No Harvin, no change in plan
RENTON – Seahawks receivers coach Kippy Brown offered a simple answer when asked how Seattle intended to replace the potential output lost by the absence of Percy Harvin – they’ll play the matchups.
“First of all, we’re not going to change what our philosophy is,” Brown said. “And having been in this league a long time, every game is different, every opponent is different. They have their strengths and weaknesses. And when you game plan, you go and attack that.
“That may involve getting a receiver in a certain area, or it may involve the running game. So when you game plan, if you have a player you want to get the ball to, you figure out how to do it. And we have some very talented players on this team.”
Harvin is expected to have surgery today back in New York to repair a partially torn labrum that could keep him out of Seattle’s lineup for the next four months.
Pete Carroll was not made available to reporters after practice on Wednesday. However, in an interview with the league’s TV network, the Seattle coach said the team has to wait until after Harvin’s surgery to get a more accurate read on how long he’ll be out.
“Percy does have a chance to get back,” Carroll said. “And we’ll find that out after the procedure. We’ll know what took place, and then they’ll make a guess on how long that will take him.
“But we’re going to get him right, fix him up and take care of him. We made a big commitment to Percy. We want to make sure that he’s 100 percent and ready to go. So we look forward to a fast recovery, and him getting back out here.”
Brown acknowledged that the Seahawks have been working on different ways during the offseason to take advantage of Harvin’s skill set. However, those plays will not be tossed out into the trash – players like Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse offer the ability to still carry out some of the many ways Harvin can attack a defense.
“I would assume that we are very similar players,” Tate said, when asked how he could fill the production lost by Harvin’s absence. “So the things that they have – they intended on him to do – I’ll be more than happy to do that. I want to get the ball anyway that I can, and I want to try and make a play.
“I feel like I am really similar to Percy (Harvin). I feel that at any moment, I could make a big play – to boost us or give us a go-ahead score. Whatever they need. I’m excited to get the opportunity to get more reps and help this offense.”
Tate also will be in the mix to replace Harvin as Seattle’s kick returner.
While Tate, Baldwin and Sidney Rice all will be expected to help fill the void, the receiver who stands the most to gain is Kearse.
Not given much of a chance to make the roster last season as an undrafted rookie free agent, the University of Washington product earned a spot on the practice squad in 2012, and eventually made his way onto the active roster at the end of the season. Kearse totaled three receptions for 31 yards in seven games played, along with evolving into one of the team’s core special teams players.
Kearse used to wear contacts, but had Lasik eye surgery in February, which seems to have cured his occasional problems with drops.
“I had it on Valentine’s Day, actually,” Kearse said. “I wore contacts, and they bothered me a lot. Sometimes they would move around, and would be blurry in one eye. And I just got tired of it.
“I can read a lot further. Everything just seems more clear, and I don’t have to worry about the hassle of putting my contacts in.”
Brown said he’s noticed the difference.
“Jermaine Kearse is having a hell of a camp,” Brown said. “He’s quick. He’s a great route runner. He’s very disciplined. He’s a guy who learns well.”
So Kearse has a chance to be a playmaker in Seattle’s offense?
“I don’t have any doubt,” Brown said.
“I’m feeling real good,” added Kearse. “We have a great defense that I get to go against every day. Constantly competing against them just evolves my game every day.”
So while Harvin remains out, the expectation for the Seahawks is the offense that averaged 33 points a contest in the second half of the season will keep purring.
“I hate to say it, but Sidney had been dealing with injuries during my rookie season, and we were able to continue to go forward without him,” Baldwin said. “And then Percy wasn’t here last year, so we still have depth and we still have guys on this team that haven’t even had a chance to play football yet on Sundays, and who are more than capable of filling in if we need them to.”
Seattle’s training room is filling up with the completion of Day 6 of training camp on Wednesday. The Seahawks had 18 players not practice, including six players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in Harvin (hip), Greg Scruggs (knee), Chris Clemons (knee), Tharold Simon (foot), Zach Miller (foot) and Robert Turbin (foot). Linebacker Korey Toomer (hip) remains on the non-football injury list.
Others sitting out of practice include tight ends Michael Palmer and Darren Fells; cornerbacks Ron Parker (hamstring) and Jeremy Lane (walking boot); defensive linemen Michael Brooks, Kenneth Boatright and Cliff Avril (hamstring); linebackers Bobby Wagner and Kyle Knox; and offensive lineman Michael Bowie (hamstring).
Receiver Sidney Rice still has not returned from a trip to Switzerland to have a preventative procedure done on his knee.
Tight end Luke Willson suffered what looked to be an arm injury late in practice while diving for a ball in the end zone, with safety Winston Guy closing in on him.