The Game Plan: Intriguing Vikings rookie, what to watch in Week 1
NEW YORK -- Just what you need: more King. Well, you're getting it, like it or not. Welcome to the first edition of "The Game Plan,'' my new Friday column. This is the first of 22 weekly columns I'll write between now and Super Bowl Sunday.
The focus of the piece is going to be some aspect of the weekend's games that I find the most riveting. This week, it's going to be on
In addition to six or eight paragraphs on what I can't wait to see, I'm going to give you other sections of the column:
With a nod to
My favorite on-field training camp memory this summer came in Mankato, Minn., during rookie all-purpose player Percy Harvin's second week of practice. Harvin, a 5-foot-11, 184-pound whippet, lined up in the shotgun as the Wildcat quarterback, and had his hands extended toward center
How interesting, this split-second moment in time. Here was a rookie still learning the way from the dorm to the practice field, and when he got out on the field, he was anything but a rookie. Harvin was comfortable enough in his own skin to say to the best back in football, in effect, Dude, you better not be slow coming in motion on my watch. Let's go!
When I brought this up to Harvin the other day, he seemed almost sheepish. He remembered it, all right, but said it happened because he and Peterson hadn't had much opportunity to work on the play yet. Harvin was doing a lot of different things in camp, and I think Sunday in Cleveland we'll see him as the game's most interesting weapon. I expect him to play four spots: slot receiver (maybe 15 snaps), wide receiver (15, and maybe more if
"All the different things they're having me do isn't a problem at all,'' Harvin told me this week. "In fact, I love it. At Florida, I had to learn a lot of the running back stuff from the playbook and lots of receiver stuff. I know they're trying to work me hard so they can use me at a few places on the field, and that's good with me. With the first game so close, I'm really excited. This is what I've been waiting for, to play at this level.''
"Very smart,'' said
Favre told Harvin, who is 18-and-a-half years younger than his quarterback, that he was young enough to be his son. In fact, Favre's daughter
The combo platter of Favre to Harvin could be one of the most interesting in recent NFL history. Harvin had legitimate 4.3-second 40-speed and the ability to get behind almost every corner in the league. Favre's surgically repaired right arm has the ability -- at least now, when he's feeling well -- to hit him 50 yards downfield. In their one extended playing sequence together at Houston 11 days ago, Favre spied Harvin running a corner route into the end zone. Favre laid the ball up almost perfectly for him. Only problem was, when Harvin had beaten his man, he looked back for the ball and lost it in the lights. He had a step and a half on the Texan corner, and the ball glanced off his fingertips.
"I don't think that's going to happen again,'' Harvin said. Let the Browns be warned.
I'll forever wonder why Tennessee defensive coordinator