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.