BY Art Thiel 08:57PM 01/23/2014

Thiel: Harvin returns; sign of Seahawks’ payback

WR Percy Harvin was upbeat, which is hardly unusual around the Seahawks these days. But his likely play in the Super Bowl ratchets up the optimism.

Percy Harvin didn’t criticize the hard hits from the Saints that twice forced him from the game. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

The Seahawks own one Super Bowl record, although it’s recognized only in Seattle: Most times bludgeoned by erroneous interpretation of rules, single game. While the return to practice of WR Percy Harvin this week cannot influence that eight-year-old mark, believers in karma might think the Seahawks are finally getting paid back for the debacle in Detroit.

The Seahawks may be the first player to add an elite veteran player between conference championship and the Super Bowl. That, of course, is contingent upon Harvin not getting struck by a meteor between now and Feb. 2.

“I feel good,” Harvin told reporters Thursday at the Seahawks’ practice facility. He was upbeat, even thrilled. Nothing is final until the kickoff at MetLife Stadium sails into the wind-driven snow, but he has passed the concussion protocol that kept him out of the NFC Championship win, and owned up to no problems with his surgically repaired hip after being rocked by the Saints in the previous game.

“It was good to get back out there with my guys,” Harvin said. “I don’t think anybody is not feeling good going up to the most prized possession in our profession, the Super Bowl.”

Harvin’s health setbacks have been sufficient that no one around the team will allow  giddiness to precede the global introduction of perhaps the NFL’s fastest player, for whom the opponent has precious little scouting video.

But facts are facts. No. 11 running around in Renton this week was not a poltergeist.

“He looks fine,” said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. “It’s pretty cool for him. He’s worked really hard; he’s just had some unfortunate things happen to him this year.

“Everyone on the team, all of the coaches . . . it’s obvious when he’s on the field the impact he can have on game. We want to give him every opportunity. I’m sure he wants it as well.”

For his part, Harvin refused to let his travail — Aug. 1 surgery to repair a labrum tear in his hip confined his regular season to 19 snaps in one game —  compromise his public posture of optimism.

“It’s been a roller coaster, but it’s all been a blessing,” he said, ramping up his happy face. “I wouldn’t take anything back that has happened this year. It’s made me a stronger person.

“It’s definitely been frustrating for a lot of people. My teammates, Doug Baldwin and some of the guys that play my position, (are) coming in and out, not knowing when I’m going to be at practice . . . It’s all over with now, all in the past.”

Unlike many fans who felt he was targeted by the Saints to knock him from the game — a first-quarter hit drew a personal foul for hitting a defenseless receiver, but the blow that created the concussion was a hard fall to the turf — Harvin bore no malice.

“It was just us playing football,” he said. “It was unfortunate, some of the hits, but I didn’t think they were targeting me. I just thought they were playing football.”

During his five seasons in Minnesota, Harvin missed some playing time with migraine headaches, the mysterious disorder that invites skepticism from some, none of whom have had one. But there was no correlation between past headaches and the caution surrounding his absence from the 49ers game.

“There were no complications,” he said. “We just had to go through the protocol.”

Harvin had nothing but compliments for the Seahawks’ handling of his health, not surprising given the investment in him — a six-year, $67 million deal that included a $12 million signing bonus and $2.5 million in base salary this season, part of $25.5 million that is guaranteed.

“It’s unique on so many levels — the way they take care of the players,” he said. “Everybody is always on the same level with the way they treat people, with my situation and my teammates being there for me.

“The whole building, from the cooks on down, everybody was coming talking to me. Just this whole atmosphere. It’s kind of hard to put it in words. But it is different.”

His time on the sidelines put him in the emotional position of a fan. Asked how he reacted when Malcolm Smith’s end-zone interception sealed the trip to the Super Bowl, he said, “I couldn’t even describe how I felt. I don’t think anybody could put in words to know that we actually made it to the Super Bowl.”

The Seahawks’ man of mystery can go a long way to marginalizing the mystery of Detroit.


  • ll9956

    Good news, indeed. Go Percy! GO HAWKS!

    • John

      Let’s hear it for Tate, Kearse, Baldwin! Start any of those guys . . . then Harvin. Go Hawks!

  • Gerald Turner

    He is like a cheetah, in the Saints game the jackals and hyenas got a
    piece of him but this time he shall run free.

    Richard Sherman is a genius, don’t they realize that the Seahawks convert
    scorn, disrespect, and derision into fury and purpose?

    And that a slight against any one in blue and green is a slight aganst all?

    By becoming a lighting rod of hate, Sherm is supercharging the team into a whirling
    vortex of violent intention. Yes, there is a storm approaching New
    Your, a storm of retribution. Vengeance for every bit of mockery,
    disdain and snubbing this team has had to endure from the national
    press and populace for the last four years.

    On a lighter note, did you hear that the Raiders cheerleaders are suing
    the team? It seems that they kept them in a dungeon under Raider
    Stadium and only let them out on game day.
    I am glad that the Seahawk cheerleaders dwell in a golden palace on an
    island in Puget Sound, much nicer digs I am sure.

    • Mike G from Alaska

      Good stuff, please go on

  • jafabian

    This is where having Harvin out for almost all season is a plus. His mere presence changed how the Saints played defense and that will most likely be repeated by the Broncos. Time to break out those old Bronco-busters t-shirts from the 80s!

    Assuming Denver doesn’t have a bounty on him, Percy has at least one solid kick or punt return and one long reception in him for the Super Bowl. Just on that alone he’s a contender for Super Bowl MVP (wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants?) I’d really love to see Sherman get it just as a dig to all the haters out there but it will probably be Dangeruss or Beastmode.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    That Meteor better keep to itself…or there is a whole region that will go all “Richard Sherman ” on it for the audacity to land on earth at such a critical time.

  • notaboomer

    concussion over. no biggie. who cares about the protocol? it shall remain secret and mostly irrelevant.

  • 1coolguy

    Hawks were 0-3 inside the red zone: Against high scoring Denver, that won’t cut it. Sure hope the play calling adjusts so we are not 100% depending on the defense again!
    if Harvin plays the entire game it will be interesting to see what formations he lines up in and how the defense reacts. I can see him in the backfield running a seam route, which would get picked up by the linebacker! That would be for instant, big yards.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    We ve got superstars on this team…And we def need the offensive boost so having elite jet speed at the wide out position might be the difference between a ring or no ring.
    I love the guys on this team. The receivers have gone on record as saying they are offended the natl media thinks they are a VW bug at a position that needs a porsche.
    But make no mistake they are licking their chops hoping the Harvin factor will free up more opportunities to shine in the big spotlight.
    Harvin is even worth his salt as a decoy as evidenced in one of Marshawns carries vs the Saints.
    Stay Healthy the whole game Percy~We implore you to!!

    Go Hawks~next superbowl champ. The guy with the tattoo is a clairvoyant.