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September 26, 2014 at 5:07 PM

Percy Harvin runs ‘like a running back’

A couple days ago I wrote about Percy Harvin and the impact he has had on the Seahawks’ offense so far, even when he doesn’t touch the ball.

A lot of the story focused on “fly” and “jet” sweeps, but I didn’t have room in the story for something else I thought was pretty interesting. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said earlier this year that one of the things that makes Harvin so effective on those plays, when he’s coming from one side of the field in motion and either gets the ball or is a decoy to disrupt the defense, is that he runs like a running back, not a wide receiver.

It’s an interesting point. Harvin is obviously incredibly fast — one of the most explosive players in the league. But there are a lot of fast receivers in the NFL. Part of what makes Harvin so unique is that he is so good at hitting holes, cutting up the field, running with quick steps. He doesn’t run like a long-legged, striding receiver, and that allows him to hit holes and change directions much more effectively than most guys.

Here’s what Bevell said about Harvin and those sweep plays:

“He really runs like a running back runs. He doesn’t run like a wide receiver. To be able to find the right guy sometimes to fit into it is a big deal. You can run it with a lot of wide receives, but a lot of wide receivers are just that: They’re wide receivers. They run with long-legged running, so to speak. Percy is a guy that runs more like a running back. He has quick feet. His feet are closer to the ground. He’s got a good base. He can break down and change directions, so he’s got good toughness to be able to run it up in there. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just handing it to a wide receiver.”

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