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Frazier defends limiting Harvin’s role

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

Rosenthal recently pointed out that Vikings receiver Percy Harvin wasn’t on the field for nearly half of Minnesota’s offensive snaps in a 24-20 loss to the Buccaneers.  On Wednesday, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier defended the decision to give Harvin reduced reps.

There’s nothing he has to prove,” Frazier said, per Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “We know what Percy’s capable of doing.  He’s a big-time playmaker, whether it’s on kickoff return or playing wide receiver.  It’s just a matter of our using his strengths to our greatest advantage, to our team’s advantage and picking out spots when we do that.”

Quarterback Donovan McNabb agrees.  “A lot of people talked about the percentage and the plays,” 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.”

That’s fine, but why isn’t a guy with that kind of talent on the field all the time?  If nothing else, he can be a decoy who demands defensive attention, opening things up for his teammates.

Harvin has taken the high road, for now.  “That’s not my call at all,” Harvin said.  “That’s Coach’s decision.  All I can do is come out here and get better, this team get better, and hopefully, turn this thing around and head in the right direction.”

Frazier said that there are no health issues with Harvin, and Harvin’s migraines coincidentally have cleared up since Brad Childress left the team.  But when a team has a rare talent like Harvin, the team needs to use him.

If the Vikings were 2-0 or even 1-1, it would be easier to understand the approach.  But the Vikings are 0-2, which means that whatever the team is doing isn’t working.

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72 Responses to “Frazier defends limiting Harvin’s role”
  1. peed1 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:21 PM

    Poorly coached team.
    Farve, Mcnabb, when will teams learn that over the hill players are a waste?

  2. textexington says: Sep 21, 2011 8:21 PM

    Packers > Vikings. Go Pack Go!!!

  3. christinamer says: Sep 21, 2011 8:22 PM

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  4. VikesPrincess (Lisa) says: Sep 21, 2011 8:23 PM

    Frazier doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing. And Musgrave is worse.

  5. rushbacker says: Sep 21, 2011 8:24 PM

    Obviously, Leslie Frazier needs to consult with PFT and figure out how to properly manage his personnel.

    *rolls eyes*

  6. unbiased8383 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:24 PM

    I’m glad that I’m not a Vikings fan. McNabb can’t stop saying dumb sh#t. Two years ago this team was loaded w talent and was only a qb away from a super bowl run. Favre screwed up in the championship game but you still thought that w a good qb performance they’d still have the pieces to compete for a few more years. Now they just seem hopeless. Bench or cut McNabb see what Ponder can do. I’d rather have Garrard than McNabb at this point.

  7. cameran0804 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:25 PM

    Let’s hear what all the haters have to say! Meaning packer & bear fans!

  8. egls7 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:25 PM

    for the sake of his job and my fantasy football team, he better start involving harvin

  9. mankato98 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:28 PM

    It only makes sense to have your best playmakers and athletes on the field as much as possible. That not only includes Percy Harvin, but I would say that it also includes Joe Webb (but NOT at QB or in the “Blazer” package). I see Webb as essentially being a bigger Harvin, to play WR/RB.

  10. claymatthewsloveshgh says: Sep 21, 2011 8:28 PM

    Love the Vikes, but Frazier has been about 3 or 4 bonehead decisions and statements in the last 2 weeks. Starting to wonder if he is head coach material…as much as I like the guy…I liked Mike Tice as well and we all know how horrible of a HC he was!

  11. claymatthewsloveshgh says: Sep 21, 2011 8:29 PM

    *made

  12. packfaninchitown says: Sep 21, 2011 8:30 PM

    Frazier defends limiting Harvin’s role

    And he has an 0-2 record to support his actions…

  13. nelspetersen says: Sep 21, 2011 8:31 PM

    As a diehard Viking fan I am extremely frustrated with how little we use Harvin. He should be used on as a PR/KR in addition to his role on offense. I have no faith in Lorenzo Booker seeing as how he cannot break tackles and lacks the top end speed to take it the house. I think Musgrave has some good ideas on how to get Percy the ball in space but he needs to keep implementing more of those types of plays.

  14. visnovsky says: Sep 21, 2011 8:33 PM

    It took until October of Chilly’s first year for me to give up on him; it only took two games of his first full year for me to do the same with Frazier.

  15. mbart82 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:35 PM

    I agree that he needs to be out there more. He is one of a very few number of players we have that can draw extra attention from the defense. He doesn’t need to have a certain amount of touches but he needs to help keep defenses at least a tiny bit honest. (Just input from a concerned fan Leslie!)

  16. bitchassjosh says: Sep 21, 2011 8:41 PM

    one would think that getting him in the game more would create more instances where harvin could use his overly impressive abilities. but what fo i know, im not a coach….

  17. mikemccarthyisfat says: Sep 21, 2011 8:48 PM

    Christ. I never thought anyone could be as smug and clueless as chilly. Leslie Frazier is throwing his hat in the ring early.

  18. pwrback2 says: Sep 21, 2011 8:49 PM

    I have to agree to get him on the field even as a decoy to pull someone out of the box. I would say get rid T Johnson has proven another bad decision off the field let alone on it. Cut BBarrain and put Webb as a WR and use his talents, pick up another QB with Johnsons or Berrians spot. Have to maximize your stars!!! Has to be mismatches somewhere. I hate to say it but our 2nd halfs have resembled CHILDRESS no adjustments. If the offense doesn’t get going with McNabb lets find out what we have in Ponder, every rep he’s going to learn more about his teammates and himself. Frustrating with so much talent and not taking advantage of it. my 2 cents

  19. randomjim says: Sep 21, 2011 8:50 PM

    He (Frazier) defended it but gave a crappy explanation.
    Nice Childress pot shot.
    Even though he had his issues, he did his homework on Harvin & Peterson.

  20. bighyzer says: Sep 21, 2011 9:02 PM

    As a Vikes fan I’ve (almost) always blindly accepted everything the leadership has said/done with the utmost faith, good or bad. But, sorry to say, I’m starting to think we should have gone after a more experienced and confident coaching staff leader – like Cowher or Gruden. That said, Skol Vikings!

  21. randallcobb says: Sep 21, 2011 9:05 PM

    Chilly’s gone and so are the headaches. Now that’s funny.

  22. gergie1957 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:07 PM

    Percy is a weapon that should be used, if not involved in the play, he should be out there eating up defenders so they’re are not involved in the play.

    But, what do I Know?

  23. coleman121280 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:13 PM

    Frazier should be a politician with all that typical rhetoric that he just said. All he was missing was an “Ameican people” want this or that.

  24. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Sep 21, 2011 9:13 PM

    “Quarterback Donovan McNabb agrees. “A lot of people talked about the percentage and the plays,” 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.”

    This is the problem with McNabb. He says it feels like he was on the field all the time, but he was only there less than half the time. How out of touch is McNabb? He also said it’s not time to panic at 0-2 or after throwing for 39 yards week one. SNAP OUT OF IT. You stunk it up in DC last year, you clearly don’t get it. What are you looking at or thinking about? He really might just be that dumb…(can’t run the 2 minute drill and word is can’t keep two plays in his head at once thus always pretending to be winded…nothing like faking an “injury” on yourself because the offense is moving too fast).

  25. scott8nj says: Sep 21, 2011 9:16 PM

    Makes no sense. The best receiver on the team on the bench half the game. Very strategic.

  26. cuzidid42 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:22 PM

    Ok, that statement by Frazier makes absolutly no sense what-so-ever. Percy’s pressence on the field demands defensive coordinators to account for him at all times. We all know that Barrian can easily be covered by one CB and Jenkins is primarily a possession reciever and not a deep threat. Take Harvin out and defenses have no fear of putting 8 in the box, which makes for a long day for peterson.

  27. hendeeze says: Sep 21, 2011 9:25 PM

    Dingleberry must have Frazier’s ear

  28. vikefan says: Sep 21, 2011 9:29 PM

    so what will it take to explain? 0-3, 0-4? 0-5? or r u just looking to take the easy road like chili did, get fired with a contract payout and sit on ur but for 2 years

  29. 11wheatd says: Sep 21, 2011 9:33 PM

    how bout trying him in a couple of screens or something? when he’s on the field, use his more. put him and adrian in the backfield. max it up a little, i mean you’re coaching in the NFL

  30. canadianvikingfaniii says: Sep 21, 2011 9:34 PM

    I cannot believe they are defending not using Harvin as much as they should. They are an even bigger joke than I thought from the conclusion of last Sunday’s meltdown against Tampa.. I swear they must be trying to be better than Childress at being ridiculously dumb.

  31. ejmat2 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:43 PM

    As a Viking fan I think it’s ludicrous to try and justify Harvin not being in at least 75% of the plays. In my opinion either AP or PH should touch the ball at least 2/3s of the offensive plays.

  32. waitingguilty says: Sep 21, 2011 9:45 PM

    That’s not much of a defense there Les.

  33. tjacks7 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:46 PM

    Wait, you know what he’s capable of, yet he rides the pines for about half of the offensive snaps? I’m no Bill Belichick but logic tells me your better off with your best players and playmakers on the field.

    As a Viking fan it’s getting hard to like this Frazier and Musgrove combination. They seem as clueless as Childress and Bevell, at best.

  34. frankgarrett says: Sep 21, 2011 9:46 PM

    Who cares about the Vikings

  35. adsbad28 says: Sep 21, 2011 9:49 PM

    Good point Mike this guy needs to be on the field at all times even if there not going his way. He demands attention by defenses and that can open things up for other guys. There is a guy by the name of Adrian Peterson who could use another defender to pay more attention to Harvin and his production could even increase more (not that he’s not already tearing it up.)

  36. vikinghater says: Sep 21, 2011 9:53 PM

    And…Won’t work at all!! The Queens are washed up for a long while……….Go Pack!!!!!!!!

  37. tjacks7 says: Sep 21, 2011 10:07 PM

    I’d go so far as to say this guy should be on the field for the entire game. Offense, defense, and special teams. I mean he’s clearly one of the only two playmakers on offense. He’s a great return man. And he’s athletic enough to make me think he’d be a better corner than Cook, Allen, and probably Griffin. He’d probably be a better safety than the bums back there incapable of making any kind of play.

  38. cereal blogger says: Sep 21, 2011 10:13 PM

    Your funny Adrian Peterson

  39. rugdog100 says: Sep 21, 2011 10:14 PM

    They need to use Harvin like NE does with Welker. Oh, and the Packers suck.

  40. The Doctor says: Sep 21, 2011 10:15 PM

    Bottom line…Frazier blew it in the last 2 minutes of the game last week. He says, “I thought we were going to stop them and hold them to a FG.” All the more reason he should have been calling timeouts so that when we did get the ball back, we would have time to go for the go-ahead score. Bad clock management. It seems to be a prerequisite for all our head coaches.

  41. staffordsyear says: Sep 21, 2011 10:28 PM

    Lions.

  42. heimerz says: Sep 21, 2011 10:45 PM

    I had high hopes for this new staff but so far they have shown no sign of being any better than the crap coaches they replaced.

  43. randomjim says: Sep 21, 2011 10:49 PM

    Adjustments at half time?
    They have been winning at half time. What adjustments should they be making???????
    To all of you who think Joe Webb should be in @ WR ; you know he was drafted to be CONVERTED, he was a college QB. I don’t know on what basis, besides being a great athlete, people think he should start as a WR.

  44. wtfru2 says: Sep 21, 2011 10:49 PM

    Frazier is saving them all for the Super Bowl. Oh that’s right you have to get there first…..

  45. smalltownqb says: Sep 21, 2011 11:19 PM

    Viking Fan – that loud noise you hear coming is the Lions Fan who took your crap for years.

    Frazier’s response makes absolutely no sense.

  46. buck2buckus says: Sep 21, 2011 11:19 PM

    I think we are overreacting a little bit. Harvin is a dynamic player but does have some limitations which may explain some of this. He is ultimately a slot receiver so with packages of less than 3 WR its hard to get him on the field. It has now been 3 years and Harvin rarely lines up outside. This isnt because coaches dont want him on the field. In the first half the vikes were running the ball a lot so Harvin probably wasnt on the field as much. How good of a run blocker is he? None of us know.
    He had 7 catches and 2 carries. Plus I am sure there were additional targets that he didnt catch the ball. The vikes should try to ensure he has the ball in his hands 15 times a game.

    So all and all I agree he needs the ball more and needs to be on the field more. It is far more complex then we like to make it seem. I think some of us are overreacting.

    What is coach Frazier supposed to say, Harvin wasnt on the field because he doesnt play well lining up outside and other receivers are better run blockers. It doesnt provide proof that Frazier is a poor coach.

    They will find a way to get him the ball more in future games. It just has to be in ways that help him and the team be successful.

  47. boltsup says: Sep 21, 2011 11:32 PM

    If McNabb wants to continue his QB career he better make sure Harvin’s on the field 100% of the time… Cuz he’s about done for and I was a fan

  48. thephantomstranger says: Sep 22, 2011 12:16 AM

    Frazier’s answer was meaningless coachspeak. He acts like it’s still the preseason and we’re evaluating talent. Nobody’s suggesting Percy has something to prove. Obviously, there is some reason Harvin isn’t on the field more and Leslie doesn’t want to tell us what the reason is. Maybe he isn’t picking up the new playbook very quickly? Maybe he’s getting winded too easily? I predict he’ll be on the field a lot more this week. The whole team, including the coaching staff, is a work in progress. All evidence to the contrary so far, I still think Frazier is going to be a great coach. It’s only been two games, people.

  49. calvikefan1 says: Sep 22, 2011 12:18 AM

    Let me define what Leslie was really saying…….I am an idiot, my oc is an idiot and we now have an old washed up idiot quarterback. Have been a Vikings fan for over 40 years and am absolutely fed up with the quality of coaches and some players that have been signed /hired by this organization . Hey Leslie —-pull your head out of your ass, bench McNabb if after the first half is unproductive, bring in Ponder, leave Percy IN ! and the defense needs a refresher course on tackling. If they do move to L.A , at least I wont be throwing anymore nerf bricks at the T.V

  50. shaggytoodle says: Sep 22, 2011 12:26 AM

    If your going to get rid of someone in an organization, make sure you have a replacement that will be ATLEAST as good, if not better.

    The coach not knowing how to use one of his best players is absolutely pathetic.

  51. mnajb says: Sep 22, 2011 12:38 AM

    Ha. I understand you guys are as frustrated with the 0-2 start as I, but what the heck do you think he’s going to say? He speaks to the media in an incredibly safe, and unrevealing way, that does not publicly throw players or coaches under the bus. Get used to it, or don’t bother watching his press conferences…

    He’s trying to avoid headlines like “Frazier unhappy with OC”, “Percy unready for #1 role, says Frazier”, “Frazier suggests Harvin still dealing with lingering headaches,” and “Frazier says, ‘Look, we’re not going to be great this year'” that unguarded answers to the banal and obvious questions brought by beat reporters could bring.

    Being boring, but safe, in press conferences doesn’t mean he’s clueless…

    Oh.. And yes, I, too, would rather he not end the game with time outs. OoooOOOoooo damn, fire that guy quick! ………

  52. vikesfansteve says: Sep 22, 2011 2:21 AM

    McNabb isn’t dropping first downs or TD’s or INT’s. This will all be corrected. Williams is back on D. The Vikings are going to win the next 3 in a row in be 3-2 when they meet the Bears.

  53. v2the4 says: Sep 22, 2011 4:05 AM

    wait a minute viking fans…..you guys blew a 17-0 halftime lead to tampa last week…at home….the week before that, you blew a halftime lead at san diego…..and you are worried about harvin getting his touches so his stat sheet can look good for fantasy football?

    I agree with Frazier…they have to play Harvin in spots because no one on defense can match up with the guy…Harvin is not an every down player at any position., if you dont believe me, just go ask urban meyer..the guy is not durable..he gets hurt too much, and misses too many games

  54. vikinghater says: Sep 22, 2011 6:00 AM

    Final Division Standings

    Packers
    Lions
    Bears
    Queens

    Love it ….Love it…Love it…!!

  55. hillzmickelzon says: Sep 22, 2011 6:04 AM

    When you have micheal jenkins in your top 3 WRs as a staff i would ask myself do we want to win or is this a sick joke. i would say play harvin more but does it matter when your playin in the MetroDump?

  56. akulabug says: Sep 22, 2011 6:38 AM

    Travaris Jackson…nope, Brett Favre…nope, Donovan McNabb….nope. I just can’t put my finger on what has been wrong with this team over the last few years.

  57. selmonfan63 says: Sep 22, 2011 6:49 AM

    As a Bucs fan I strongly agree with the Vikings use of Harvin. Going forward, I think they should also use Peterson less.

  58. nflfuturist says: Sep 22, 2011 6:54 AM

    And the coaching genius in Minnesota continues. Limit the touches or time on the field for one of your most explosive weapons? BRILLIANT!

    I honestly feel a 13 year old playing Madden 2012 could have a more effective gameplan than what’s currently going on in Minnesota.

    That being said, it won’t shock me if the Vikings beat the Lions this week. That “wide 9″ defense probably isn’t aligned for an elite back like Adrian Peterson. And while old, the Vikings defense isn’t the worst in the league. Vegas obviously feels the same way as the Lions are only -3.

  59. clavette says: Sep 22, 2011 6:57 AM

    Harvin can’t even stay healthy a full season when he’s limited in games and you guys want him playing more snaps???

  60. sakatak says: Sep 22, 2011 7:14 AM

    Viking fans wake up: if you could read between the lines you would not blame everything on the H.C. and the quarterback (even though they are partially responsible for the mess .) Harvin has had his problems since he joined the team.

  61. tonyc908 says: Sep 22, 2011 9:21 AM

    Why does leslie Frazier get chance after chance. He totally wasted 3 time outs last week against the Bucs and does not use his second best offensive player on the team. He is a nice guy but way over his head as a head coach. Now you know why no other teams hired him

  62. thephantomstranger says: Sep 22, 2011 9:45 AM

    tonyc908 says:
    Sep 22, 2011 9:21 AM
    Why does leslie Frazier get chance after chance.
    ______________

    Are you suggesting they should have fired him during the preseason? And then after Week 1? And then after Week 2? I don’t think he’s had that many chances yet.

  63. jessethegreat says: Sep 22, 2011 9:56 AM

    cameran0804 says:
    Sep 21, 2011 8:25 PM
    Let’s hear what all the haters have to say! Meaning packer & bear fans!

    This Packers fan isn’t going to hate. I hope the Vikings put it together this weekend and win against Detroit. A Vikings win would be more beneficial to the Packers this weekend than a Detroit win. (With a Vikings win against Detroit and a Packers win against Chicago, the Packers would be a game up on Lions, and 2 games up on the Vikings and Bears in the division).

    I’m also going to hate on the Bears. I hope the Bears play like the Vikings did the past two weeks (2nd half of both games).

  64. vikefan says: Sep 22, 2011 9:56 AM

    Viking Fan – that loud noise you hear coming is the Lions Fan who took your crap for years.

    Frazier’s response makes absolutely no sense.
    ——————————————————–
    correction – u’ve been taking EVERYONES crap for years while Millen sunk your franchise to the newest low of lows, that being said, glad to see ur team up and coming again

    I see alot of similarities to Vikings now and Barry Sanders days, great running back with crap for rest of team & wont make playoffs or get to superbowls

    still waiting for team owership to interview more than 1 person for head coaching job

    still waiting to see a coaching staff that understand what “best players & playmakers” on field means, crap at least Denny Green & Tice did with Moss.

    still waiting for a coaching staff to wake up and understand how badly our secondary totally sucks, only 1 person has made a play in 4 years back there, Abdullah

    still trying to understand when 28 rushes for 3 strait 9 yard gains, why the hell would u go shotgun formation with no one in backfield (to hold LB) and proceed to go 3 & out, very questionalble play calling to say the least

    still waiting to see monster 3 tight ends sets with nice screens to 28 or 12, though we did finally see one to gerhardt on sunday.

    still waiting to see a core group of LB that can stay/run with slot recievers, te, or rb in this pass happy league.

    still waiting to see a D NOT go into prevent defense/cover 2 mode coming out of halftime just because we have the lead, would be nice to see someone with killer instinct and nasty attitude on this pansey ass roster other than 28

    its gonna b a long season, and we were still in every game

  65. vikefan says: Sep 22, 2011 9:58 AM

    Viking fans wake up: if you could read between the lines you would not blame everything on the H.C. and the quarterback (even though they are partially responsible for the mess .) Harvin has had his problems since he joined the team
    ——————————————————–
    what problems has he had THIS year? we are talking bout this 0-2 start with frazier as head coach, 2 previous years out the window

  66. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Sep 22, 2011 12:42 PM

    Love it. Vikes fans turning on their head coach faster than Chilly turned on TJack in 2008.

  67. vikefan says: Sep 22, 2011 12:49 PM

    Love it. Vikes fans turning on their head coach faster than Chilly turned on TJack in 2008.
    ——————————————————–
    u would to if packers had same start, btw, heard alot of same stuff over da river when thompson sent favre packing

  68. thephantomstranger says: Sep 22, 2011 1:01 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    Sep 22, 2011 12:42 PM
    Love it. Vikes fans turning on their head coach faster than Chilly turned on TJack in 2008.
    ____________

    Carl has a good point for the first time in his life. Frazier is going to be a good coach and we just need to have some patience. We are not Packer fans, who ran Ray Rhodes out of town after one season when they finished 8-8. Let’s see how the season plays out before deciding that Frazier can’t coach. By the way, the Vikings started 0-2 in 2008 and wound up winning the division with a 10-6 record. That was with TJack and Gus Frerotte at QB.

  69. theytukrjobs says: Sep 22, 2011 2:07 PM

    You would think that all these haters that absolutely obsess themselves over the Vikings would have some understanding of the fanbase. Vikes fans always hate on coaches and quarterbacks. That is just what we do. We always have and always will.

    Kind of like how your fanbase always loves players unanimously until the second they change teams, at which point they become dogmeat. Or how you guys are always “winning” in your mind because of the 42 championships or whatever. That and Cruisin Chubby’s.

    And sort of like how half of you that do manage a college education pretty much move to MN while still pretending to be superfans of the state that you couldn’t wait to get out of.

  70. favreblows says: Sep 22, 2011 7:03 PM

    Harvin simply is not #1 WR material. Period. And it now sounds like the guy is a sh!tty blocker. Too bad, so sad.

    FavreBlows > Paul Hargis.

    Landslide.

  71. sakatak says: Sep 22, 2011 7:19 PM

    vikefan says:
    Sep 22, 2011 9:58 AM
    Viking fans wake up: if you could read between the lines you would not blame everything on the H.C. and the quarterback (even though they are partially responsible for the mess .) Harvin has had his problems since he joined the team
    ——————————————————–
    what problems has he had THIS year? we are talking bout this 0-2 start with frazier as head coach, 2 previous years out the window
    ————————————–
    What was Harvin’s problem today? Why can’t this clown practice on a daily basis? There are obvious reasons why he is not used more.

  72. vikefan says: Sep 23, 2011 12:54 PM

    vikefan says:
    Sep 22, 2011 9:58 AM
    Viking fans wake up: if you could read between the lines you would not blame everything on the H.C. and the quarterback (even though they are partially responsible for the mess .) Harvin has had his problems since he joined the team
    ——————————————————–
    what problems has he had THIS year? we are talking bout this 0-2 start with frazier as head coach, 2 previous years out the window
    ————————————–
    What was Harvin’s problem today? Why can’t this clown practice on a daily basis? There are obvious reasons why he is not used more.
    ———————————————————-
    so your REAL name is Leslie Frazer, Bill Musgrave, or Eric Sugerman? i doubt it……opening kickoff for touchdown this year…..almost as many running yards as peterson, ur a fool, he is easily 2nd or 3rd best player on offense!!!

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