Harvin set to put ‘frustrating’ season in past

The upside of his injury-plagued first season with Seattle is trip to Super Bowl

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.comJanuary 24, 2014 

Percy Harvin (11) had to be helped off the field by Seahawks medical staff in the divisional playoff game against New Orleans. The concussion Harvin suffered during the game is no longer a factor.

JOE NICHOLSON/USA TODAY SPORTS

RENTON — Percy Harvin stepped onto the merry-go-round once again Thursday, sounding like he did before his first game in Week 11 and before the NFC divisional playoff game against New Orleans.

Harvin is “frustrated.” There’s no better way to put it. He was back, then gone, then back, then gone again.

After being knocked out of the game against the Saints because of a concussion, Harvin missed the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. He was back at practice this week with the Seattle Seahawks after passing the concussion protocol.

“It’s been a roller coaster, but it’s all been a blessing,” Harvin said. “I wouldn’t take anything back that has happened this year. It’s made me a stronger person. Like I said, it’s definitely been frustrating for a lot of people, not only myself, but for my teammates, Doug Baldwin and some of the guys that play my position, coming in and out, not knowing when I’m going to be at practice.

“So it was definitely frustrating, but like I said, it’s all over with now, and we get a chance to play for the Super Bowl, so that’s all in the past.”

It seems “Will Percy play?” has displaced “Can you hear me now?” as the most common question asked around the Puget

Sound. The offseason trade for the dynamic wide receiver, which reunited him with his former offensive coordinator in Minnesota, Darrell Bevell, ratcheted up expectations for the Seahawks.

He had hip surgery Aug. 1. Since then, Harvin has stopped and started numerous times. He has played just six quarters this season.

“This whole year, watching every single game was frustrating,” Harvin said. “But like I said, having great teammates and great coaches felt good to be on the sidelines and watch those guys perform.”

Harvin said he had his surgically repaired hip “tuned up” Wednesday. He was a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday. Once again, he said he feels “great.”

Migraines were an issue in the past for Harvin. He said he didn’t have any complications from migraines during his concussion recovery.

Harvin was twice knocked out of the game against the Saints. The first hit that sent him to the sideline was ruled a personal foul. There was no flag on the second hit, when he was struck in the back while in the air then bounced his head off the ground.

After the game, it was suggested that the Saints — who were involved in a scandal where the NFL determined they had supplied payment for knocking opposing players out of the game — were targeting Harvin. He disagreed.

“I just thought they were playing football,” Harvin said.

So, how much can Harvin influence Super Bowl XLVIII? He’s listed by one betting site as a 25-1 shot to be named the game’s MVP, same as Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.

“You have to take in the fact that if they throw him a quick screen, he makes one guy miss, and he’s (gone),” Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas said. “You see him in that one game he had against Minnesota — his old team. You saw how much he brought everybody up to their feet.

“One player can just energize the whole stadium. So me being a player and just being there, it gave me a lift. When you see a guy that explosive, I think he looks like me on offense. He’s playing faster than everybody out there, and it’s fun to watch.”

Bevell would line up Harvin all over in Minnesota. Typically, Harvin would be in the slot. But he also would split wide, line up in the backfield, motion into the backfield, or come all the way from one side of the field to the other when running a fly sweep.

How much the Seahawks will put on Harvin in the Super Bowl is the question.

Fast, versatile and eager, Harvin will be among the week’s biggest curiosities in New Jersey.

todd.dybas@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @Todd_Dybas

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