Percy Harvin’s usage makes no sense


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

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.

83 responses to “Percy Harvin’s usage makes no sense

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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

  34. 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.

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


    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!!!!

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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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