Focus on: Percy Harvin

Posted Aug 20, 2014

“Explosive” is the term most often used to describe Percy Harvin, but even that oft-repeated tag doesn’t seem to do justice to what the receiver/returner/runner brings to the Seahawks now that he’s healthy.

At least once during every practice, Percy Harvin does something that makes everyone utter, “Whoa.”

Well, almost everyone. Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has the equivalent of a Harvin astonishment immune system because he also coached the explosively quick receiver/returner/runner when both were with the Minnesota Vikings.

“Oh yeah, I’ve seen it for a long time,” Bevell said after Tuesday’s practice when asked about the explosive aspect of Harvin’s ample game. “And I love it. And I’m glad it’s on our side.”

Bevell and Harvin also were on the same side in 2009 and 2010, when Bevell was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator and Harvin was the team’s first-round draft choice and a Pro Bowl kick returner (2009) and a 71-catch receiver (2010). Bevell came to the Seahawks in 2011 and Harvin followed last year, only to have the ex- in his explosiveness highlighted because he had hip surgery in August and was limited to a handful of plays in one regular season game.

But even then, whenever Harvin touched the ball, the “Whoa” reaction was quick to follow.

In the Week 11 win over the Vikings, he returned a kickoff 58 yards and made a lunging catch of a 17-yard pass. In the Super Bowl, he returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and had a couple of you’ll-believe-a-man-can-fly runs for 30 and 15 yards.

The most impressive element of Harvin’s game this summer is that he’s been available – in practice and in the first two preseason games, when he caught four passes. And that, in turn, has allowed Harvin to display everything the Seahawks missed last season when he was sidelined.

What can a healthy Harvin bring this season?

“You can look to last year and the impact he had in those few plays,” Bevell said. “So being able to have him on a consistent basis will be huge for us. He’s an explosive playmaker. You want to be able to have the ball in his hands each and every game because he’s very explosive with it. He can do a lot of things once he gets the ball in his hands.

“We need to put him in those positions.”

But Harvin is the type of player who can make a difference even when the ball is not in his hands, but just the threat of Harvin with the ball in his hands makes the defense adjust accordingly.

“Absolutely,” Bevell said when presented with that theory. “You do need to get him the ball because of the explosive nature that he has. But they have to pay attention to him when he’s out there. I think you saw it in the Super Bowl. Just being able to do the things we did with him, it had a significant impact even when he wasn’t getting the ball.”

And that’s because of Harvin’s – all together now – explosiveness. The kind of explosiveness that prompts those “Whoa” moments in practice and impelled Bevell to use the term “explosive” so often in describing what Harvin brings to the Seahawks’ offensive smorgasbord.

“He makes a lot of plays,” Bevell said. “And you can definitely feel (his explosiveness) on the field.”