Percy Harvin will be on a pitch count today against the Vikings – Seattle has $67 million reasons to be careful with Harvin after his hip surgery – but that doesn’t mean the receiver can’t have a major impact on the game. In fact Seattle’s plan is to make sure Harvin has an impact on the game, regardless of the pitch count. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says Harvin will get “meaningful” snaps as part of Seattle’s game plan against Minnesota.
In other words, Seattle will make a concerted effort to get the ball in Harvin’s hands. So look for some bubble screens and maybe an end-around or two. Perhaps Darrell Bevell will run some Wildcat with Percy like Bill Musgrave did in Minnesota.
A guy like Harvin opens up all sorts of possibilities for a creative playcaller. Bevell got a taste of that back when he was OC in Minnesota and Harvin was the new guy on the scene.
That first year the Vikings didn’t really have to design a lot of special stuff for Harvin, what with Brett Favre being the QB and all. But later on when Bevell and Favre were both gone, the Vikings sometimes struggled to find ways of utilizing Harvin, unique talent that he is. Musgrave seemed to solve that in the first half of last season, lining Harvin up everywhere on the field and just trying to get the ball in his hands.
If you want to be unkind about it, you could say the Vikings forced the ball to Harvin last season. But with no other really good receiver options on hand, you couldn’t blame Musgrave for forcing it a little to Percy.
The Seahawks certainly won’t force the ball to Harvin. They have plenty of other options including Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. And the quarterback Russell Wilson can run it too. Wilson has already flat out said he won’t come off his reads just to get the ball to Harvin, so forcing shouldn’t be an issue for Seattle.
It remains to be seen what kind of impact Harvin will ultimately have. But it certainly sounds like Seattle plans to make him a big part of what they’re trying to do. And that’s really not a surprise given all the money they’re paying him. Harvin needs to start justifying that contract, and Bevell needs to help him out by finding ways to get the ball in his hands.