RENTON – He’s perhaps the most explosive playmaker selected by the Seattle Seahawks since the team drafted Koren Robinson with the ninth overall selection in 2001.
But even though the Seahawks feel lucky to have corralled Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate with the No. 60 pick in the second round, they understand he is not the savior of Seattle’s anemic offense, which ranked in the bottom third of the league for the second straight season last fall.
”I know one thing, over the past two days he’s been very impressive,” Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said about Tate. “His work ethic has been unbelievable. He’s very aggressive as far as attacking the ball when the ball’s up in the air. He still has to learn the offense. He has a long way to go, and he has a big playbook to study. But we’re excited to have him.”
Tate finished his career with the Fighting Irish as the school’s all-time receiving yards leader with 2,707. The Seahawks like his ability to create plays in open space, and hope to use him in the return game as well.
Tate put his playmaking ability on display on the opening day of minicamp, sneaking past cornerback Josh Wilson on a go route for a long gain, and going up high to bring down a ball between Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux down the middle of the defense.
But toward the end of the three-day camp, Tate struggled at times to consistently create separation and come down with balls against some of Seattle’s veteran defensive backs, receiving some good-natured ribbing from veteran players like Lawyer Milloy.
“Golden has to understand this is the NFL,” Wilson said. “Some of that stuff you did in college ain’t going to work out here. But he’s going to be a good receiver. He’s just got to keep working at.”
Tate said he understands the speed of the game is different.
“All of these guys are fast,” he said. “All these guys are smart. It’s tough. My first day, I have to learn the plays. I have to figure out certain techniques to work. I have to study film a lot more. It was tough, but overall, I think I did OK. I have a lot to do until I can help this team out, but I am excited.”
Seattle wide receivers coach Kippy Brown and T.J. Houshmandzadeh have been constantly in Tate’s ear between snaps on the field, providing tips and advice. And Tate’s playmaking ability also has caught the eye of perhaps the most important person on the team for the 5-11, 195-pound receiver – quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
“I thought he really showed up yesterday (Friday),” Hasselbeck said. “It’s a very competitive situation right now, and I said before, as a quarterback you go to a guy, and if he makes a play for you, you’re probably going to go back to him, and keep going back to him. .... I think it gives you confidence, and I think it gives him confidence. He’s done a really nice job.”
Bryant catching on at DE
Defensive lineman Red Bryant, a fourth-round draft pick heading into his third season out of Texas A&M, continues to see time at defensive end. And according to head coach Pete Carroll, Bryant showed improvement over the three-day camp.
Bryant blocked a pass from the defensive end position during a Sunday scrimmage, and split time at defensive end and defensive tackle. Carroll said defensive line coach Dan Quinn had the idea of playing Bryant outside.
“Obviously it gives us a big guy playing over there,” Carroll said. “And with what we’re trying to do in the run game, he made a good showing. ... His feet are quick, and he’s still a big man.”
Bryant said his father-in-law, legendary Seahawks defensive end Jacob Green, constantly reminds him that his redshirt years are over, and that he needs to step up.
“He tells me all the time, in Year 3 they kind of get an idea if you’re going to be a player or not,” Bryant said. And so he’s brutally honest with me.”
Linebacker Leroy Hill missed his second minicamp since being arrested for alleged domestic disturbance three weeks ago at his Issaquah home. Carroll said Hill has been excused from attending the workouts, and nothing has changed in terms of Hill’s status with the league. “We don’t need the distraction right now, and he needs to focus on getting his business taken care of,” Carroll said. ... Carroll had more kind words for receiver Mike Williams. With Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch and Ben Obomanu out, Williams was running with the first unit this weekend. “To see Mike come out here and be effective again in the second camp, that’s a really good sign for him,” Carroll said. “He’s definitely in a place where he’s really competitive. Physically, it’s the best I’ve seen him since maybe his sophomore year of college. So he’s very serious about it, so maybe he has a chance to give us some help.” Carroll said the other Williams in camp, UW product Reggie Williams, has had his moments as well, and that both will continue to compete throughout the offseason and likely up until training camp starts at the end of July. “Reggie’s done better,” Carroll said. “He’s getting in better shape from where he was on the first camp. He’s continued to progress also. It’s going to be a long haul for those guys. Those guys are working their way back, and it’s going to be an assessment that you make over a long period of time.” ... Another UW product who continues to see time is Joe Toledo. The former Huskies tight end has been working with the second unit at right tackle. And with Seattle’s lack of depth at the tackle position, Toledo, a tryout player, remains an option to continue on in the team’s offseason program. ... The next minicamp is June 22-24.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks