Just 2 games in, Harvin comfortable with Jets
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The past three weeks have been quite a whirlwind for Percy Harvin.
Acquired by the New York Jets from the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 18, the playmaking wide receiver's days have been filled with getting acquainted with a new town and teammates, working on the field before and after practices and attending daily meetings with the coaches, quarterbacks and other receivers.
Oh, and plenty of late nights with the playbook sprawled in front of him, cramming while trying to absorb Marty Mornhinweg's offense.
''It was tough, but at the same time, I had all the coaching staff, (Michael) Vick and the rest of the receivers - all those guys were helping me out,'' Harvin said Friday. ''It took a lot of time in between practices, after practices, but that's my job, so I had to get it done.''
It certainly appears Harvin is a quick learner, already making an impact on the Jets' offense. After catching three passes for 22 yards, rushing for 28 yards on four carries and returning six kickoffs for 144 yards against Buffalo in his debut, Harvin had a terrific performance last Sunday at Kansas City.
He was targeted 13 times and caught 11 passes for 129 yards, had an 8-yard run and also returned two kickoffs for 88 yards - and nearly had a touchdown on one if not for being tripped by Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos.
''I felt really comfortable with the playbook,'' said Harvin, who's fine after cutting his heel in practice Wednesday. ''Just having been here two weeks, I wasn't thinking a whole lot, so I was just out there cutting it loose. I do like to play that way, just going out there and cutting it loose and not worrying about assignments or where I'm lining up.
''It all came to me pretty good.''
Harvin and Decker, who had nine receptions against the Chiefs, became the first pair of Jets wide receivers, according to the team's website, to combine for 20 catches in game since Eddie Bell (12) and Don Maynard (nine) in 1970.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Harvin will try to become the first Jets player with consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Laveranues Coles in 2006. He's also looking to be the first Jets player with consecutive 10-catch games since Keyshawn Johnson in 1999, and the first with three 150-yard all-purpose games in a row since Freeman McNeil in 1985.
''He's a talented, hard-working, competitive guy,'' Mornhinweg said. ''That was a good thing for the New York Jets organization to acquire Percy.''
Despite an eight-game losing streak that is one away from setting a dubious franchise record, one bright spot for the Jets has been an improvement in personnel on offense - now highlighted by the addition of Harvin.
''Obviously, getting Percy Harvin in is a huge impact,'' coach Rex Ryan said. ''And Decker, him, (Jeremy) Kerley and you've got the tight ends, I feel like now, I really feel good about where we are from a talent standpoint. And trying to mix it in, I thought Marty did a great job kind of getting a feel for Percy and all that and obviously (Harvin) was featured quite a bit this past week.''
Because of his athletic ability, Harvin gives Mornhinweg the ability to be more flexible - and creative - with the offense.
When Harvin steps on the field, defenses have to guess: Is he lining up wide? Inside? Running the ball out of the backfield? Catching a short pass out of the backfield? Is he about to fly down the field for a deep pass?
''Yeah, you've seen it the last couple of games,'' Mornhinweg said. ''He's versatile. He's a heck of a football player and so he can play just about anywhere and have an influence on the game.''
The Jets rank 32nd - or, dead last - in the NFL in passing offense, but Harvin's arrival might help boost that spot.
''I think since I've been here, from the first week to the second week, there's been growth,'' Harvin said. ''Even the plays we haven't been hitting, we can see them on film and what we should have done and we could've easily had a lot more big plays. We see that there. We just have to build on it, but I definitely think it's coming together.''
Harvin thinks there might even be a few added opportunities Sunday with the Steelers ruling out star safety Troy Polamalu with a sprained right knee.
''That definitely helps us,'' he said. ''Polamalu definitely adds a little trickiness to their defense. .... So, not having him back there, we'll be able to pick our reads out a little quicker.''
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