The Vikings have a run-oriented, ball-control offense that often uses formations with three tight ends. Harvin often sits in those situations, although Frazier said blocking isn't an issue with Harvin.
"He's a very good run blocker," Frazier said. "He surprises some of those linebackers and DBs when he comes back and cracks. He's a tough guy, so that's not so much it as we have certain packages where we want to feature him and not necessarily overuse him, but use him to help our football team."
Harvin had a rib injury that limited him in training camp. He also has a history of migraines, although he has had no episodes this season. Frazier said health concerns are not a factor in Harvin's playing time.
"No, we just want to make sure we use him in the right way," Frazier said. "We want to get him his touches, we have an idea how many touches we want to get him per game and that will help our team."
Harvin has been targeted 12 times in the passing game, which is more than any other receiver. His 15 touches from scrimmage are second behind Adrian Peterson (45).
"A lot of people have talked about the percentage and the plays that he played," quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "I felt like he was on the field all the time with us because every time I look up he's either getting the ball or whatever it may have been. He was in the huddle. I don't know, that's between [offensive coordinator] Bill [Musgrave] and Leslie."
McNabb also talked about the advantage of just having Harvin's presence on the field.
"You definitely put a lot of pressure on defenses because now they have to show their hand," McNabb said. "If they somehow want to bring a safety or corner in the box, when they see him in the backfield, do they just want to stay base defense and sit back in a zone? Now you have a better understanding of what they want to do versus some of the packages that we have. Especially teams in our division that know what Percy is able to do."
Although Harvin has lobbied the coaches to return kickoffs this season, he's making a point not to complain about his percentage of snaps on offense.
"Whatever I can do to help this team, I'm willing to do it," Harvin said. "It's not my call. I'm only here to be ready when my number is called. That's Coach's decision. I'm ready whenever he needs me."