Notebook: Harvin shows his versatility

The Vikings already used Percy Harvin as a receiver, an occasional running back and a regular kick returner. Now they are considering him as a punt returner as well. Plus, more talk on Moss' halftime speech and other notes.

Percy Harvin is the Vikings' leading receiver this year with 20 receptions. He is one of the top kickoff returners in the league.

And now there is another title the Vikings might add to his resume: punt returner.

"We continue to work with him in the punt-return game to a spot where perhaps he can get some touches there, and even though he hasn't done much of that return game since high school, he's a guy that was always trained at it, and very adept at catching the football, and then fearless in terms of looking in the return, setting people on the return game, bounce it when he needs to," Vikings coach Brad Childress said.

Harvin already has a pretty extensive workload as a receiver and kick returner, and when the Vikings were thin at receiver before the trade for Randy Moss, they were also asking him to play more on the outside as opposed to be used mostly in the slot.

When the Vikings drafted him in 2009, they expected a versatile weapon, but they continue to find new ways to use his skills.

"We talked about that before (the draft), about (Florida coach Urban Myer) saying that he may have been their best running back, and in fact, he takes a greater look at runs coming out of the backfield," Childress said. "Outside runs, inside runs. So, we're just trying to put the ball in his hands here and get as many touches as we can. We thought he could be a good slot receiver."

On Sunday, Harvin was used in the backfield in certain situations and rushed twice for 18 yards. However, don't expect that to be a steadily increasing duty for him.

"Just a changeup. Just a couple of different personnel packages with five wide receivers," Childress said. "You try to do that with different people. We'll do it with Randy from time to time, just move people around so they're not always in the same spot. Otherwise, they are easier to defense."

Harvin said Sunday that he's as healthy as he has since he turned pro last year, and with him at practice more consistency and the recent decrease in debilitating migraines, the ways in which he is used could increase even more.

MORE ON MOSS

Moss' halftime speech continued to be a talker on Monday. After Childress finished addressing the team at halftime Sunday, Moss said the Vikings offense either needed to score quickly or go on a sustained drive to help keep their defense from getting worn down.

"He's a passionate football player. And I'm sure some would say that's a plus, that's a minus, but after I said what I had to say yesterday, then we always get a little bit of a break before we go out and he kind of hit it right between the eyes in terms of what we needed to do to play Vikings football to win the second half," Childress said. "It always rings when you don't know somebody has that side. There's a bunch of guys that haven't played with him before. It's kind of like a, ‘Hmmm.' Kind of an epiphany for them. He's speaking from the heart and when you're speaking from the heart, it's always taken very well."

NOTES

  • The Vikings will have to follow league and team protocol in dealing with safety Husain Abdullah's concussion, suffered in the first 20 minutes of Sunday's game.

    "I haven't seen him yet today. He's been in the training room, but you know, he's got to pass muster on all that stuff," Childress said.

  • The Vikings haven't been summoned to be involved with the investigation into allegations that Brett Favre sent lewd pictures of himself to a former sideline reporter employed by the Jets in 2008, the same year Favre played for New York. Asked about the team's role in Favre's meeting with NFL security, Childress said the organization wouldn't have any role "to my knowledge."

    "That's not our responsibility," Childress said.

  • Favre said Sunday that family members have told him he isn't smiling enough on the sidelines. Childress reiterated Favre's stance on the issue: It's hard to have fun when you aren't winning.

    " I think that smiling is when you're having success and having fun. I think he had a little smile when he dropped the ball on the ground and threw a screen to (Jim) Kleinsasser, kind of like, 'Well, it wasn't really drawn up that way. It wasn't a drop-ball screen or anything.' We didn't coach it that way, although it'll stop the defense every now and then," Childress said. "But the fun in this business is winning. We got two. So hopefully as I say, God willing, he can smile a little bit more as we go forward."


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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