The day after the Vikings selected Percy Harvin in last month’s draft, wide receivers coach George Stewart said he hoped the team would use the multi-talented receiver in a variety of different ways.
So far, so good. On Saturday, the Vikings experiminted with using the “Wildcat” offense, lining up Harvin at quarterback at times. Running back Chester Taylor and wide receiver Darius Reynaud also are getting looks as the quarterback in a formation that became popular last season around the NFL after the Miami Dolphins started to use it.
The Vikings did not use it.
The threat of the “Wildcat” with a player like Harvin is that defenses already must account for Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson. So if Harvin is a threat to take off with the ball, what do you do about Peterson because teams also must account for him. This one has the possibility to create nightmares for defensive coordinators — even if they know it’s coming.
It also has the potenital to help fill seats in the Metrodome. “I’m so glad he’s on our team,” Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said, “we don’t have to come up with a plan for him because that’s exactly what you end up having to do is game plan a guy like Percy Harvin. Fortunately for us, I’ll be watching other teams try to defend he and Adrian and good luck to those defenses. We’re fortunate that he’s here.”
Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said the presence of a guy like Harvin makes things more fun. “We’re up there trying to diagram everything we can,” he said. “We’re looking at things we do, we’re looking at things other teams have done and trying to get the ball to our playmakers.”
Bevell said the Vikings have “probably” put in 20 or 30 plays just to get Harvin the ball. In fact, Brad Childress turned to Bevell right after Harvin was selected and said “where is the list” of plays? Bevell said some of the plays already were in the playbook but added, “there’s probably 10 or 15 of them that were just new.”
We are through one practice today with another to come at 3:30 p.m. Be sure to check out http://twitter.com/zulgad and www.twitter.com/chipscoggins1 for highlights from the first practice. We’ll have more to come both via Twitter and on the blog throughout the day.