The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 27, 2012

After rocky summer, Harvin becomes team leader

(Continued)

Greenway compared Harvin's effect on the team as similar to what safety Bob Sanders did for the Iowa Hawkeyes during their run to the Orange Bowl in 2003.

"He just taught us all to play at another level. He just did," Greenway said of Sanders. "He played at a different speed and he just teaches everybody to play at a different speed. If you're not willing to play at that speed then you're not going to make it. I think Percy's that same guy. He's at that next level. If we can all just tag along and come with him, we're going to do a lot of great things."

Harvin credited offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave with putting him in the right positions to produce. That's a heartening stance after Harvin's role in the red zone last year was minimized and may have played a role in his desire to play elsewhere.

But Harvin and the rest of the Vikings offense appears much more comfortable in the second year of Musgrave's system. Quarterback Christian Ponder has taken more control of the offense in his first full season as a starter, tight end Kyle Rudolph is emerging as a legitimate threat over the middle and Adrian Peterson is getting closer to being fully healthy after knee surgery.

"Last year I think a lot of us didn't know the offense like we wanted to know it," Harvin said. "We knew it, but not up and down. We were just out there playing just trying to make plays.

"This year guys took it upon themselves to transform their bodies, to know the playbook up and down. So when we come on the field, it's easy for Musgrave to say, 'Hey Percy, go play this position. Hey Rudolph, go play this position.' Because we all kind of know each other's positions."

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