The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 27, 2012

After rocky summer, Harvin becomes team leader


Receivers coach George Stewart has been in Minnesota for all four of Harvin's seasons. He's seen Harvin struggle to stay on the field because of migraine headaches and endure the ups and downs of finding his way in the league.

"Early in his career it was up, down, up, down," Stewart said. "He had migraines, couldn't practice. Nothing jointed. Everything was disjointed. Now those migraines are behind him.

"When he first came into the league, he was a running back. He wasn't a wide receiver. We played him in the slot, but now he's doing everything. He's catching balls on the outside. He's a great slot player. But the consistency of being a professional is the biggest thing."

Ponder has an easier answer for Harvin's temperament.

"I'd be happy if I was getting the ball as much as he is," Ponder quipped. "He's doing well. He's a great teammate. Everyone loves him and loves being around him. He's stepping up huge right now this season. I know he's happy to be a Minnesota Viking and he's showing that right now."

Coach Leslie Frazier said "I'd dread to think of where we'd be without him."

Harvin has one more year left on his contract after this one, and the Vikings have a history of extending core players before their last season arrives. That's not on Harvin's mind at the moment, but an extension certainly looks a lot more realistic today than it did earlier this summer.

"I think he understands how he goes, our football team goes," Stewart said. "He is one of the faces of the Minnesota Vikings. He has to be that positive influence on our football team and he's doing an outstanding job doing it."


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