Continued from page 1

Seattle wanted to bring Harvin in so badly, it dealt three draft picks, including a first-rounder, to Minnesota in the offseason and then signed him to a six-year, $67 million contract. The Seahawks envisioned him as a difference-maker on offense and special teams.

But he missed the first 10 games after hip surgery, and played sparingly when he returned because of complications. Harvin came back for the playoffs, but hit his head on the turf in Seattle’s win over New Orleans in the divisional round and suffered a concussion.

He then sat out the NFC title game victory over San Francisco - a mere frustrated spectator, unable to help his team.

“Being injured all season,” Harvin said, “it took a toll on me.”

His teammates knew what it was doing to Harvin, and they urged him to take care of himself and get healthy. Because, they told him, they would need him to help finally deliver Seattle its first championship.

Harvin had just one catch for 17 yards in the regular season, and had three receptions for 21 yards and a 9-yard rush against the Saints before getting hurt.

“A lot of people got down on him because he didn’t play throughout the season, but I knew the type of person Percy was,” wide receiver Jermaine Kearse said. “He was going to fight back. He was going to get healthy and when he was finally healthy, he came out and showed out.”

During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Phillips said he and the rest of the Broncos planned to study film of Harvin from his Vikings days. And, to the Broncos, Harvin looked like that player again.

“He’s an explosive guy and that definitely played a major part,” Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “They got the ball in his hands and let him do a few things, and it worked for them.”


AP NFL website: