Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Harvin: It's an 'honor' to play with Favre
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- When Brett Favre walked into Vikings headquarters on his whirlwind first day in Minnesota, the first player to greet him was rookie Percy Harvin.
"Make me look good," Favre told the flashy wide receiver as he shook hands with the first-round draft pick from Florida.
"I'll do my best," Harvin said, smiling back.
Brett Favre practiced with the Vikings for the second time Wednesday. The team thinks there's at least one more year's worth of magic in his right arm.
Favre's arrival, however, should be more about making Harvin and the rest of the receivers better. Over a career that began three years after Harvin was born, Favre has helped his share of tight ends and wideouts reach the Pro Bowl or the 1,000-yard mark.
Though questions linger about how his health will hold up and how quickly he can mesh with his new teammates after missing most of training camp, Favre's experience in the pocket and prior knowledge of the system should be a boon for an offense that has lacked a stable quarterback since coach Brad Childress took over in 2006.
"I couldn't be in no better situation, no better place right now," Harvin said.
During a team drill Wednesday, Favre threw a ball behind the speedster as he ran a route across the middle. Harvin couldn't quite readjust in midair to make the catch, and he hopped up and down in disappointment as if the drop were all his fault.
No matter how much he actually has left in his surgically repaired right arm, and no matter how many games Minnesota wins with him at the helm, Favre will forever carry an aura about him on the field.
"There was a lot of promise. You could see it in guys' eyes," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said, reflecting on the first practice with Favre after the holder of every major NFL career passing record ended another retirement and signed with the Vikings on Tuesday.
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Favre remarked about how easy it was for him to step in the huddle and call the plays.
"The formations, the protections, the routes and stuff are the same," Favre said.
So how easy will it be for these receivers to get a feel for him?
"We're going to work with him and see what happens," said Sidney Rice, part of the core at his position with Harvin, Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade.
Rice added: "It feels great just to have someone like that who is a legend throwing you the ball."
If you can catch it.
"Every ball is a fastball," Shiancoe said. "I'm not sure if it's his 'fast' ball yet. I'm scared to see his 'fast' ball, but it seems like they're on a string. What I like about that is it gets to you quick, so it gives you time to kind of get used to your situation and know what you have to do with the ball."
The Vikings are clearly excited about the upgrade at quarterback, but their frustration with the Tarvaris Jackson-Sage Rosenfels competition sounded as much like it stemmed from the uncertainty of the starter's identity as it did with confidence in their abilities.
Timing, well, takes time.
"Everybody was uneasy, everybody was working, everybody was unsure," Shiancoe said. "We didn't know who to really zoom in on and really focus on and learn, really, so we had to focus on both. Now we can really just focus on one quarterback."
The regular season begins in 3½ weeks.
"It's pretty cool to be on the same team as Brett Favre, but with that said, there is still a lot of work to be done," Wade said. "We've still got to be able to put a good football team on the field."
Rosenfels (sprained ankle) still hasn't practiced this week and wasn't sure if he'd play in Friday's preseason game. TE Jim Kleinsasser also watched Wednesday, with a cast on his hand. ... DE Jared Allen, who appeared to sprain his ankle in Monday's practice, teased defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier by telling him he was out for six weeks. "Almost gives me a heart attack," Frazier said, adding: "He's going to be fine."