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Percy Harvin’s usage makes no sense

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin is brought down by Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner back Ronde Barber in the first quarter during their NFL game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis Reuters

The Vikings have two offensive players that scare anyone: Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. That’s it.

That’s why it makes no sense that Harvin wasn’t even on the field for more than half of last week’s game against the Bucs.  Consider that Harvin led the team in receptions (7) and yards (76) despite playing only 45% of the team’s snaps, according to Tom Pelissero of espn1500.com.

That yardage may not sound like much, but it’s more than Vikings wide receivers Bernard Berrian and Michael Jenkins have in the last two games combined.   (And we’re not even counting Harvin’s 33 yards rushing.)

This wasn’t just a case of Harvin sitting when the Vikings started to run with a lead. He sat out the first three plays from scrimmage.  He sat out 78% of the team’s red zone snaps.

I know Jenkins is a good blocker. And Berrian is the team’s imaginary deep threat.  (He has one catch this year.)  But the Vikings are simply doing the other team a favor when they keep Harvin off the field so much.

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83 Responses to “Percy Harvin’s usage makes no sense”
  1. purp4lyfe says: Sep 20, 2011 10:45 AM

    DUH!! Better wise up Vikings and fast.

  2. kevinfromphilly says: Sep 20, 2011 10:46 AM

    Is he getting migraines again?

  3. solidmarine says: Sep 20, 2011 10:49 AM

    Should have been a Patriot.

  4. apooster says: Sep 20, 2011 10:49 AM

    The problem is Percy is too small to play as an outside receiver, he’s a top 2 slot receiver in the NFL.

    Musgrave uses a lot of two and three TE sets and that limits adding the 3rd receiver a lot of times.

    Regardless, it’s the coaching staffs issue to get the ball into his hands, him and Peterson are the only legit playmakers. Send Berrian to the CFL.

  5. ajknox88 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:49 AM

    Maybe it’s not Berrian’s and Jenkins’ fault they have less than Harvin?

    But really you’re right Harvin is the most dynamic player the Vikings have and he should play the majority of plays, as a Lion’s fan it seems like this guy gets hurt way too often and that is the reason why he isn’t always playing. Correct me if I’m wrong Viking’s fans.

  6. castleofcheese says: Sep 20, 2011 10:50 AM

    They’re the Vikings. Honestly, what do you expect?

  7. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Sep 20, 2011 10:51 AM

    Hmmmmmm. Perhaps Leslie Frazier is actually a worse coach than Chilly. Wouldn’t that be funny!

  8. chc4 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:52 AM

    Maybe he had a headache.

  9. schmitty2 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:53 AM

    A LOT of things the Vikes do makes no sense

  10. kibawib says: Sep 20, 2011 10:55 AM

    Yes Harvin should be on the field more. I was at the game and wondered if he was hurt. But the Vikings have much bigger problems–such as coaching. The team is penalty prone, they’ve shown poor tackling, and as Harvin said on Monday, there were two red zone plays where the team wasn’t even lined up properly–inexcusable. The only solace is the fact we were picked last in the NFC North and I would have been surprised to see this squad win more than 6 games. This is what happens when you have the fewest draft picks in the league (since Spielman took over in 2006). Better days ahead, though. We still have AP and Harvin. 2012 draft here we come!

  11. glenne81 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:55 AM

    has anything this team has done in the last,,,oh say, 50 years made any sense?????

    as a purple blooded vikes fan, this is pathetic.

  12. captainwisdom8888 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:56 AM

    Minnesota is “playing” for a top draft pick already…

  13. packerrube13 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:57 AM

    I like Frazier a lot, but he is making a lot of odd coaching decisions. He is the reason they are 0-2 and 2-0, which they should be. Blowing two double digit leads in the second half, one of which was in the 4th quarter, is unacceptable.

    He’s a rookie head coach though, he’ll figure it out. I just hate seeing a stud like AP, and his career, being wasted.

  14. dompal10 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:59 AM

    Let’s see: we’ve stuggled on Offense for 4 out of 8 quarters…badly.

    So let’s keep our most dynamic offensive player off the field?

    Sounds like the genius that Vikings football is all about.

    (migraines MUST still be aproblem, huh?)

  15. sports_dude says: Sep 20, 2011 11:00 AM

    Percy Harvin is a playmaker, this new coach in MN needs to realize this.

  16. vikesfansteve says: Sep 20, 2011 11:01 AM

    Greg,

    You do know the Vikings lined up in the wrong formation twice on goal line plays that would have been easy td’s. Can’t get the ball to the right guys in the wrong place.

    The Vikings will win the next 3 in a row. Maniacal laughter.

  17. kernelreefer says: Sep 20, 2011 11:02 AM

    Absolutely makes no sense. When you have such a great multidimensional threat, you’d think you’d want to use it.

    Certainly more threatening than “Webbcat” or Blazer or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

  18. carson9 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:02 AM

    Leslie Frazier will be out of the job in 2 years time. His defense is old as dirt, and Jared Allen is on the decline. Not sold on Christian Ponder either.

  19. laramsfan003 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:02 AM

    Wow they’re making the Rams coaching look GOOD. And that’s just SCARY!!!

  20. threedeep1998 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:02 AM

    absolutely crazy. He should be the real #1 over Berrian

  21. thephantomstranger says: Sep 20, 2011 11:03 AM

    That is weird. Harvin should always be one of the wide receivers on the field unless he just ran for 60 yards on the previous play. The coaching decisions have been perplexing so far, but I had a lot of confidence in this staff before the season started and I’m not ready to jump off the bandwagon yet. I think they’re learning as they go and the team should get better as the season goes on.

  22. kmdp4 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:03 AM

    The Vikings suck and trading for McSuck was an idiotic move at best, when are they going to realize they are not one old QB away from winning a SB?

  23. redguy12588 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:04 AM

    I thought you were talking about a different kind of usage.

  24. mavajo says: Sep 20, 2011 11:05 AM

    The Vikings making stupid decisions? In other news, Jon Gruden likes every player on the field.

  25. johnsticle says: Sep 20, 2011 11:06 AM

    And this is just one of many reasons that we can’t be taken seriously…

  26. 00reo says: Sep 20, 2011 11:07 AM

    Maybe b/c Harvin is more of a slot guy and McNabb hasn’t learned the full 3wide offense yet? Just a guess since I don’t watch the Vikings. They might be trying to keep things simple for McNabb though.

  27. rpiotr01 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:07 AM

    Step 1.) Draft dynamic, play-making WR

    Step 2.) Over think game plan; decide team would be better without said play-making WR on the field as much as possible.

    Step 3.) Lose games.

    Yessir – The Viking Way.

  28. notrelated says: Sep 20, 2011 11:08 AM

    Perhaps everyone is still adjusting at having to compete with worms for catches.

  29. madtolive5 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:08 AM

    Real Football is not fantasy football.
    Once PFT realizes that they could actually give real analysis of the game.

    Percy Harvin, can’t block, can’t run fake routes, and isn’t durable. He is a really good returner and can play when the ball is in his hands but that isn’t everything in a football game.

  30. VikesPrincess (Lisa) says: Sep 20, 2011 11:09 AM

    Bill Musgrave needs to be put on probation with 2 weeks to improve or get the boot. I’d take Bevell over this guy.

  31. firerogergoodell says: Sep 20, 2011 11:10 AM

    Great article Gregg. Tom Pelissero is the best Vikings source. Great to see him getting some recognition. He really pays attention to close detail and knows his stuff. This predictable Vikings offense needs to go. Bill Musgrave is starting to look like Brad Childress.

  32. pistolsmoke says: Sep 20, 2011 11:11 AM

    I hope Leslie Frazier reads this!

  33. a412kid says: Sep 20, 2011 11:12 AM

    maybe he needed an Aleve

  34. fargovikesfan says: Sep 20, 2011 11:12 AM

    They could tape the ball to Berrian’s hands and he’d still drop it.

    Unfortunately the rest of the team only plays about a half a game per week anyway, so Harvin is pretty much on par with everyone else.

  35. diamonddave1 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:14 AM

    here we go again-the more things change the more they stay the same..are you sure childress and bevell are gone????
    as good as the nfc norris division is–maybe its already time to enter the christian ponder era and stop with the nonsense. give the kid this season to get seasoned and hope for some kind of miracle next year.

  36. trollhammer20 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:15 AM

    I was expecting to read something about how he should be using a water pipe instead of rolling blunts, because it filters out a lot of the soot inhaled through an unfiltered cigarette.

    But I’m wrong like that.

  37. fthrvic says: Sep 20, 2011 11:17 AM

    ummmm….true?

  38. mike83ri says: Sep 20, 2011 11:17 AM

    Gregg loves to troll fans.

  39. 7thlombardiontheway says: Sep 20, 2011 11:17 AM

    If he’s on the field any longer he’s guaranteed an injury or migraine.

  40. joesuhunka says: Sep 20, 2011 11:18 AM

    Bring back Chilly!!!

  41. Michael says: Sep 20, 2011 11:20 AM

    Sounds like someone touted Harvin for a big year and it’s not happening yet…

  42. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 20, 2011 11:22 AM

    Maybe if they had Rex Grossman at QB….

  43. bigd4defense says: Sep 20, 2011 11:23 AM

    Were I a Vikes fan, I’d be aggravated at what’s going on in Minnesota.

  44. detroitkitty says: Sep 20, 2011 11:24 AM

    Here’s hoping they increase that % on the bench to 80% this Sunday.

    Go Lions!

  45. bleedpurple10 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:26 AM

    I’m not surprised. Watching the game I was wondering where Percy was, especially in key situations. This is just another example the coaches have no idea what they’re doing and the reason our OC hasn’t been successful as an OC anywhere he’s been. Excited for nothing about this season. The preseason hype was just that. hype!

  46. rkel10 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:29 AM

    He’s had more migranes than receptions!

  47. adantsa says: Sep 20, 2011 11:32 AM

    As a Vikes fan, I’ve seen first hand how incredible Percy can be. This makes no sense and how Bernard Berrian is still getting balls thrown his way is beyond me. Should still be an entertaining year, but the Vikings are in trouble in the toughest division in football.

  48. cardiovascularendurance says: Sep 20, 2011 11:32 AM

    I thought this was going to be a story that linked to a study claiming marijuana use had no apparent effect on migraine symptoms. I clicked the headline with much skepticism.

  49. professorcolumbus says: Sep 20, 2011 11:32 AM

    As a Bucs fan: “Thank you, Vikings coaching staff (and also for putting the ball in McNabb’s hands instead of Peterson for pretty much the whole second half.)”

  50. dustins83 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:34 AM

    Cool story, bro

  51. hateonjags says: Sep 20, 2011 11:39 AM

    Harvin is playing a new position,packer, hes packing equipment, LA bound

  52. Lev says: Sep 20, 2011 11:46 AM

    They’re keeping him healthy in the hopes he can have 1,000 yards next year with Luck passing him the ball??

  53. jokendave says: Sep 20, 2011 11:48 AM

    Kevin W. is coming back. I suggest they cut B.Berian and put J.Webb at WR and use Percey more and that will help alot. People know they have to watch out for Webb also.

  54. m2karateman says: Sep 20, 2011 11:49 AM

    As a Lions fan, I can attest that my only concerns regarding the Vikings are AP and Harvin. If the Vikes don’t use, or lose, either one of them appropriately their season is doomed.

  55. geniusesq says: Sep 20, 2011 11:50 AM

    How’s McNabb doing??

  56. blaz0037 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:19 PM

    ANYONE who says ANY team is playing for Andrew Luck at this point of the season is a clueless dunce. Its that simple.

  57. blaz0037 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:22 PM

    And as bad as the Vikes looked, they could easily be 2-0.

  58. fcmlefty1 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:22 PM

    There are ways to keep Percy off the line of scrimage and still have 2 TE’s on the field. If I know that, Musgrave should too…

  59. purpleguy says: Sep 20, 2011 12:39 PM

    This offensive performance, while poor, was expected with a new O-coordinator, new QB, no off-season, and a short pre-season. Whining about Harvin’s use is a red herring — the guy is still getting the ball more than anyone but AP. The concern should be McPuke’s accuracy, the lack of separation by the other WRs, and the poor play of Erin Henderson and the safeties on defense.

  60. whoisgonnasing says: Sep 20, 2011 12:40 PM

    I’d like to see more of Toby as well…nice 1-2 combination with A.D.

  61. nyjetsholdupsbtrophyin2012 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:47 PM

    Yeah NO S–t!! This kid in the right situation would be the most explosive player in the league!!

  62. Soulman45 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:53 PM

    I am glade the fans of Minns is getting ready for a beat down THE GREAT DETROIT LIONS got something for you come get some of this.

  63. thevikes85 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:01 PM

    We may end up with Andrew Luck.Shame he can’t play defense too.Still no point complaining get behind the team.SKOL.

  64. gregjennings85 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:02 PM

    Music to this Packer fan’s ears. Keep Percy off the field.

  65. minnesconsin says: Sep 20, 2011 1:16 PM

    When the Packers play the Vikes, the only 2 guys I’m worried about are AP and Percy. Without Percy on the field, defenses are free to key on Peterson all day long (bad pun, i know). The rest of MN’s pass catchers, including stank-ho, are no threat to a borderline competent secondary — besides, tough to catch the ball as it skips to your feet.

    Randall Cobb is the new Harvin, by the way. He’ll see limited action as a rookie on a roster w/ solid WR depth, but look out for him in the next couple seasons.

  66. philyeagles5 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:18 PM

    apooster says:
    Sep 20, 2011 10:49 AM
    The problem is Percy is too small to play as an outside receiver, he’s a top 2 slot receiver in the NFL.

    Musgrave uses a lot of two and three TE sets and that limits adding the 3rd receiver a lot of times.

    Regardless, it’s the coaching staffs issue to get the ball into his hands, him and Peterson are the only legit playmakers. Send Berrian to the CFL.
    ==============================
    sorry to break it to ya but Harvin is 1 inch taller than DeSean Jackson, so lets quit with this small crap. anyone short of midgets could play in the NFL if they have the ability.

  67. cowboyfaninut says: Sep 20, 2011 1:19 PM

    Playing for chilly and now a staff who doesn’t seem much better I would have a headache too.

  68. voiceofrealism says: Sep 20, 2011 1:20 PM

    blaz0037 says:
    And as bad as the Vikes looked, they could easily be 2-0.
    ————————-
    Apparently not that easily, or they would be.

  69. beltmerica says: Sep 20, 2011 1:23 PM

    Skol ineptness

  70. emoney12 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:36 PM

    They are trying to keep him healthy so he can be the new face of the Los Angeles Vikings.

  71. canadianvikingfaniii says: Sep 20, 2011 1:43 PM

    Bill Muskrat is an idiot. I am really questioning his intelligence in the first two games I have seen. Firstly, he has attempted maybe 3 deep passes in these games. He has Jim Kleinsasser used as a recieving threat more than Kyle Rudolph… The amount of touches Toby Gerhart has received is abysmal. And the only true threat receiver we have in Percy who is easily a 10 catch 100+ yard slot man like Welker is having to fight for plays against Stone hands Troy Williamson incarnate Bernard Berrian, and Michael Short Ball Catch Jenkins.

    This offense is more of a joke than last year, at this point I’d of welcomed Favre back, at least he would try and force it downfield and make some completions over 10 yards deep.

  72. shaggytoodle says: Sep 20, 2011 1:43 PM

    Harvin, is solid player as I have said, but don’t ever use a 1st round pick on a wr/hb/kr ever.

    It doesn’t work out, it didn’t work out for Reggie Bush either. They cost WAY too much money. Often wind up getting dinged up easy. You need to design plays to get the out in the open to be effective instead of just plugging them in.

    Another advice as far as drafting goes, don’t take a player graded around 30s in the top 15 picks either, thats not easiest way to build a franchise.

  73. pack13queens0 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:49 PM

    Are the Queens just trying to throw games away to make the move to LA easier? They don’t need to, Minnesota will never approve a Stadium anyway. New Year’s Day 2012 is a day in the history books, the final NFL game ever to be played in the State of Minnesota. Skol LA Vikings!

  74. tonyc908 says: Sep 20, 2011 1:55 PM

    Harvin not playing is Leslie Frasier at his best. He is worse than Chilly. Can someone tell me why he saved his 3 timeouts against the bucs for the Lions game (Sarcasm). But why did we not use them to have a chance to get the ball with nearly 2 minutes left and a chance to win. Clueless and over his head

  75. airraid77 says: Sep 20, 2011 2:34 PM

    you have to know how to run routes, who to block…….. or you are a liability on the field….athletic talent doesnt make up for stupidity.

  76. pigskinswag says: Sep 20, 2011 2:41 PM

    Vikings + Leslie Frazier + Peterson + McNabb – Favre – Harvin – Bryant McKinnie = LAST PLACE

  77. deconjonesbitchslap says: Sep 20, 2011 2:43 PM

    the vikings make no sense. they run first and second in a pass first league. they are doomed to fail.

    0-16.

    Harvin is an athletic freak. like peterson, they say he was pro ready after high school. but it’s the vikings. they only waste talent. case and point: Joe FUC*ING WEBB!!!!

  78. qoojo says: Sep 20, 2011 3:09 PM

    Kind of like how I would always thank Childress for not running AP more in the second half of a game where he tore the packers a new one in the first half.

  79. visnovsky says: Sep 20, 2011 4:17 PM

    I didn’t realize it was possible to have a dumber offensive coaching staff than the Chilly regime, but it is. Fire ‘em all.

  80. granadafan says: Sep 20, 2011 4:18 PM

    It’s hard to have receiver stats when the guy throwing the ball only has double digit passing yardage.

  81. aweber102405 says: Sep 20, 2011 4:41 PM

    I had read Frazier interviewed for 7 different head coaching jobs over the last few years…..maybe we are seeing the reason he didnt get those jobs

  82. MossMoon2Packers says: Sep 20, 2011 5:45 PM

    I disagree with some of the things that Frazier and his staff have done, especially in keeping non-productive players — e.g., Berrian and T. Johnson — on the field, while not making better use of talented players like Harvin. But I think it’s too early to assess the Vikings’ coaches’ performance because the lockout pretty much wiped-out training camp and really hurt the new coaches’ ability to evaluate the players, and, therefore, implement the schemes/plays to better use their talents. Also, the offensive players (old and new) are learning a new system, and that requires a KISS game plan and a period of adjustment for the players. Lastly, the Vikings lack talent in some key areas (let’s be honest) and you can’t expect great performance out of average players. As Bud Grant noted, a coach needs talented players to win games.

  83. jebdamone says: Sep 20, 2011 7:06 PM

    the vikings entire offensive scheme made no sense this last sunday. i was at the game and had no idea what we were trying to do out there. at times we were swapping WRs on every play and rarely were jenkins and percy on the field at the same time. we forced the double tight end set all game and did nothing down field. percy was used only on short bubble screens and short outs when he is truly destructive between the hashes and in the seams. we went to him once in that area and got a pass interference call. i am just as shocked and confused by the musgrave offense as i was with klink and bevell’s KAO.

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