In the wake of the Percy Harvin trade, a Q&A with someone who knows the guy seemed to be in order. So, here's what the good folks over at fellow Bloguin site Purple Jesus Diaries had to say about the Seahawks' most recent high-priced acquisition:
1) On a scale from paper cut to live vivisection, how bad does losing Harvin hurt right now? How vital was he to the Vikings' offense?
Bad. It hurts real bad. It hurts like getting tongue kissed with razor blades and iodine. Some fans will tell you that Percy was a headcase, that he was whining, a team cancer, and that he had to go ... But those idiot Vikings fans said the same thing about Randy Moss. Every situation is correctable if cooler heads prevail, but that opportunity never presented itself. There's times when the ashes start burning too hot and you can't stop the blaze, and that's what happened here. Percy was a big deal for our team. I'd argue he was largely responsible for the first four or five games we won in 2012, until Peterson got himself up to 100%, but by then he went on IR and his Vikings career was over. Without him, the passing game suffered (Check Ponder's stats, the numbers did go down whether it was directly related to Percy or not), and outside of Peterson, Percy WAS our offense. Thinggsss ... May get ugly.
2) How did Darrell Bevell use Harvin in the Vikings' offense when he was the offensive coordinator there and how does it differ from the way he's been used in the last two years?
It's almost hard to remember because Bevell had him for one good year, and then we had him in Favre's last year when our team self imploded. During Harvin's rookie year in 2009 though, he was much more apt to head downfield and catch some deep passes from Favre. The past two years, we haven't had a quarterback who can throw deeper than 15 yards, so those long Favre balls were out of the question. Instead, Harvin was used on wide receiver screens, short passes in the slot, or out of the backfield. Bill Musgrave is kind of stupid and I don't think he even knew what to do with Harvin. As much as an Obnoxious Cool Bro that Pete Carroll is, you better believe he'll know how to properly use Harvin, even if the majority of those decisions begin with Bevell. With Wilson's strong arm, I wouldn't be surprised if Percy just turned into an all around solid receiver for the Seahawks.
3) If you were Seattle's offensive coordinator, how would you fit Harvin into an offensive gameplan that already includes Sidney Rice, Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Russell Wilson? Does he take away someone's job, or does he have a role to play that's all his own?
Well, it seems like Golden Tate becomes an after thought pretty soon. Tate maybe has a bit of a height advantage on Harvin, but pound for pound Harvin will do that job better. He may take some reps away from Lynch, too, but what ... That just leaves Lynch fresher? All Wilson has to do is get the ball out of his hands. I think last year he was leaned on more often to actually have to make plays, but with Harvin, that all changes. Harvin's presence gets Rice single coverage, spreads Tate out alone, moves guys out of the box for Lynch, and leaves easy pickings for Wilson. Yeah, I'd feel pretty confident if I was a Seahawks fan.
4) Now that we've got the good stuff out of the way, what's your take on his health (migraines, ankle, etc.) and attitude toward coaches? How worried should Seahawks fans be that their team is backing up dump trucks full of cash to his front door?
Let me say this. I followed the Percy press conference on Tuesday and there were a lot of things there that I'd seen before. The smiles, the excitement to be there, the dedication to his craft speak, the love shared to his new and old teammates. And we've all seen how that ended in Minnesota. The difference is that with the Vikings, things turned pretty sour a year ago, but turned around surprisingly in 2012. The Vikings made the playoffs and surprisingly have a pretty decent looking future, but even that didn't make Harvin happy. So what would? Just the money? More reps? More attention? It became a problem, and this type of problem has always shown up for him, in high school, college, and now pros. Can it happen again? Sure, but luckily you guys are near Vancouver, if you catch my drift.
Harvin's injuries are overblown. His migraines have more or less been kept in check for the past two years, but that was by the Vikings' team doctors. We'll see if it holds. His ankle is nothing. It was an injury that happens. Before that, I don't know if he's had any other serious injuries that would have given me pause to dole out a contract. And this is from a guy that gets absolutely demolished on every play he's in on, because he goes all out. That type of dedication is what I want on my team, even if he's got some attitude problems. Fact is, if you win, he'll be fine. Pete Carroll leaves, an injury happens to Wilson, and the Seahawks get stuck in mediocrity? ... Welp, may be a different story.
5) As long as we're talking, what's the outlook for the Vikings going forward? Can they win with Christian Ponder? What holes do they need to fill to be competitive in 2013?
Ehhh ... I don't know about Ponder. He's got potential, but it continues to take a long time to show itself. We're going into his third year, and I'd say by now if he doesn't break out, it's time for the next plan. He's also always had some nagging injuries, and that might just always be the case with him, which sucks too. Overall though, GM Rick Spielman actually seems like he's making some smart moves, with the Percy trade included. He's had a couple of solid drafts now to help build the teams' youth movement, and hasn't handcuffed the team with bad or worthless contracts. Before they can really compete for a Super Bowl they need better cornerbacks, an impact linebacker, and ANY receivers, but there's potential there. But probably not until 2014. I mean, if ever. 0-4 in Super Bowls, you know.