So, in the week leading up to the draft, I wondered aloud whether Percy Harvin would be a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings' offense. At the time, I was relatively sure that the former University of Florida standout wasn't really on the Vikings' radar at that point, largely due to his character concerns, but also because I wasn't sure if Brad Childress' offense would be the best system to utilize the talents of someone like Percy Harvin.
Harvin's biggest strength, in my opinion, isn't his speed (although it's outstanding) or his open-field abilities (which are also great). . .but his uniqueness. If he's utilized correctly, he's a walking mismatch for opposing defenses. His speed means that linebackers can't cover him, and his amazing first step means that it's very tough to jam him at the line of scrimmage. He can line up out wide, he can line up in the slot, he can line up in the backfield. . .and his skill set gives opposing defenses something that they absolutely must pay attention to on every snap. But as we've seen over the past three seasons, the Brad Childress offense hasn't exactly been a bastion of creativity.
Have the Vikings made a mistake? Or are we about to see the "kick-ass offense" finally start to kick a little ass?
Many players, prior to the draft, will visit various NFL teams in order for those teams to interview them before investing a high draft pick in them. In the days leading up to the draft, Brad Childress took the fairly strange step of going to Percy Harvin down at the University of Florida's Gainesville campus instead. The results were, obviously, overwhelmingly positive. So much so that when it came time to pull the trigger on the 22nd pick in the draft, a spot where many thought that they'd select Arizona OT Eben Britton, the Vikings' brain trust decided to jump on Harvin instead.
So, does this mean we're going to be seeing a new dimension on offense for Minnesota? One guy certainly seems to think so. . .that being Vikings' wide receivers coach George Stewart.
"He does some things that we haven't had here," Stewart said. "From an explosive standpoint, you talk about the 'Wildcat' situation. So many things you can do with Percy Harvin athletically that we don't have here. You talk about what Randy Moss brought to this football team years ago. True speed, an ability to make plays. This kid is going to make plays for us."
So can Stewart foresee the Wildcat being worked into the Vikings offense? "I would sure hope so," he said. "With his flexibility. ... There are some options we can do with this young man that gives us a chance to be successful."
The thought of Harvin, Chester Taylor, and the best running back in football on the field together makes me a little giddy. It should make anybody that's watched this team over the past couple of years feel giddy, too. It makes me giddy to the point where I'm about to make a declaration that I'm not sure I've ever made here before. Hopefully you're sitting down for this one.
I think that Brad Childress and the Minnesota Vikings have a plan to utilize Percy Harvin's talent and add another dimension to this offense.
Yeah, I can't believe I said it, either. But here's the way I see it.
You don't buy a Harley to do a paper route. You don't buy a rocket launcher to shoot at squirrels from your front porch. You don't go to the fanciest steakhouse in town to sit down and order a cheeseburger and fries.
And you don't draft a guy like Percy Harvin just to line him up in the slot on every play.
Percy Harvin is going to make this offense better, regardless of who's playing quarterback. He'll make teams pay for paying extra attention to Adrian Peterson. He'll turn 5-yard routes into 70-yard touchdowns. And while many people will be worried about his personal, off-the-field issues, I think he's going to have enough eyes on him and enough people around him to keep that from happening.
I have finally come around on this pick. While I may have been skeptical about it at this point a week ago, I really think we're on to something with the man who will wear #12 in Minnesota next season. So much so that I think I've found my next jersey investment. . .I just hope the stores in Minneapolis will have those in stock when I go back to the great white North in a couple of weeks.