After nearly two years of biding his time, receiver Golden Tate finally is playing meaningful minutes on a regular basis for the Seattle Seahawks.
The second-year player out of Notre Dame did not play with enough consistency during his first NFL season last year to make much of an impact. But after spending time focusing on his route running and his overall understanding of the offense, Tate steadily moved into position to increase his role in the offense.
Tate got his chance when Sidney Rice was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list three weeks ago because of a concussion.
Since then, Tate has started two games and has had seven catches for 86 yards and a touchdown in those games – including three catches for 39 yards against St. Louis, along with a 14-yard run.
Tate said he feels more comfortable on the field and with the offense.
“That just comes with experience,” Tate said. “The more you play, the more comfortable you get. So that was definitely the case. I was very confident in the game plan and once again tried to make the best of my opportunities, because you never know when you’re going to have another opportunity to make a play.”
And he also appreciates a chance to contribute while the team is playing well. The Seahawks have won four of their past five games.
“It always feels good to win, for one,” Tate said. “But to feel like I’m making an impact on this team late in the season, it feels good. So once again, I’m just very happy I’ve been given the opportunity to make plays, and hopefully I continue that for the remainder of the season.”
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll’s patience in bringing Tate along slowly and not giving up on him has been rewarded by Tate’s play lately.
“Golden did some good things again tonight,” Carroll said after Monday’s game against St. Louis. “It’s exciting to see him play. And you can all see why we’ve been excited about him the whole time. And the more chances we give him, the more he contributes.”
PARKER PLACED ON IR; LOCKETTE GETS CALL
The Seattle Seahawks announced Tuesday that cornerback Ron Parker has been placed on the injured reserve because of an Achilles tendon injury.
The 24-year-old rookie out of Newberry College was claimed off waivers from the Raiders on Oct. 24 and played in two games on special teams. Parker played in three games for the Raiders before joining the Seahawks.
With the vacant spot on the active roster, Seattle is expected to sign rookie wide receiver Ricardo Lockette off the practice squad. At 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, the 25-year-old rookie out of Fort Valley State showed promise and explosiveness during training camp and in the preseason, finishing with one reception for 16 yards in three games.
With Lockette on board, the Seahawks now have six receivers on the active roster.
The Seahawks also released defensive end Keith Darbut from the practice squad. Darbut, a rookie out of Division III Baldwin-Wallace College, was signed last week.
Seattle filled that spot on the practice squad by signing John Graves, a 6-foot-3, 286-pound defensive end out of Virginia Tech. Graves was released by Houston during the final roster cuts in September at the end of training camp.
SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
CHICAGO BEARS (7-6)
10 a.m., Sunday, Soldier Field, CHICAGO
Against the Seahawks: This is the 13th time the teams have met in the regular season, with Seattle holding an 8-4 advantage. The Bears won the last meeting, 35-24, in the NFC divisional playoffs Jan. 16 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Seattle won the last regular-season meeting, 23-20, on Oct. 17 last year in Chicago after sacking quarterback Jay Cutler six times and holding the Bears to 0-for-12 on third downs.
Stats and stuff: The Seahawks will not face Cutler this time. Chicago’s starting quarterback has a fractured thumb on his throwing hand and is done for the regular season. Enter backup Caleb Hanie, who has struggled to move Chicago’s offense. He is 0-3 since taking over and has completed only 52 percent of his passes, with two touchdown passes and six interceptions. Hanie has a lowly 48.6 passer rating. The Bears also could be playing without starting running back Matt Forte, who has a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Veteran runner Marion Barber has started in place of Forte, but he failed to stay in bounds on a run with two minutes left in Sunday’s game against against Denver, stopping the clock and giving the Broncos just enough time to make a game-tying field goal. Barber then made matters worse by fumbling in overtime after the Bears got within field-goal range. Former Seahawks president Tim Ruskell is director of scouting for the Bears. Ex-Seahawks center Chris Spencer starts at right guard for Chicago. Former Seattle tight end Mike Tice coaches Chicago’s offensive line. Bears’ defensive line coach Mike Phair and tight ends coach Mike DeBord also coached in Seattle.
Quotable: “They all suck.” – Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, commenting on Chicago’s 13-10 loss at Denver in overtime.
Sept. 11 Bears 30, Falcons 12
Sept. 18 Saints 30, Bears 12
Sept. 25 Packers 27, Bears 17
Oct. 2 Bears 34, Panthers 29
Oct. 10 Lions 24, Bears 13
Oct. 16 Bears 39, Vikings 10
Oct. 23 Bears 24, Bucs 18
Oct. 30 Bye
Nov. 7 Bears 30, Eagles 24
Nov. 13 Bears 37, Lions 13
Nov. 20 Bears 31, Chargers 20
Nov. 27 Raiders 25, Bears 20
Dec. 4 Chiefs 10, Bears 3
Dec. 11 Broncos 13, Bears 10
Dec. 18 Seattle
Dec. 25 at Green Bay
Jan. 1 at Minnesota
Eric D. Williams, staff writer