Everything was perfect about the play. Golden Tate couldn’t deny that.
Seattle’s second-year receiver positioned himself in front of Minnesota’s coverage, ready to haul in a first-down-clinching pass on third-and-long, and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson fired a strike.
Then the ball slipped through Tate’s hands and landed in the arms of Minnesota’s Marcus Sherels, who returned it 64 yards for a touchdown that gave the Vikings a 7-0 first-quarter lead.
“It was lack of focus on my part,” the second-year receiver said. “It was a great throw. It was all me. I didn’t watch it in. It went through my hands … the other guy picked it off, ran it back.
“All in all it was a good throw, I was where I was supposed to be, and I just didn’t make the play.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pulled Tate from the game for the rest of the first half Saturday at CenturyLink Field. Tate returned in third quarter and caught the only pass thrown his way, a 10-yard completion from Charlie Whitehurst.
“I was disappointed tonight for him,” Carroll said. “We tried to get him some stuff early, we wanted to get him in the game and put it to them.”
Tate said several teammates told him to keep his spirits up.
“We’re all a family,” he said. “They were very encouraging, which helped me a lot because I was very disappointed in myself.”
Tate said he planned to do extra work this week to ensure the mistake doesn’t happen again.
“I’ve just got to focus in, get on the jugs (football throwing machine) this week every day, get my confidence back up and hopefully we won’t have that problem again,” he said.
Carroll said he talked to linebacker Aaron Curry after he received a personal foul call in the first half for pulling the helmet off Minnesota offensive lineman Ryan Cook’s head and flinging it toward the sideline.
The two were locked together and continued to tussle after the whistle.
Carroll said the play was another example of Curry, now in his third year, needing to grow up and make better decisions in those situations.
“That was a bad play,” Carroll said. “That was bad judgment right there. I don’t even know what happened. I couldn’t even see it. I just saw the helmet flying.
“I’ve seen him in situations before that we need to grow through. That needs to be in his past. He can’t take the liberty and hurt our football team like that.”