Percy Harvin (Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire)
The Vikings got all their picks signed, had no holdouts, no one reporting out of shape and no complaining.
The biggest news to come from Week 1 of Vikings training camp was, well, nothing.
No distractions. No complaining. Everybody in camp, in shape and eager to start the season.
Fourth overall draft pick Matt Kalil signed on the morning of reporting day and showed up on time with quarterback Christian Ponder as his chauffeur. Adrian Peterson appears even further ahead of schedule in his return from a left knee reconstruction in late December, although he did begin camp on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. And Percy Harvin pulled a complete 180 from a disgruntled mini-camp participant who a month earlier had requested a trade and hinted that he might not show up for training camp.
While the boredom sent reporters scrambling for news, it also had coach Leslie Frazier absolutely beaming as he attempts to steer a young team from the rubble of a 3-13 season.
“It’s great,” he said. “As we were going through the negotiations with Matt, that was the one player that we weren’t sure if things were going to work out,” Frazier said. “We needed everyone here in (the meeting room) to hear the message that we wanted to get across as a team, as opposed to getting it second-hand. It’s important to have everybody here and eliminate some of the drama when you don’t have everybody here.”
Harvin was the biggest concern heading into camp. Pound for pound, the 184-pounder is one of the strongest and most electric players in the league. A year ago, he led the Vikings in receptions with 87 for 967 yards and six touchdowns while also averaging 6.6 yards with two touchdowns on 52 carries. And, oh yeah, he’s also among the best kick returners in the league, having averaged 32.5 yards with a touchdown on 16 attempts a year ago.
Harvin, however, can be a moody fella that requires some high maintenance moments from the head coach. Apparently, Frazier worked some serious voodoo magic with Harvin the past month.
Harvin never identified what was bothering him when he went public with his feelings, telling reporters that there were a lot of things he was unhappy about. It was assumed that Harvin was upset about his contract, which has two years left and pays him about $900,000 this year. Harvin later said via Twitter that it wasn’t money.
Well, whatever it was, Harvin insists it’s no longer an issue.
“I’m at camp, I’m happy, I’m on board,” Harvin said. “We’re all on the same page. We’re all just trying to win around here. I talked to coach (Leslie Frazier). Everything is good around here. So I’m ready to get out there, start sweating and get this thing moving.”
Apparently, Frazier played the vital role in stamping out what would have been a bonfire-sized distraction.
“I love coach Frazier,” Harvin said. “I’m a big fan of his. He’s almost like a father figure in my situation. I love him. We were in direct contact the entire time. It was great being able to go in there, open doors and really be able to lay it on the line and get feedback. That’s the thing you like out of your coach.”
Harvin also said his shoulder, which he had arthroscopic surgery on in May, is “great.”
“I’m looking for myself, this team, this organization to have a big year,” he said. “I’m here now and ready to play football.”