Great expectations for Seahawks’ Golden Tate

Aug 29, 2012, 10:34 AM | Updated: 10:38 am

Bill Swartz

When the Seahawks drafted Golden Tate in the second round in 2010, many fans and media expected great things from the Notre Dame receiver. Now entering his third year, we’re still waiting to see Tate live up to those lofty expectations.

“Eighty-one and I have been through a lot together,” he said. “We were inactive together and we’ve been through doughnut shops. I plan on playing here a long time and wearing number 81, hopefully.”

His NFL career started with an embarrassing doughnut theft caper. Tate mentioned it two weeks ago while explaining why he wouldn’t give up his jersey number to Terrell Owens.

09480522-53eb-4c73-bb53-4fa59d3aa8d3
Golden Tate had a 14-yard catch and returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown against Kansas City last week. (AP)

At 5-10, Tate compensates for his lack of height with great leaping ability. He’s made big plays during training camp, and last weekend returned a punt for a touchdown against Kansas City.

The Seahawks have primarily used Tate as a wide receiver, often throwing fade routes for him so he can try and out-jump defenders. His body type is more suited for the slot position, but Doug Baldwin took hold of that job last season.

Seattle brought in taller, veteran receivers Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens for training camp. Flanker Sidney Rice is once again healthy, and Ben Obomanu is a trustworthy option as well as special teams mainstay.

When Owens was released last Sunday, I asked Tate whether that was a vote of confidence in him.

“I can’t control who they bring in here to compete,” he said. “I can only control what I do out here every day. I need to make the plays I’m supposed to make, and make some people probably don’t think I can make. I see myself as a playmaker.”

When we used to ask quarterback Matt Hasselbeck about Tate, he would speak highly of his ability to attack the football. Hasselbeck also talked about Tate’s raw, un-precise route-running. That weakness continues to occasionally surface in his third year in the NFL.

Purely judging his numbers, you could make the case Tate has been consistent. He’s averaged more than 10 yards per catch and led the team last year by catching 62 percent of the passes thrown his way.

Coming into the final preseason game Thursday night against the visiting Raiders, Tate needs to show he’s one of the best five or six receivers on the squad. With the Seahawks’ ability to find creative ways to use unique talent, Tate could be an interesting offensive weapon in 2012.

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks...
Joe Fann

Fann: Seahawks’ meeting vs injury-plagued Rams needs to be ‘get-right’ game

The Seahawks face a Rams team missing most of their stars due to injury, and that presents a perfect opportunity for Seattle, Joe Fann writes.
1 day ago
Seahawks Quandre Diggs...
Brent Stecker

Bump’s Breakdown: 3 things Seahawks must do to get on track

The Seahawks' four-game win streak seems like a distant memory after two straight disappointing losses. How can they rebound? Michael Bumpus breaks it down.
1 day ago
Seahawks Johnathan Abram...
The Associated Press

Seahawks land 2019 1st-rounder Johnathan Abram for safety depth

The Seattle Seahawks claimed safety Johnathan Abram off waivers on Wednesday, adding depth to a position that’s been thinned by injuries.
2 days ago
Seahawks Raiders...
Brent Stecker

Seahawks Football 101: A close look at run defense’s returning issues

The Seahawks were ripped on the ground again Sunday in their overtime loss to the Raiders. What are the problems? Dave Wyman breaks it down.
2 days ago
Seahawks Rams Aaron Donald...
The Associated Press

Rams to play Seahawks without Aaron Donald; QB Stafford also likely out

Seven-time All-Pro DT Aaron Donald will miss a game because of injury for the first time in his NFL career when his Rams host the Seahawks on Sunday.
2 days ago
Seahawks Tariq Woolen...
Brent Stecker

NFL Draft insider on why ’22 Seahawks class hit, possible ’23 targets

Seattle Sports' Brock and Salk caught up with ESPN NFL Draft analyst and insider Matt Miller to get his read on the Seahawks' rookies and what they could do in the 2023 draft.
2 days ago
Great expectations for Seahawks’ Golden Tate