‘Better late than never,’ Tate emerging in third season

Dec 3, 2012, 6:18 PM | Updated: 6:45 pm
LISTEN:

By Brady Henderson

Golden Tate shed three tackles and avoided two more before diving into the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown against Chicago on Sunday, a play that Pete Carroll was asked about during his conversation with “Brock and Salk” on Monday.

“That’s not even an unusual play for him,” the Seahawks coach said. “He just can do that kind of stuff, so it’s a really an exciting time for us.”

You can forgive Carroll for his understated assessment. After all, he’s seen Tate make similarly spectacular plays during what has become a breakout season for the third-year wide receiver.

b92d5cd6-fa08-467c-96f8-d2fef2a0dff7
It’s been a breakout season for Golden Tate, who had a career-high 96 yards receiving and the go-ahead touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Bears. (AP)

“He has really just emerged. It’s taken some time for him to arrive as a football player in terms of all the details and the intricacies of it,” Carroll said. “He’s always been a marvelous talent. We saw that a long time ago. I remember playing against him in college and he was making those same plays in college. It took us some time to bring it to the front.”

About two seasons, actually.

Tate, a second-round pick in 2010, didn’t do much in his first season, which included an infamous doughnut shop incident, a Week 1 benching and just 21 catches for 227 yards.

He caught 35 passes for 382 yards and three scores the following season, with 24 of those receptions coming over the final eight games. Despite the strong finish, the two-year totals where underwhelming.

Tate, by his own admission, was relying too much on his athleticism, figuring that would make up for undisciplined route running and an overall lack of attention to detail.

Carroll said it’s often not until a receiver’s third season until he realizes that won’t cut it.

“The marvelous athleticism and the natural ability that so many of these kids have, it gets in the way sometimes of the discipline that it takes,” Carroll said. “Right now we have a fantastic football player in Golden. He is creative, he’s really though, he’s got tremendous hand-eye coordination and sense, he’s got great confidence, too.”

Through 12 games, Tate has 35 catches for 486 yards, ranking second in both among Seahawks receivers. He’s tied with Sidney Rice for the team lead in touchdowns with seven. Those totals put him on pace for 47 catches, 648 yards and nine touchdowns, which isn’t bad at all for a No. 2 receiver in a run-first offense.

Twenty-two of his receptions and four of his touchdowns have come since Week 7, when Tate struggled in a loss to San Francisco.

The numbers only tell part of the story, however. You can debate the legitimacy of the touchdown catch he made to beat Green Bay, but there’s no denying that he’s shown a knack this season for highlight-reel plays.

His upside-down flip into the end zone against Minnesota and the leaping grab he made over a Jets cornerback are among his most memorable touchdowns. He didn’t score on his 32-yard reception last week against Miami, but that one might take the cake as far as degree of difficulty. He’s even thrown for a touchdown, hitting Rice with an accurate spiral.

“It took us time to get him where he could contribute and we could count on him. But now I can’t wait to throw him the football and see what he’s going to do next,” Carroll said.

Tate has never shied away from the reality that his career got off to a slow start.

“It’s been a tough, long journey for me and I’m glad I’m finally meeting the expectations that this organization and the coaching staff had for me,” he told “Bob and Groz” on Monday. “It took a little longer than we all expected – including myself – but better late than never, right?”

Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby share more thoughts on Tate’s emergence in the video below.

You can listen to Monday’s podcast here.

Bob, Groz and Tom

Seahawks RB Chris Carson...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Bench Chris Carson? Seahawks need him running to make playoffs

Seahawks running back Chris Carson is struggling with fumbles, and it's imperative he corrects the issue, says Jake Heaps. "If this team is going to go to the playoffs, they have to have Chris Carson running the football."
3 years ago
The Groz at T-Mobile Park...
Brent Stecker

Watch: The Groz throws out the 1st pitch before Mariners-Astros game

Dave "The Groz" Grosby was honored by the Mariners on Tuesday night by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Check out video, photos and more from his big night here.
3 years ago
Bob, Groz and Tom...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Highlights from The Groz’s last show on Bob, Groz and Tom

Dave "The Groz" Grosby signed off as a full-time Seattle sports radio host Friday on Bob, Groz and Tom with visits from several notable names from his career.
3 years ago
The Groz...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Watch: Members of the Seattle sports media pay tribute to The Groz

Watch a special tribute to 710 ESPN Seattle's The Groz featuring messages from members of the Seattle sports media to commemorate his 29 years as a daily host in the market.
3 years ago
The Groz...
Brent Stecker

The Groz’s final show on Bob, Groz and Tom airs Friday at noon

Dave "The Groz" Grosby will finish up his 29-year career as a daily Seattle sports radio host on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle's Bob, Groz and Tom.
3 years ago
Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...
Brent Stecker

What sets Mariners OF Kyle Lewis apart from other prospects?

Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis hit his fifth home run in eight games in the big leagues on Wednesday. ROOT Sports analyst Mike Blowers talked to Bob, Groz and Tom about Lewis and what makes him stand out.
3 years ago
‘Better late than never,’ Tate emerging in third season