Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Black and Blue all over: Harvin on punts?
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
Here’s something that NFL teams probably don’t want to hear: Minnesota might unleash rookie Percy Harvin as a punt returner later this season.
Vikings coach Brad Childress admitted as much during his Monday news conference. Harvin is a leading candidate for rookie of the year, in large part because of his 30.7-yard average as a kickoff returner. In his first eight NFL games, Harvin has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.
“At some point you’ll have a chance to see him returning punts,” Childress said.
Harvin worked some as a punt returner during training camp but appeared much more comfortable on kickoffs. The Vikings are also using him heavily on offense as a slot receiver and occasionally as a running back. But it wouldn’t be surprising if the Vikings at least give him a chance to return a punt or two in a key game situation.
Darius Reynaud and Jaymar Johnson have handled the punt returning duties this season. In 2008, the Vikings rotated starting receivers Bobby Wade and Bernard Berrian there during the playoff drive.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf on the value of adding quarterback Brett Favre: “You can see for yourself.” Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune caught up with Wilf.
- Green Bay blitzed Favre on seven of his 25 dropbacks, according to this film review from Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
- The Vikings have outperformed the Packers on the field this year and in the offseason over the past several years, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- The Packers might go with veterans Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher as their tackles Sunday at Tampa Bay, notes Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.
- Chicago safety Danieal Manning played a role in two of the Bears’ five takeaways Sunday against Cleveland, notes ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson.
- The Bears were better running left, behind new left guard Josh Beekman, than they were running right against the Browns, according to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
- The Bears’ offense remains out of sync, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Detroit center Dominic Raiola won’t win his fight with fans, writes Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press.
- Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said the Lions can still beat “anybody we play,” according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.