Percy Harvin is ready for the 2012 season to start and he's ready to get better. Those were the main themes of his answers as he talked to the members of the media after Wednesday morning's practice.
Harvin is excited about how the offense is looking. "I love the direction we're going right now. I think our quarterbacks are making the right reads a lot quicker and we're being precise in our routes. I think overall the offense knows the plays way better than we did last year. We're adding wrinkles to something we already know."
With so many new, young faces on the team, Harvin is almost a seasoned veteran by default. But he doesn't feel that way just yet. "I don't view myself as a veteran. I'm still learning as well. I'm taking advice from Michael Jenkins and some of the older guys."
While Harvin still thinks he needs more experience, he thinks his quarterback Christian Ponder has greatly improved from his experience last year. "[He has more] confidence. Confidence in throwing the ball to us before we hit our break. Sometimes [last year] you'd see the ball hit us in our face because we weren't ready for it. As a receiver that's what you want. Someone to put the [passes] right on you. We couldn't get that rhythm last year but I think we're heading that way this year."
Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave used Harvin all over the field last year. When asked how he'll be used this year: "You'll have to talk to coach Musgrave about that. We've been working on some of the running back things, but basically the same role I've been in."
Harvin discussed how going against veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield in practice is so beneficial. "I feel like if I can beat Antoine on a consistent basis, I can pretty much handle any cornerback in this league. He's very instinctive, and with guys like Charles Woodson playing the slot a lot of those guys are instinctive. He helps me out." And if Winfield gets the better of him in practice? "I give respect where respect's due. Each time we're out here I don't want to go against anybody but Antoine. He wants the same thing. We just try to make each other better. He's gonna get me, I'm gonna get him, and we'll keep rolling."
There aren't any individual goals that Percy Harvin has in mind this year. He only has one statistical goal: "better than 3-13. That's it. I have no personal goals. I just want to win more games than three, get into these playoffs, and see where we can go."
Going from 3-13 to the playoffs would be a significant improvement, but Harvin believes this team can do it. "I think so. We're working hard and guys are paying attention. When coaches ask questions in the meeting rooms, guys can stand up and spit out the answers. Last year, people were stuttering and guys didn't know the answers. This year everything seems crisper."
Finally, Harvin addressed his kick return role with the team. "Any time we may need a spark...just a game changing situation. We flirted with it a little bit last year, but we kind of went away from it. But if the chance is there I'll definitely be out there."
Harvin seems focused and determined heading into the season. That can only bode well for the Vikings.