At Age 23, Harvin Steps Into Veteran Role

Undrafted rookie receiver Andre Holmes was matched up against a smaller cornerback in a training camp practice, went for a jump ball, and the ball ended up hitting the grass incomplete.

“Hey 1-5!” barked Percy Harvin as Holmes jogged to the sideline.  “1-5!”

Harvin, age 23, pulled Holmes aside and had a short, private conversation with the young receiver.

“A lot of those guys want a jump ball instead of running underneath it so that’s just one of the little things I know I did a lot,” Harvin said after that practice. “You always want to jump because you feel like you can get it. So just the little things that I struggled with to help those guys and make it smoother. I want these guys to be around. I want them on this team bad.”

This is the type of thing a coach hopes to see of a veteran player after their fifth or sixth year in the league… not their second.

“I’ll tell you there is no way that I would have predicted over this lockout that Percy would have come back taking a leadership role that he has,” Leslie Frazier said, according to CBS Minnesota. “From the moment the lockout was lifted and we could contact players, it’s been refreshing just talking to him and just seeing his attitude about this season. The fact that he’s leading, he’s talking to other players, explaining to them what needs to be done, how things are done.”

Frazier also noted that Harvin was the first player to show up at Winter Park when the lockout ended, one of the first to take his physical, and one of the first to head down to Mankato.

“I mean wow,” Frazier said. “This is what you want from one of your star players. He’s having a very good camp and it’s exciting for us to see as a staff him stepping into that leadership role. We need that from him.”

“I think that’s just what this team needs,” said Harvin. “I think maybe last year we got away from it a little bit. But I think this year as far as the receiving group, me, Bernard (Berrian), for those guys to follow our lead would be good for this team. I just want to go out there and do the best I can and hopefully those guys follow and all of us can become great and help this team.”

Harvin says he is still in regular contact with veteran receivers like Randy Moss to continue his own education and also to ask for tips to share with his teammates.

“When he came in, he was kind of quiet because we had Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade, we had some older guys,” receivers coach George Stewart said. “Now he’s looked at as that guy. He’s our Pro Bowler. We look at him as our bail-out guy.”

Harvin is thought of as a conventional slot receiver, but he will be asked to often play the flanker position throughout the 2011 season, but his coaches and teammates do not sound worried about Harvin’s size limiting his potential on the outside.

“I’ve played with guys who play big but are of shorter stature who have been so successful,” Donovan McNabb said. “You talk about guys like DeSean Jackson, Santana Moss. There’s no reason why Percy can’t be a guy who is a perennial Pro Bowler as a starter at the receiver position. Over 1,000 yards receiving and 80 to 90, 100 catches.”

Even if Harvin can’t quite get to a hundred catches, offensive coordinator plans to get the ball in Harvin’s hands by having him line up in the backfield and allow him to be used on kick returns.

“The key is getting him his touches to let him do his thing,” Musgrave said.

Fantasy football players, take notice.

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10 Responses to “At Age 23, Harvin Steps Into Veteran Role”

  1. Vikadan11 says:

    I love this guy and believe he could be the teams #1 WR if called on ~ If he doesn’t move outside he might become the first slot guy to ever become the highest paid WR in the NFL ~

  2. Zag says:

    Harvin is amazing. I don’t know a single person, Vikings fan or otherwise, who doesn’t love him.

  3. phil says:

    third year not second

  4. Klint77 says:

    After his second year:-)
    Too fast Phil….my Vikings friend.

  5. hookem says:

    I knew I should have named my dog Percy instead of Sidney…. well now dog is named after the city if anyone asks

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