Plenty of options to fill Harvin void

Seahawks expect offense to roll, even without offseason addition Percy Harvin

eric.williams@thenewstribune.comAugust 1, 2013 

Second-year receiver Jermaine Kearse, a former University of Washington star, could see his role expand for the Seahawks in the absence of Percy Harvin.

ELAINE THOMPSON/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

RENTON — Receivers coach Kippy Brown offered a simple answer when asked how the Seattle Seahawks intended to replace the potential output lost because of the absence of Percy Harvin — they’ll play the matchups.

“First of all, we’re not going to change what our philosophy is,” Brown said. “And having been in this league a long time, every game is different, every opponent is different. They have their strengths and weaknesses. And when you game plan, you go and attack that.

“That may involve getting a receiver in a certain area, or it may involve the running game. So when you game plan, if you have a player you want to get the ball to, you figure out how to do it. And we have some very talented players on this team.”

Harvin is expected to have hip surgery Thursday in New York

to repair a partially torn labrum that could keep him out of Seattle’s lineup for the next four months.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was not available to comment after practice Wednesday. However, in an interview with NFL Network, Carroll said the team has to wait until after Harvin’s surgery to get a more accurate read on how long he’ll be out.

“Percy does have a chance to get back,” Carroll said. “And we’ll find that out after the procedure. We’ll know what took place, and then they’ll make a guess on how long that will take him (to recover).

“But we’re going to get him right, fix him up and take care of him. We made a big commitment to Percy. We want to make sure that he’s 100 percent (healthy) and ready to go. So we look forward to a fast recovery and him getting back out here.”

Brown acknowledged that the Seahawks have been working on different ways to take advantage of Harvin’s skills. However, the plays that would do that will not be tossed into the trash, because players such as Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse offer the ability to attack defenses in some of the many ways Harvin can.

“I would assume that we are very similar players,” Tate said, when asked how he could fill the hole created by Harvin’s absence. “So the things that they have — they intended (for) him to do — I’ll be more than happy to do that. I want to get the ball any way that I can, and I want to try and make a play.

“I feel like I am really similar to Percy (Harvin). I feel that at any moment, I could make a big play to boost us or give us a go-ahead score. Whatever they need. I’m excited to get the opportunity to get more reps and help this offense.”

Tate will be in the mix to replace Harvin as Seattle’s kick returner.

While Tate, Baldwin and Sidney Rice will be expected to help fill the void at receiver, the player who stands to gain the most is Kearse.

Not given much of a chance to make the roster last season as an undrafted rookie free agent, the former Lakes High School and University of Washington star earned a spot on the Seahawks’ practice squad in 2012. He made his way onto the active roster at the end of October. Kearse totaled three receptions for 31 yards in seven games, and he became one of the team’s core special teams players.

Kearse used to wear contact lenses but had Lasik eye surgery in February, which may have helped cure his problem of dropping passes.

“I had it on Valentine’s Day, actually,” Kearse said. “I wore contacts, and they bothered me a lot. Sometimes they would move around and would be blurry in one eye, and I just got tired of it.

“I can read a lot further. Everything just seems more clear, and I don’t have to worry about the hassle of putting my contacts in.”

Brown said he’s noticed the difference.

“Jermaine Kearse is having a hell of a camp,” Brown said. “He’s quick. He’s a great route runner. He’s very disciplined. He’s a guy who learns well.”

So Kearse has a chance to be a playmaker for Seattle?

“I don’t have any doubt,” Brown said.

“I’m feeling real good,” Kearse said. “We have a great defense that I get to go against every day. Constantly competing against them just evolves my game every day.”

So while Harvin remains out, the expectation is that the offense that helped the Seahawks average more than 30 points a contest in the second half of last season will keep purring.

“I hate to say it, but Sidney had been dealing with injuries during my rookie season, and we were able to continue to go forward without him,” Baldwin said. “And then Percy wasn’t here last year, so we still have depth and we still have guys on this team that haven’t even had a chance to play football yet on Sundays and who are more than capable of filling in if we need them to.”

INJURY UPDATE

The Seahawks had 18 players not practice Wednesday, including the six players on the physically unable to perform list: Harvin (hip), Greg Scruggs (knee), Chris Clemons (knee), Tharold Simon (foot), Zach Miller (foot) and Robert Turbin (foot). Linebacker Korey Toomer (hip) remains on the non-football injury list.

Others sitting out included tight ends Michael Palmer and Darren Fells; cornerbacks Ron Parker (hamstring) and Jeremy Lane (walking boot); defensive linemen Michael Brooks, Kenneth Boatright and Cliff Avril (hamstring); linebackers Bobby Wagner and Kyle Knox; and offensive lineman Michael Bowie (hamstring).

Receiver Sidney Rice had not returned from a trip to Switzerland to have a preventive procedure done on his knee.

Tight end Luke Willson suffered what looked to be an arm injury late in practice. He was hurt while diving for a ball in the end zone with safety Winston Guy closing in on him.

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

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