Percy Harvin opens second half of Super Bowl XLVIII with kick return touchdown
The Seattle Seahawks took a bit of a beating when they traded their 2013 first-round pick to the Minnesota Vikings for receiver Percy Harvin, and then signed Harvin to a six-year, $67 million contract with $25.5 million guaranteed. True to form, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider didn't care what anyone else thought. And they still didn't care what anyone else thought when Harvin suffered a hip injury in training camp, and was only available for 20 snaps in the regular season. Harvin added 19 snaps in the Seahawks' divisional round win over the New Orleans Saints, but he suffered a concussion early in the game and missed the Seahawks' win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
There was skepticism when Carroll kept saying that Harvin would be a full-go participant for the Super Bowl, but he practiced without obstruction, and gained 45 yards on two rushes in the first half.
And then, to open the second half ... well, Harvin pretty much earned his entire year's contract with one play -- an 87-yard kick return that put the Seahawks up 29-0 after Steven Hauschka added the extra point.
“Well, he’s a terrific football player, with the dynamics of the tremendous speed that he has, the intensity that he brings when the ball’s in his hands -- how he carries it, he runs like a running back -- he’s unusually aggressive and he’s such a versatile athlete, that you have a lot of opportunities to do different things with him," Carroll said this week when asked about Harvin's effect on Seattle's offense and special teams.
"So, it causes a defense to have to be on guard for him running with the football, him catching and running, and also the tremendous speed he has to get downfield deep. So, he’s rare in that aspect that he has all of those dimensions going for him. We knew it from recruiting him [Carrol recruited Harvin out of high school when he was USC's head coach], we knew it from playing against him, we knew it from watching him and then we were thrilled to have the chance to put him on our team. We haven’t had the opportunity to demonstrate how that’s going to all work out and fit with our club yet, to any extent, but this will be an opportunity, in this game, to get him involved. We said the whole time, there was never a thought to build a football team around one guy; we’ve never said that and never thought that way. We just want to add him to the mix and see how that contributes to the rest of the guys, and I think he should be able to contribute in a good way.” Well, yeah. So far, so good.