Seahawks Insider

Getting Harvin the rock – let’s count the ways

Post by Eric Williams on March 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm with 19 Comments »
March 14, 2013 2:12 pm
Seattle Seahawks' Percy Harvin speaks at a news conference at the team's headquarters Tuesday, March 12, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks’ Percy Harvin speaks at a news conference at the team’s headquarters Tuesday, March 12, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

You can bet as soon as the Seattle Seahawks brokered the trade with Minnesota that sent Percy Harvin to Seattle, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was in his office watching old Vikings game film trying to figure out innovative ways to get his new toy the ball.

Well, two can play that game. So let’s take a look at some of the different ways the Seahawks can make sure Harvin gets at least eight to 10 touches a game come September.


Yeah, I know some people hate this play. But it’s a pretty easy way to get a receiver in space to create a chunk play, and you can run it out of several different formations.

With Harvin as the slot receiver, the Seahawks can put defenses in a bind. Spread the field to cover Harvin on the outside, and Russell Wilson hands it to Marshawn Lynch. Stack the box, and with a quick flick of the wrist Wilson has the ball in a playmaker’s hands out on the perimeter.


Harvin has the speed to threaten safeties down the middle of the field, but also is nifty enough to create separation from the linebackers in underneath coverage, and make something happen after the catch, which Minnesota offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave discusses in the video below.


If you’re a defensive end on the back side of the zone read option, you better stay home or Harvin will beat you with speed around the edge on the reverse.


It’s a pretty simple route run at all levels of football. Basically you run all your receivers vertically up the field, and take the outside receiver and run him on a shallow crossing route at about five yards across the field. Ideally, the defense is in man coverage and for someone like Harvin, that means nothing but green grass with a defensive back trailing him when he clears the offensive tackle on the other side of the field. If the defense is playing zone, the receiver is taught to gear down and find an open window in the underneath coverage. The play is about 45 seconds in. This video also provides a decent look at how Bevell used Harvin in his rookie season with Bret Favre on the team.


Looking to spice up the return game? Harvin has five kickoff returns for touchdowns since entering the league in 2009, the most of any player during that period. Seattle’s doesn’t have to use him back there every time, but the Seahawks can pick their spots and put Harvin back there when they need a big return.


How about Lynch AND Harvin in the backfield at the same time? Expect Bevell to take a look at some old University of Florida tape, where Harvin excelled as a running back and a receiver in a read option attack. Check out this counter play out of the shotgun from Harvin’s days at Florida in the video below. Ridiculous.

Video, Xs and Os
Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. RDPoulsbo says:

    That’s some pretty good stuff. I’d add just a simple swing pass with Harvin lined up in the backfield and try to catch the defense trying to cover him with a LB and safeties staying home in the middle. A quick and easy 5-10 yard gain if not more.

  2. CDHawkFan says:

    Great post Eric, thanks for the good work.

  3. SandpointHawk says:

    Good stuff Eric, I frankly can’t believe this trade has brought out the Whine and Cheese crowd once again. This is going to be grand….

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Eric, This is one of your best posts to date. Really good. And for the record yes, some of us do hate the bubble screen. I’m hoping that Carroll’s comments prior to the Minn game last year, speaking on how the Vikings got Harvin the ball *too* often befind the line, is insight to how he sees using him here. That is: F the bubble screen. (For my part, those shallow crossers and dig routes are where he can clean up. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Bevel employ some of the Mike Martz’ Hi-Lo Crossing concepts, with this group or receivers, this year.)

  5. Seahawks2620 says:

    It is amazing just how fast he explodes through the smallest windows.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good insight Eric.

    I can’t wait to see the real thing.

  7. trout_hound says:

    Great post. He’s so quick, plus he truly has that third and fourth gear burner speed to pull away. I’m sure we can find all kind of ways to get him the ball in space. Its going to be a fun year to be a Hawk fan.

  8. Singularitarian says:

    I for one love bubble screens, with well set up blocks. Keeps the time ticking and keeps dbs honest. 2 or 3 a game between Tate and Harvin is alright with me. I recall a few i really liked to Tate last year. I also remember Brady/Welker killing our defense and most others with it. You gotta mix it all in and keep folks guessing. I’m not saying it should be used to excess. Also, my one spot i see weakness in Russle Wilson is his decision making in the screen game. He threw a couple last year that should have been tucked

  9. Ok this is totally irrelevent but I’d love to see Harvin wear #1 like he did at Florida. I don’t think Warren would mind and #1 just looks so much faster and cooler than #11. :)

  10. tchristensen says:

    Harvin can truly accelerate!

  11. CDHawkFan says:

    2 thing pop out at me, speed and I didn’t realise how physically he ran. He took on a few guys where most would have gone out or down. RW must be smiling.

  12. jawpeace says:

    Well I was not super excited about the Harvin trade. As I see All Pro Wes Welker sign for 6 million a year. Wallace around the same money Harvin is getting and no draft picks as a cost. Yeah I know a seventh rounder is nothing and a low first and what should be a low third next year are hit and miss.
    After watching Harvin highlights above I am a little more excited and really hope the Hawks get a guy who matures up and still continues to be a dynamic player.

  13. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Dare I say he has the balance of Barry Sanders with the freak speed of Joey Galloway? Dude is not easy to tackle and bring down either. I was blown away by many of those highlights. I was kinda less than thrilled with this trade, but after reading and watching highlights over the past few days, I can actually say WOW!
    I think this will be a huge move for us that will pay off this year. I think Percy will thrive with Wilson throwing and handing him the ball. Those Favre highlights were pretty impressive as well. Canon arm. Big chunk of success rate will be determined by how well the O line plays this year. They gotta do better in pass pro. I’m sooo ready for the season to start. This is going to be Fun!!

  14. I can’t tell you how many people here in MN have told me lately how they are going to root for the Seahawks next year just b/c of Percy. They loved his style of play and know how good he is. About 4-5 have said they are going to get a new Percy jersey, too.

  15. bird_spit says:

    I know this is really not primary, but this gives me the chills thinking how much better our on defensive secondary will have to get to cover these guys in practice. Ya F’in Hoooooo Damn excited. Rare do I get the chills thinking of how good “my” team is going to be.

  16. Holy Night!!!

    I’ll admit I had no idea how good this guy has been playing. Have to borrow a term from the futbol world in that Percy plays the “beautiful game”. Brazilian soccer in American football.

    Hands, acceleration, tough to bring down… I’m sold. Damn that boy can m-o-v-e!

  17. bbnate420 says:

    Great post, E. I’d like your quick take on if you think Harvin is worth the price, especially with your past as a WR.

  18. Well he’s clearly moving a at different speed then the defenders. Kids got major wheels.

  19. Newborough says:

    Great compilation Eric, I’d already seen a bunch of highlight reel plays from him, but hadn’t realized just how versatile he is, and how many new possibilities he could bring to the team, until just now. Even if he never touched the ball in a game, just having him on the field would likely lift both the receiving and running game a notch. Our receiver group is scarily good now at least top 5.

    Am I pumped for the coming season, or what? With our improved pass-rush we just need a modicum of luck in avoiding a major injury bug to go all the way this time. The moves Pete and John have made this week show they believe this is Our Time too. It’s gonna be fun, that much is for sure.

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