DENVER – This week, Golden Tate was active.
As it turned out, very active.
In his first action of the season, the rookie second-round draft pick returned a punt 63 yards and pulled in a pass for 52 yards.
“The fact that Golden got a chance to help us and did it in a big way was really good to see,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We’ll figure out a way to make him a part of the offense and the kicking game as much as we can.”
Tate wasn’t a part of the game last week, at all, not being included on the 45-man active roster for the home opener against San Francisco.
The explanation was that he wasn’t yet ready in all phases of his preparation.
“He was still a little behind in doing things right and trying to clean up his game,” Carroll said. “He’s really working hard at it and he’s gonna get it done, but he did show the stuff we’ve seen all camp. He can make plays; he can make things happen. (It was) just a marvelous run on the return. He obviously has the knack, and I love the natural athleticism and the toughness he has, and the ability to break tackles in the open field.”
The roots of his big return may have reached back to the pregame warm-ups. Carroll spent time with Tate during punt return practice, talking to him about tracking the ball on such a sunny day.
“He knows I’ve played a lot of baseball and dealt with the sun a lot,” Tate said. “He told me they were going to get me in there when we were (facing into the sun). I got my chance and I think I showed I can do this.”
Don’t bother asking Tate what happened on the breakaway return. He isn’t really conscious of what’s happening in such cases.
“I secured the ball and then just trusted my blockers; I never remember what happens. I just remember I ran for a long time and I was tired.”
On the lengthy “go” route, Tate praised quarterback Matt Hasselbeck for making a perfect pass.
After sitting out last Sunday, he made an obvious impact against Denver, and Carroll said the staff definitely will try to incorporate him into the attack as much as possible.
“For me, it’s good to show the coaches I can make plays, but at the end of the day, we didn’t win,” Tate said. “I have to figure out how I can make these plays on a regular basis to help us win the game. I’m not satisfied; I’ve got a long way to go.”
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org