Notebook: Harvin, Favre making headway
Percy Harvin (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Percy Harvin (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
VikingUpdate.com
Posted Aug 26, 2009
Tim Yotter


Percy Harvin’s preseason NFL debut last Friday wasn’t one that left fans in awe, but Harvin said the adjustments being made with Brett Favre are a work in progress and getting better every day.

Percy Harvin wouldn’t categorize his first NFL preseason action as getting off to a fast start, but he anticipates better things ahead as he and quarterback Brett Favre find a rhythm.

The rookie receiver and veteran quarterback are both new to the Vikings’ way of doing things and it showed on a play that could have been a showcase situation for the Vikings in the preseason. Instead, a difference in how the Vikings teach a route and how Favre was used to his former receivers reading a defense resulted in an incompletion instead of a potential touchdown.

“That was an empty blitz, which was a little surprising,” Favre said after the game. “But it was a double motion, which is a pretty good call against that and I thought Percy would go inside the safety and he actually kind of stuck the guy and went over the top, which is what he had been coached to do. I didn’t know that. So that is where I need to catch up.”

Harvin said the timing is getting better every day as the two practice together.

“That just comes with time,” he said. “… It’s a thing we hadn’t repped in practice, didn’t expect it. As we work along, we’ll be on the same page next time. We looked at it yesterday, so next time we’ll be on the same page.”

For Harvin that’s a lot of cylinders moving quickly.

As one of the top-five fastest receivers at the NFL Scouting Combine (Darius Heyward-Bey was the only other first-rounder among the top five fastest), Harvin has both the deep speed and the short-area quickness the Vikings coveted. On Friday night, that one incompletion from Favre may have resulted in a touchdown if the two had connected.

“That was a home run hit. There was nobody there. It was a zero blitz. You want to get those corrected and be able to connect on that,” Harvin said. “I might have (had the safety beat). I didn’t look at it too much, but we’ll get that down.”

The mistake was just a product of Favre not being in the Vikings’ system long enough to know the nuances, but head coach Brad Childress is confident those adjustments will come shortly.

“It’s a matter of him getting used to us, our players, and our guys getting used to cadence and snap count and that type of thing. But it’s coming fast because there’s not a great big learning curve,” Childress said.

“It’ll come. We’ve got plenty of time right here. It’s a process though. A process usually takes a little bit.

Harvin said the velocity of Favre’s passes isn’t an issue for him.

“I’ve been playing with pretty much hard-throwing quarterbacks all my life. He throws it pretty hard, but you get used to it and it starts to come regular,” Harvin said.

RETURN GAME

Harvin said he’s probably in the best shape of his life, which should allow him to play his different roles on offense and still contribute in the return game. In his first action on Friday, he averaged 26.5 yards on two kickoff returns.

On Wednesday, Harvin worked on fielding punts as well.

“We’re still working at it. Like I said, I hadn’t done it in a while,” he said. “I’ll just keep repping it and repping it. Eventually I think I’ll be back there.

“I’m pretty comfortable with it, but like I said, that’s coach’s call, so once they feel comfortable enough and feel I’m ready, then I’ll be out there.”

NOTES

  • WR Bernard Berrian began running some half-speed routes during individual drills as he continues to come back from a hamstring injury suffered in the preseason opener.

  • TE Jim Kleinsasser continued to sit out practice with a hand injury Wednesday. Kleinsasser injured the hand in the preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts and hasn’t practiced since.

  • OL Artis Hicks returned to practice after missing Tuesday’s session for unknown reasons.

  • Harvin split time fielding punts with undrafted rookie WR Nick Moore during the early special teams portion of practice.

  • QB Sage Rosenfels continued to practice Wednesday after making his return on Tuesday following an ankle injury in the Colts game. Rosenfels said on Tuesday that it felt “great.”

  • For those concerned that Brett Favre’s three incompletions in four attempts on Monday were the result of an accuracy issue, he looked sharp during individual drills on Wednesday.

  • Former Vikings safety Tank Williams was waived by New England.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this hot topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.




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