Potentially lost in the Earl Thomas “I want to return punts” news today were the Percy Harvin “I feel great” proclamations.
And while the former is an obvious talking point after the first day of OTAs, the latter could have the more lasting impact on the 2014 season.
“It’s a true blessing,” Harvin said of his health. “I’m just happy to be out here. Happy to be healthy right now.”
That Harvin is healthy is not necessarily news — rumblings have been that Harvin has looked great in the off-season work the team has done so far.
Still, given Harvin’s stunted 2013 season, seeing is believing.
And Harvin certainly looked the part of a healthy, difference-making receiver today, several times sliding to the ground to make catches, and just generally looking like he had the same spring in his step he showed on the kickoff return for a touchdown that keyed the Super Bowl win.
Harvin said the hip injury is in the rearview mirror and that he feels as good as he has since he entered college at Florida.
Harvin also said that he was never really healthy at any point last season, including during the off-season and before the hip injury became known.
“I knew what I had, exactly what I had,” he said of the hip injury that eventually resulted in surgery. “So I kind of pushed through the whole off-season, so I didn’t get the work like I wanted to get it. I was able to get it this year. A couple weeks after the season was over I was right back to work, texting all the guys. There was no complacency in us. We were ready to get right back to work.”
That appears especially true for Harvin, who said the Super Bowl performance and ring help initially ease some of the pain of the 2013 season, when he played in just one regular season game and one playoff game prior to the win over the Broncos.
But Harvin said when he had time to reflect, the realization that it was mostly a lost year for him hit a little harder.
“The Super Bowl for me personally, it made everything good and I was able to let some of the madness down from missing the whole season,” he said. “But when I got home I was just unsettled and I felt like I had a lot more to give. I don’t feel like I made my mark on that season like I wanted to.”
As previously reported, Harvin’s attempt to make a mark on this season include his desire to be the team’s punt returner, though he’ll have to beat out Earl Thomas and maybe Richard Sherman to do it.
What we know for sure is that if healthy, Harvin gives Seattle a legitimate No. 1 receiver along with one of the most dangerous kickoff returners in the NFL.
“It’s great to have Percy out here practicing with us,” coach Pete Carroll said today. “The days were so few in preparations for the games that he played in even, to have him throughout all these weeks and he’s working and he’s fitting and he understands the chemistry and communication, he just has tremendous direction to go now. He looks fantastic and he’s working on returning punts and kickoffs so we’re excited about all of that.”
And recall that a few months ago, at the NFL Combine, Carroll mentioned the difference a healthy Harvin could make for the Seahawks, saying that the team had “barely scratched the surface” of including him in the offense.
“Speaking for myself, for me it’s (his goal) to put my mark on this season,” Harvin said. “I didn’t give this team all that I had last year because of the injuries so I’m just looking to do what I do and I know a lot of the guys, Richard and those guys, they are looking to come in and show you why they got what they got. … This team I feel should be even better.”