Will the Wildcat debut Friday?

The Vikings have been working their Wildcat plays sporadically during training camp. Percy Harvin talked about being in the offense and the different roles he plays. Plus, get notes from the afternoon practice.

When the Vikings drafted Percy Harvin, head coach Brad Childress immediately wanted the list of plays the offensive coaching staff had envisioned for him, according to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Friday, the rest of the NFL world might get a look at a couple of those options when the Vikings open the preseason at the Indianapolis Colts.

"It's tremendous fun," Harvin said Tuesday of the Wildcat offense. "We've been putting it in since OTAs (organized team activities). Just flirting around with it. Don't know if we're going to use it yet. Just playing in this offense in general is fun. I'm looking forward to competing this season."

Harvin has been getting a better feel for his role, which is expected to include most of his playing time at wide receiver, some backfield action, some return possibilities and a limited menu of the Wildcat, where Harvin and other designated players will take a direct snap from center and try to create confusion on defense with misdirection and numerous options in getting the ball quickly in the hands of the playmakers.

Just as Childress called the passing game "a work in progress," so is the Wildcat offense. On one of the plays in the morning practice a handoff between Harvin and RB Adrian Peterson ended up on the ground.

"He tried taking it from me instead of just letting it ride out, but it's a work in progress," Harvin said. "But I've been doing it a long time now so I'm pretty much comfortable with it and I know Adrian is. It's just something we have to keep repping to get to perfection."

Harvin is also a work in progress. The coaches are trying to figure out how to best utilized his talents and see how much he can handle from a mental standpoint.

"We are trying to see what we have in Percy and see exactly what we are able to do with him. Like I have said before, we are trying to throw as much at him as we can," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "When it comes game plan week, we will pull it back and pick specific plays for him. I think he has done a nice job. He was swimming a little bit early, but he is starting to come into his own. His athletic ability speaks for itself. If the players didn't even have numbers on, anyone could pick him out. He has great quickness, great speed and is very fluid. I think he is going to be a solid player for us."

Harvin said he can throw the ball – "It won't be a perfect spiral, but I can get it there," he said – but he's likely to see more action at wide receiver and in the return game. Even that took some time for Harvin to get used to. At Florida, he just practiced returning kicks and punts and didn't actually do that in games, but he will get some work returning kicks on Friday, Childress said.

"I'm good with it now. It took a little while, but I'm feeling more and more comfortable with it. When we come out here and do our special teams work I catch a lot of punts, pretty much all the reps," Harvin said. "… We have one of the best punters (Chris Kluwe) here, so I feel if I can catch his punts I can pretty much catch a lot of punters. I did it a lot in college. Didn't get to do it in a game. I'll just keep repping and when my number is called, if they want me out there, I'll be out there."

Said Childress: "We just want to see how he fits in for the stuff we do. I don't think there will be a lot of bells and whistles. We want to see him in the return game and do some of those things that he has been practicing out there. That's not hard to accomplish because he will be out there as a returner. Those are the kind of things you want to see. You just want to see them taking it from the grass into the stadium."

The first-round draft pick said he's in no position to lobby for certain plays or lobby against anything the coaches ask him to do. The main thing, he said, is that the games are already starting, a welcome sight for a rookie that has been asked to do a lot.

"I'm just anxious to strap it back up again. You do all this work in the offseason, OTAs and minicamp to finally strap it up and to know the season is getting closer, you get anxious and kind of excited," he said.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON PRACTICE NOTES

  • After getting the morning practice off, Steve Hutchinson returned to action for Tuesday afternoon's practice. Hutchinson was hurt in Monday's practice and, after being attended to by trainers, returned to action. His return to the field on Tuesday afternoon should indicate the injury wasn't serious.

  • Tarvaris Jackson got the first work with the starting offense in the initial full-team drills on Tuesday afternoon, but Sage Rosenfels also took his turns with the first-team offense. The Vikings haven't yet named a starting quarterback for Friday's game, but they are expected to get virtually equal action.

  • Sage Rosenfels connected with Harvin on a 50-yard touchdown pass with CB Marcus Walker trailing in coverage.

  • CB Cedric Griffin intercepted a John David Booty pass intended for WR Glenn Holt that was tipped at the line of scrimmage.

  • Center John Sullivan received praise from both coaches and players for making some good reads during the Tuesday afternoon walkthrough.

  • TE Garrett Mills made a diving catch of a Booty pass, but he stayed down on the field for about 30 seconds while trainers tended to him. He got up, walked off the field and appeared to be holding his hand. His status is uncertain.

  • The Detroit Lions signed former Vikings WR Billy McMullen, released yesterday from the Seattle Seahawks, and released former Vikings guard Toniu Fonoti.


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