Percy Harvin presents dangerous options for Packers : Packers Insider

Percy Harvin presents dangerous options for Packers

October 22, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Oct 22, 2010 ~ by Mark Craig, Star Tribune

~Tarvaris Jackson was asked a few weeks ago to name some of the more unusual terms in the Vikings playbook.

“I don’t know,” said the team’s No. 2 quarterback. “But we got stuff called ‘migraine.’ Those are plays for Percy [Harvin].”

The gallows humor doesn’t bother Harvin, who’s spent the better part of his life battling serious migraine headaches. Now 23 games into his NFL career, he’s a Pro Bowl kick returner, his team’s leading receiver this season and perhaps the best option as a third-down running back, especially once receiver Sidney Rice returns from hip surgery.

“I believe I could do it,” Harvin said. “I’m familiar with it. I played running back all through high school and, of course, some at Florida. But all that stuff is up to the coaches.”

Percy Harvin killed the Packers last year, both as a receiver and a kick returner. "Anytime you have a player who's that multi-dimensional, it poses problems, and you have to prepare for it," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, whose team plays host to the Vikings on Sunday night. "Percy definitely fits in that category. ... They're doing a good job with moving him around to create targeting issues with us defensively."

The coaches view Harvin as somewhat of a lab experiment. They’re trying to figure out just how many times and how many different ways they can put the ball in his hands. Harvin is eventually expected to replace Greg Camarillo as the punt returner, and his change-of-pace presence in the backfield is increasing.

In Sunday’s 24-21 victory over the Cowboys, the Vikings put Harvin in the backfield seven times. That includes two plays that were negated by penalties and another play the Cowboys quickly aborted.

With the score tied 21-21 with 6 minutes, 12 seconds left, the Vikings lined up at the Dallas 23-yard line. They had three receivers bunched near right, Randy Moss wide left and Harvin standing beside Brett Favre in the shotgun.

The sight of Harvin in the backfield caused not one, not two, but four Cowboys defenders to signal for a timeout. The Vikings went to a different formation after the timeout.

“Dallas probably didn’t have the personnel in the game to deal with that,” backup running back Albert Young said. “That’s the kind of mismatch that can catch a team off-guard. But I don’t think people will be caught off-guard anymore after seeing that one.”

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