Cautious Optimism is Always Good
I swear, unless Brett Favre is peddling his usual line about how much he loves football or T.O is having nightly nervous breakdowns or Jerry Jones is getting more plastic surgery, the off-season is just gruesomely boring. However, out of the Vikings camp comes this tidbit: Percy Harvin is being set up as their all-purpose, all over the field, all over the place weapon. According to the Associated Press, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has installed about 20-30 plays designed specifically for Harvin plus the assumption he'll be returning kicks and punts.
It's very good that Brad Childress is excited about getting the ball in Harvin's hands. He's fast, shifty, versatile, blessed with good hands, and absolutely tore up the SEC averaging a touchdown a game and over nine-yards per touch on offense. However, wide receiver is the third hardest position to learn after quarterback and center, so don't expect too much too soon of this kid. A likely scenario would be to let him return kicks and punts and try and get him between five and 10 touches on offense and break him in slowly. Even though he is incredibly fast, he will need to adjust to the speed of the NFL as well as process all the audible calls and defensive adjustments he will see whether he's working from the slot or the outside. Also, while he may have been able to avoid big hits for the most part in college, the NFL is a whole different ball game, so while excitement in this kid is justified, it's important to realize that he will be more of an appetizer this year as opposed to a main course.
If he's going to break out, it will happen in either his second or third year. Either way, he could be a Devin Hester type who can actually catch the ball granted Childress doesn't lose his mind and overload the kid.
Oh yeah, the Williams boys lost their appeal in court, so unless something drastic happens, the defensive front will be a bit weaker for that big grudge match against the Browns.
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Written by Sean Neumann