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Redskins Prepare For Playmaker Percy Harvin

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The Washington Redskins have already gone up against their fair share of electrifying playmakers through the quarter-mark of this young season.

Through the first four weeks, Jim Haslett's defense has dealt with the likes of Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Victor Cruz, Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy, just to name a few.

So it should come as no surprise that, in Game No. 5, the Redskins will be forced to go toe-to-toe with another playmaking threat in Seattle Seahawks' wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Able to be a game changer in the passing, running and returning games, he's a rare triple-threat that has the ability to light up the night sky when the Redskins and Seahawks do battle on Monday Night Football.

After missing all but one regular season game due to injury in 2013, Harvin returned in time to help lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl title.

In the postseason, he had four receptions for 26 yards, but provided 45 yards on the ground and an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos.

"He came back after being hurt pretty much all year and made big plays in the game," Redskins middle linebacker Keenan Robinson said. "You see him, was it the Super Bowl? He went off, so you see what he did. He's a guy that can change the outcome of a game."

Already this season Harvin has made his presence known between the white lines. In Seattle's 36-16 season-opening defeat of the Green Bay Packers, the former Florida Gator touched the football 11 times for 160 total yards, averaging 14.5 yards – or more than a first down - per touch.

On the season, Harvin has 15 receptions for 106 yards, six carries for 86 yards and a score, as well as seven kickoff returns for 141 yards.

"I think they do a good job of using Percy all over the place," Redskins safety Ryan Clark said. "I think they do an extremely good job of using him scheme-wise to get him the ball."

Seattle's offensive brain trust has devised several ways to utilize Harvin's talents. Handing him the football on jet sweeps, sending him downfield on deep routes and using him as decoy to distract defenses have all been utilized by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Even without the ball in his hands, the 22nd-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft can still make a difference. His mere presence on the field, along with Seattle's other playmakers, just poses one more threat the defense has to consider before the snap of the football.

"I would say that him being used as a distraction is just as effective as him getting the ball," Robinson said. "We have to know where he's at because if we leave him alone by himself, let him get to the edge, he can hurt us."

The last time Washington faced the 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowler was in 2012, when, as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin caught 11 passes for 133 yards and averaged 33.3 yards on three kick returns.

If Haslett's defense wants to eliminate Harvin as a factor in the game, gang tackling and getting as many hats to the ball will be key.

"For us, it's about corralling the ball and getting more than one hat to the ball," Clark said. "One guy in the open field is not good enough to bring down Percy Harvin. We have to understand that as a defense."

Redskins' special team captain and linebacker Adam Hayward agrees, but also notes something that you usually don't hear associated with Harvin: his strength.

"Besides speed, he's strong. The dude is a strong runner," Hayward said. "He's a receiver and what not, but he is very physical and strong and can run through arm tackles and stuff like that."

As outside linebacker Brian Orakpo told reporters on Friday, football is the ultimate team sport. Against the Seahawks, they'll need all 11 defenders on the field swarming to the football to bring down Seattle's plethora of weapons, Harvin included.

On the Seahawks' depth chart and roster, Harvin is known simply as a wide receiver. But if you ask Haslett, however, you can't restrict him to that one label.

"He can do a lot of different things. He can be a running back, he can be a wideout. He can do a lot of different things for your team," the Redskins' defensive coordinator said. "He may be the best athlete in the National Football League."

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The Washington Redskins have already gone up against their fair share of electrifying playmakers through the quarter-mark of this young season.

 

Through the first four weeks, Jim Haslett's defense has dealt with the likes of Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Victor Cruz, Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy, just to name a few.

 

So it should come as no surprise that, in Game No. 5, the Redskins will be forced to go toe-to-toe with another playmaking threat in Seattle Seahawks' wide receiver Percy Harvin.

 

Able to be a game changer in the passing, running and returning games, he's a rare triple-threat that has the ability to light up the night sky when the Redskins and Seahawks do battle on Monday Night Football.

 

After missing all but one regular season game due to injury in 2013, Harvin returned in time to help lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl title.

 

In the postseason, he had four receptions for 26 yards, but provided 45 yards on the ground and an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Seattle's 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos.

 

"He came back after being hurt pretty much all year and made big plays in the game," Redskins middle linebacker Keenan Robinson said. "You see him, was it the Super Bowl? He went off, so you see what he did. He's a guy that can change the outcome of a game."

 

Already this season Harvin has made his presence known between the white lines. In Seattle's 36-16 season-opening defeat of the Green Bay Packers, the former Florida Gator touched the football 11 times for 160 total yards, averaging 14.5 yards – or more than a first down - per touch.

 

On the season, Harvin has 15 receptions for 106 yards, six carries for 86 yards and a score, as well as seven kickoff returns for 141 yards.

 

"I think they do a good job of using Percy all over the place," Redskins safety Ryan Clark said. "I think they do an extremely good job of using him scheme-wise to get him the ball."

 

Seattle's offensive brain trust has devised several ways to utilize Harvin's talents. Handing him the football on jet sweeps, sending him downfield on deep routes and using him as decoy to distract defenses have all been utilized by offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

 

Even without the ball in his hands, the 22nd-overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft can still make a difference. His mere presence on the field, along with Seattle's other playmakers, just poses one more threat the defense has to consider before the snap of the football.

 

"I would say that him being used as a distraction is just as effective as him getting the ball," Robinson said. "We have to know where he's at because if we leave him alone by himself, let him get to the edge, he can hurt us."

 

The last time Washington faced the 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowler was in 2012, when, as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin caught 11 passes for 133 yards and averaged 33.3 yards on three kick returns.

If Haslett's defense wants to eliminate Harvin as a factor in the game, gang tackling and getting as many hats to the ball will be key.

 

"For us, it's about corralling the ball and getting more than one hat to the ball," Clark said. "One guy in the open field is not good enough to bring down Percy Harvin. We have to understand that as a defense."

 

Redskins' special team captain and linebacker Adam Hayward agrees, but also notes something that you usually don't hear associated with Harvin: his strength.

 

"Besides speed, he's strong. The dude is a strong runner," Hayward said. "He's a receiver and what not, but he is very physical and strong and can run through arm tackles and stuff like that."

 

As outside linebacker Brian Orakpo told reporters on Friday, football is the ultimate team sport. Against the Seahawks, they'll need all 11 defenders on the field swarming to the football to bring down Seattle's plethora of weapons, Harvin included.

 

On the Seahawks' depth chart and roster, Harvin is known simply as a wide receiver. But if you ask Haslett, however, you can't restrict him to that one label.

 

"He can do a lot of different things. He can be a running back, he can be a wideout. He can do a lot of different things for your team," the Redskins' defensive coordinator said. "He may be the best athlete in the National Football League."

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