GREEN BAY, Wis. — Most people are not in their comfort zone with 11 angry men bearing down on them, and thousands more screaming from the stands.
But Golden Tate will tell you he is not like most people.
“I really enjoy punt returning because I get the ball, and I just get to be myself,” Tate said. “I get to find a way to make a play and hopefully boost our offense and give us better field position.”
Tate faced Green Bay at Lambeau Field almost a year after his controversial winning touchdown catch against the Packers at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 24, 2012.
Fans booed Tate the first time he was on the field to return punts. Some fans wore shirts that said “Worst Call Ever.”
Tate took a punt back 53 yards in the second quarter, but it was called back because of offsetting penalties.
Tate said he took the boos as a sign of respect.
“I was excited to make a play, especially here after what had happened in the past,” Tate said. “But I will say this: Packer fans for the most part have moved on from what happened almost a year ago. Obviously you have a few (people) who still want to hold on to it, flip you off and be classless. But for the most part, I have respect for Packers fans. They’re a lot like our fans. They’re very passionate about their team.”
Tate also looked much more comfortable as the Seahawks’ starting punt returner. He has some big shoes to fill in taking over for Leon Washington, now with New England.
“Leon is a tremendous punt returner and kick returner,” Tate said. “Fortunately I had a chance to learn from him, so I’m excited to use some of that moving forward.”
MICHAEL SHINES AGAIN
Rookie running back Christine Michael once again flashed his impressive running ability and showed that coach Pete Carroll might have to find a way to get him on the field come the regular season.
The Texas A&M product did not play last week against Denver because of back spasms. But he returned Friday night in Green Bay, bolting through a big hole for a 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Michael also made a nice, one-handed grab on a pass out in the flat, hitting the turbo button and gaining 25 yards.
Michael finished with 97 yards rushing on 11 carries.
“Both games he’s played in, he’s been a factor,” Carroll said. “And he looked very good tonight.”
Said Michael: “I’m more and more comfortable every day. I just have to go to practice and get some more work in, be more trustworthy in the running game, and just go out there and have fun. Put the work in.”
WILLIAMS SCORES AGAIN
While scoring is important, receiver Stephen Williams wants people to know he can do other things beside catch go routes for touchdowns.
He showed some of that versatility against the Packers.
On third-and-16 from Seattle’s 49-yard line early in the third quarter, Williams took a shallow crossing route, outran the defense and turned the corner to pick up the first down.
“I feel like a lot of people feel I’m just going to run vertical,” Williams said. “But another part of my game, I love yards after the catch. I’m big on catching the ball and going vertical down the field. That’s something I’ve been doing since college, but I finally got an opportunity to do it in this game.”
Williams scored his third touchdown of the exhibition season on a 42-yard pass play from Brady Quinn on — you guessed it — a go route.
Williams finished with two catches for 58 yards.
“He’s really made a big statement for himself in trying to be part of this football team,” Carroll said. “It was great to see that.”
Defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a knee injury during the first half, but returned to the game. … 15 Seattle players did not suit up to play against the Packers. They include Sidney Rice, receiver Percy Harvin, receiver Bryan Walters, fullback Michael Robinson, cornerback Tharold Simon, cornerback Ron Parker, defensive end Cliff Avril, defensive end Ty Powell, linebacker Korey Toomer, offensive lineman James Carpenter, tight end Zach Miller, defensive end Jesse Williams, defensive end Chris Clemons, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and defensive lineman Greg Scruggs. … Walter Thurmond and Bobby Wagner led Seattle in tackles with five apiece. … Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga got his first action with the Seahawks, finishing with two tackles and a sack.