Play to watch: Newly acquired Harvin becomes focal point of Jets offense
When the New York Jets traded for Percy Harvin three weeks ago, it was because of his versatility.
Oh, yeah, and his ability to make plays with his feet.
A former first-round pick of the Vikings, Harvin has played two games with the Jets since being traded from the Seahawks three weeks ago. And if last week was any indicator, the Jets are set on getting the ball into the hands of their newly acquired wide receiver any way possible.
They’ve used Harvin in the backfield as a single set back and handed him the ball. He was used in the short passing game and also caught a deep pass.
However, the way the Jets want to use Harvin is by getting the ball in his hands quickly, and that’s what they did last week against Kansas City, especially with the trips left fake zone read bubble screen.
Harvin caught 11 passes for 129 yards, with 81 of those coming after the catch, further enforcing the Jets’ eagerness to get him the ball quickly. Harvin caught four passes behind the line of scrimmage last week, and all but one of his 13 targets was from less than 10 yards down field.
The Jets have packaged some of the zone read runs with the bubbles/quick passes to Harvin. The trips left fake zone read bubble screen is one of them.
The Jets line up with Harvin wide left, receiver Jeremy Kerley in the slot and tight end Jeff Cumberland off the end of the line of scrimmage to create a trips formation. Eric Decker is set wide right, with running back Chris Johnson to the left of quarterback Michael Vick in the shotgun.
At the snap, Vick sticks the ball in Johnson’s stomach as he crosses his face simulating a read-option run — a play the Jets use often with both Vick and Geno Smith. However, the Jets have no intention on running the ball on this play.
The key to the play is to hold the safeties with the read-option fake and quickly get the ball into Harvin’s hands on a bubble screen and let him run to pick up yards.
Unlike a normal screen, in which a running back receives a short pass with offensive linemen blocking in front of him, the bubble screen uses a wide receiver taking a pass behind a wall of offensive players lined up wide, often other receivers and tight ends.
The job of the two receivers on Harvin’s side, especially Kerley, is to get down the field and block. Kerley needs to block the cornerback covering Harvin to give him a chance to get upfield. Cumberland will block down to pick up the slot corner.
The way the Jets run the play, they want to get their left tackle, left guard and center down the field as well. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Oday Aboushi and Nick Mangold immediately head downfield to pick up blocks. Backside guard Willie Colon cuts the defensive end, and right tackle Breno Giacomini blocks the weak side linebacker.
If executed correctly, the play has the potential for a big gain.