To Return Or Not To Return? That’s The Question

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 28, 2012 – 5:11 pm

So what do you do when you’re best offensive player is also your best kickoff returner? It’s a question the Vikings have faced previously and will face again with respect to WR Percy Harvin, the team’s most dynamic offensive weapon as well as one of the best kickoff returners in the NFL.

It’s not a bad problem to have, but it’s one that still requires a solution. Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier was asked about the issue after his team’s training camp practice on Saturday. and summed it up pretty well.

“He’s such a threat as a returner, but at the same time he’s one of our most valuable players on offense,” Frazier commented. “We have to balance that, and he’s one of those guys that goes so hard that you don’t want to jeopardize what he can give you in totality.”

The good news is Frazier has good perspective on the matter. He’s a defensive-minded head coach, so he won’t have an innate bias whenever a decision has to be made, which will surely be on a weekly basis. Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave certainly has an expectation that Harvin will be available for offensive duties, and you can’t blame Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer for lobbying Frazier to have Harvin on the return team – Harvin was a  Pro Bowl returner in 2009, after all.

“As far as I’m concerned, Percy is our number one kickoff returner,” Priefer said on Saturday. “We have several other returners on the roster and we’re going to work as many guys as we can in training camp and in preseason games. Come Week One, if he (Harvin) is ready to roll, we’re ready to have him back there, absolutely.”

Other players who took turns returning kickoffs in Saturday’s practice included DB Reggie Jones, CB Marcus Sherels, WR Kerry Taylor, RB Jordan Todman, WR Bryan Walters and WR Jarius Wright. Will the Vikings try to develop a regular starter among that group? Or will Harvin remain the primary returner? It sounds like Frazier and his staff have a pretty good idea, and that the situation will remain somewhat fluid.

“Yea we have an idea of how we want to use him,” Frazier said. “It’ll be one of those things where we’ll always be conscious of how much we’re going to be using him on offense and what we need from him on kickoff return. We do have a plan, but we’ll see how things go from game to game.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “To Return Or Not To Return? That’s The Question”

  1. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Wright or Todman would be my choices. Only use Harvin as a KR if the team needs a jolt. Todman has amazing speed. Just ask Bowman. While Wright is shifty so could likely make more people miss.

  2. By Bluebird7 on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Save Percy for what he is good at besides kick-off retuns.

  3. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Anything interesting happen at practice today Wobschall? We need details.

  4. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Details Mikey details.

  5. By Mike Wobschall on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I have a bit coming on practice in about two hours. Gotta space these out for the next 24 hours with no practice tomorrow.

  6. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Alright thanks Wobschall. Just a little excited football season is truly underway.

  7. By sandiamond on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    seeing an empty black space up there. Pic or Vid?

  8. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Has S. Burton been able to practice or does he still have a foot injury?

  9. By Mike Wobschall on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Vid. Harvin interview. Burton is working his way back…shouldn’t be too long before he’s full speed.

  10. By sandiamond on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Flash player is off while I clean the hardrive. Must be a video of Percy

  11. By sandiamond on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Will the camp live-stream run everyday? We can’t wait to see the players in pads Mike!

  12. By rogerthevikefan on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Thats great. Only have heard how improved he has been this offseason so was worried a little by him having a foot injury.

  13. By Spencer on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Mike- How has Bobby Felder been looking out there?

    Since a majority of our CB’s are going down with injuries its important that he steps up to the plate,

  14. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Lay off the Shakespeare, Wobbles– too many of your titles are to be or not to be.

  15. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I thought our best offensive player was Adrian Peterson. So did the Wilfs. Not to mention who makes the best salary.

  16. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    I just scanned through the article– makes no sense whatsoever. Goes in circles.

  17. By oDIm on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    1) Save Peterson for the playoffs, the greatest things require great patience.
    2) Give the new guys the kicks, unless the O blows.
    3) Use Percy to mix the backfield more, until AP is 100%..
    4) With the WR spot opened up, Use Webb as a trick play WR
    for End Arounds and sideline pass laterals.
    He can bomb or scramble off the edges.
    5) Don’t give me the Mora “Playoffs! speech.”

  18. By oDIm on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Wobby – How mucch would we have to pay Jay to make you look like Don Beebe?

  19. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Of course, I agree to keep Peterson in healing/rehabilitation– don’t rush it. What a mistake that would be.

  20. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Where is everyone? Spencer playing Warcraft again?

  21. By RichardA1 on Jul 28, 2012 | Reply

    Harvin is almost more valuable than A.P. can A.P. catch like Harvin? this can’t be a one player team, it has got to be everybody playing the whole game, like a team!

  22. By celticvikingwarrior on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    sandiamond… idiot here, HOW do I “CLEAN MY HARD DRIVE”, I’m getting “HIGH CPU USEAGE” messages like crazy…My computer is far better than my ability and only 2 years old !!!.

  23. By Scott on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Harvin could be alot like Deven Hester.They should have him return punts also .Hes a play maker.

  24. By Carl K on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    I like the creative headline Wobby! Fun stuff!
    To answer the question… I don’t think we use Harvin enough.
    Let him return every kick if that is what he wants to do.
    He can catch it 8 yards deep and still be a threat to take it to the house.
    Play to win.

  25. By sandiamond on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply


    - anti-virus protection / must have this day and age with norton, etc
    - clean out your cache at least once a week to get rid of web sites visited
    tools/security/delete browsing history
    - all programs/ try to delete some that came pre-loaded you will never use
    snapfish,rhapsody,dvd suite deluxe,windows media center, games , etc

    The idea is to free up space on the hardrive. The more you surf and watch video it will take up space and you get the message “high cpu usage”
    I did a lot of this manually under hardrive programs but would not suggest this because you probably would delete items that are needed

    Last, you can download CCleaner for free to clean and sweep the registry from unused and old entries

  26. By Ron on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    I agree,Harvin is too valuable to be beatin up like last year.They wore him out.I wish they would use him at wide reciever more as a deep threat.

  27. By Jason on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    Harvin is just a weapon everwhere he plays!

  28. By 4eversteve on Jul 29, 2012 | Reply

    it’s likely that Peterson may not play a down during the preseason, Harvin probably will see limited action as well. Gerhart and Todman will tote the rock early and often, I really like what Jordon Todman brings to the table he will be a much better back than Lorenzo Booker was for the Vikings. I also think the Coleman kid out of UCLA makes the practice squad, the Viking will have to release several good backs, grant it most them are fullbacks and that’s to bad I really liked Ryan D’Imperio, maybe since they are still several ? at LB on the team they could give him a shot at LB again, the position he played in college. Rhett Ellison will win the starting job at fullback\TE given his versatility just my though.

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