Percy Harvin was on the field for only 45% of the Vikings‘ offensive snaps on Sunday, a number many people found alarmingly low, especially in light of the team’s second half struggles. Leslie Frazier however disputes the notion that the Vikings are misusing the dynamic Harvin, saying in his Wednesday press conference that Bill Musgrave is “taking the right approach” with the receiver. “[We're] just trying to use [Harvin] the right way,” Frazier told reporters when asked about the growing Percy Ratio controversy.
Harvin was a huge contributor in the first half Sunday when the Vikings rolled up a 17-0 lead on Tampa Bay, particularly during their 2nd quarter TD drive when McNabb found him on a pair of first down plays, one for 7 yards and the other for 19. In the second half Harvin was targeted 5 times for 22 yards and one first down. 11 of those yards came on the game’s final play with the Vikings setting up a desperation lateral.
Many will scoff at the notion that employing Harvin on only 45% of plays represents correct use of the receiver. However, the Vikings do come out in a lot of power running sets, and in those situations Michael Jenkins is probably a more valuable man to have on the field because of his blocking. If the Vikings do want to get Harvin on the field more, they will either have to dial back their use of multi-tight end and power-run sets or teach Harvin to become a better blocker.
The bottom line is, as long as the Vikings insist on running a relatively conservative, run-first offense, Harvin will continue to find himself on the sidelines for a large percentage of the team’s plays. When Frazier says the Vikings are using Harvin “the right way,” he is not only defending Musgrave’s specific use of Harvin, he is defending Musgrave’s overall philosophy.
So far that philosophy has yielded a mediocre offense and 2 frustrating losses. Draw your own conclusions.