Former Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin spoke to First Take this morning and had some interesting things to say about his time in Seattle, his altercations with Doug Baldwin and other receivers, and his perception of Pete Carroll as a coach.
Listen in, and I've transcribed some of the interview below.
What's the difference in his situation in Buffalo as compared to Seattle?
"My teammates accept me a little more (in Buffalo). What I mean by that I I felt when I went to Seattle a lot of the receivers kind of took me as a threat rather than accepting me as a teammate. I always told those guys, I pulled them to the side several times after seeing a couple of the comments they was making to the media, ‘hey, guys, I'm here to ball with you, I'm here to take us to the next level.' A lot of guys were looking at they were established and they didn't need any help. I just took it as I never was kind of accepted in the receiver group by all the members."
What's the difference between Pete Carroll and Rex Ryan?
"They're both players coaches. For me personally, he's kind of taken me for what it is, he's taken me for what it is, he's not judged me for anything in the past, he's let me come in and told me to be myself all the time, don't feel like you're walking on egg shells. In Seattle, there were times that I felt I needed to be the guy to go in and sit in the back room, not say too much, kinda walk on egg shells. That in itself kind of drove frustrations, on top of not being accepted in my receiver group, so just was never kind of able to get comfortable."
Did you talk to Pete Carroll about this?
"We had several conversations, he said he saw it (Harvin not getting accepted) in some of the guys. I don't know if he actually went to the guys and had a conversation, but me and him had many conversations. I told him how I didn't feel comfortable, I would take him to the papers and show him the quotes that I was rubbed wrong by, and he said he could see it, but, that's kind of what happened with the altercation with Doug."
Did you feel that Carroll took Doug's side?
"I don't know whose side he took, but I was the one that ended up leaving, so I just took it as that."
Why is there the perception that you're hard to deal with, or a risk?
"Just kind of how I dealt with things. Especially in Seattle, there were things that I should've handled in a different manner. In the locker room, I've always felt that you want to handle things man-to-man, which is kind of what I've done with Doug's situation, but that ended up turning into a backfire. But I'm always a player that, if I have a problem or issue, I'm going to go to the person rather than having ‘he-said-this, he-said-that,' and I thought we had worked it out. But, after I left, I saw reports saying this and saying that, and it just bothered me that the truth wasn't said."
Very interesting stuff.
On one hand, I definitely could see how Harvin had the perception that he was being taken as a threat -- both Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin had been extremely vocal in the press about how they (and the receivers group) were underrated and under-appreciated, and it wouldn't surprise me if there was a little bit of tension because of the amount Harvin was being paid to come in and be a weapon for the Seahawks. The first-year injury only exacerbated this and probably helped him to feel alienated as he rehabbed from hip surgery.
On the other hand, and this is just my opinion, but Harvin's decisions to take himself out of games late was the real reason he was ultimately traded (or the last straw, anyway). It also didn't help that Harvin had influenced a change in Seattle's run-first explosive offense as the team tried to get him more involved. Regardless, there was obviously some interpersonal locker room stuff going on, but there may be some culpability on both sides for the failed Harvin experiment here in Seattle. It's interesting to hear Harvin's point of view on it, as he hadn't really said a whole lot on the subject prior to today.