But even though the Seattle 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.”