Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Tate eyes role in the slot

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 9, 2011 at 5:23 am with 57 Comments »
August 9, 2011 5:23 am
Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

With big receivers Sidney Rice and Mike Williams manning the perimeter in the Seattle Seahawks passing game, second-year receiver Golden Tate is focused on earning a role as a reliable slot receiver, which he talks about in my story today.

“The biggest thing is learning this slot,” Tate said. “So I’m trying to focus on learning the ins and outs of it. I’ve been watching (Minnesota’s) Percy Harvin on film and Brandon Stokley, and trying to figure out what they do. I actually talked to Stokley a couple times, getting some little pointers. So I’m learning. (I’ve) got a long way to go, but hopefully the coaches are finding confidence in me and that they can trust me.”

Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports takes a closer look at rookie undrafted free agent Josh Portis.

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times reports from Seattle South – The Tennessee Titans – talking to Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt about drafting UW product Jake Locker and securing Matt Hasselbeck in free agency.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times pens a nice profile on offensive guard Robert Gallery.

Clare Farnsworth of offers this report from Monday’s practice.

More Farnsworth: He profiles tight end Zach Miller.

ESPN’s John Clayton reports that Minnesota free agent linebacker Ben Leber visited Seattle on Monday.

With the league setting a date of Aug. 17th for the supplemental draft, Rob Rang of takes a look at three possible candidates for the upcoming draft – Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Georgia running back Caleb King and North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo.

Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post takes a closer look at the new CBA and how it affects the league’s salary cap. It’s worth a read.

Seahawks undrafted rookie free agent linebacker Neal Howey is profiled in his hometown paper The Monroe Evening News in Michigan.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 57
  1. Soggybuc says:

    If Portis plays well enough in pre season ball I see them having to stash him on the 53 as he will get poached off the wire for sure.

    Does anyone know the rules about the emergency QB? if you make someone in active on sunday can you also designate them the emergency QB and have them dressed or does the emergency guy have to be part of the 46 active players?

  2. I read that headline and I saw: “Golden Tate Rolls Eyes A Lot”

    Guess I need more coffee.

    One thing frequently noticed about Golden Tate last year was that, while he has great straight-line speed and playmaking ability, he doesn’t have the moves and quicks of a great slot guy. Seems to me he would be a better position at flanker where he can use that speed. He would obviously be a backup in that role on our team. But is he really going to win the starting slot position?

    Maybe I just have a case of fatigue when it comes to Tate, and Butler too. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Doug Baldwin in preseason games.

  3. Tate’s playmaking ability just isn’t from str8-line speed, he acually is ellusive, thats why he should be able to excell in the slot. He has the ability to make defenders miss and is quick jukin in and out, which is why he should also return punts if Washington doesn’t.

  4. chuck_easton says:


    By going to a 46 man active game day roster the league effectively eliminated the the ‘emergency QB’. You either have your 3rd QB suited up or you play the game with only 2 QB’s.

    You can play anybody at QB at anytime during the game now. The old rule that if a team used it’s 3rd “emergency QB” any time before the 4 qtr meant that neither the #1 or #2 QB could re-enter the game has been removed.

    So that 46th player (for most teams) will be the 3rd QB. Some teams only carry 2 QB’s so they get an extra player.

  5. Is it just me, or is anyone else thinking that Golden Tate (and Deon Butler) is going to end up being a bust?

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Soggybuc – If you designate a QB as your 46th player, he can come in at any time for a snap or two and the started came come back in (rather than the old rules where if the 3rd / emergency QB played before the 4th, the 1 and 2 couldn’t re-enter). But I would think most teams will choose to activate another position rather than a 3rd QB, in which case the old QB rule would still be in effect.

    Is that what you were asking?

  7. Dukeshire says:

    blocis – Quite frankly, I’m very skeptical about Tate. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but there’s something about him or his “style” I just don’t believe will translate into a highly productive player. I certainly would love to be wrong though.

  8. Butler I think proved last year that he wasn’t a bust, he was startin’ to come along nicely until he got that nasty ass injury. Tate on the otherhand shows signs of explosivness and great ball control making him a big play threat everytime he touches the ball, plus, this is his second year without having the luxury of a normal offseason. So I think neither one can be considered a bust, except Deon might be screwed just because of that crazy leg break.

  9. HawksKD says:

    Watching yesterday Tate looks much improved, especially his timing. You can tell that he has been working on his route running and he looks much much cleaner than last year. In comparison baldwin just looks natural at the position (curious as to what he played at Stanford, duke?)

    Golden Tate – is our Percy Harvin home run threat

    Doug Baldwin – is our Bobby Engram possession guy.

    Both were making Earl Thomas look bad when he was dropping in to cover slot

  10. ballgame says:

    With some many young WR’s this year playing well so far in training camp. I think what actually might be best for Butler’s career is to get PUP’d for the first 6 weeks then IR’d, so he can start fresh next year. I can’t see him making the roster this year not being able to practice and I can’t believe that another team would take a shot at signing him coming off an injury.

  11. HawksKD says:

    I’m thinking both Tate and Baldwin make the final roster.

    I don’t know if it’s by design or QB comfortability, but both tarvaris and Charlie use the middle A LOT. Our TE and Slot guys are getting a lot of catches. Then they seem to spread the D with roll outs and flares out of the backfield. The offensive scheme looks very very similar to eagles (pre-desean Jackson) except our run game looks to be a lot stronger.

  12. Stevos – I’m the opposite of you with Tate. I think he fully has that elusiveness to be good in the slot. I do question his route running ability there though.

    When Bevell came aboard, one of the first things I thought of was Tate being the Percy Harvin of this offense. I realize they aren’t the same player, but I think Tate is going to translate well to this offense.

    By missing all of the off-season stuff, I’m still a bit guarded in my Tate optimism this season to be what we all want him to be. However, I fully expect him to be a great player in 2012 and beyond. I really, really believe in him.

    My biggest beef with Tate is that he isn’t 32 feet, 10 inches tall:)

  13. chuck_easton says:


    We have a difference of understanding here. My understanding was that the league got rid of the ‘emergency QB’ entirely.

    We will have to wait and see the new rules. If there is an emerency QB still then some teams will suit up 47 and other teams only suit up 46.

  14. chuck_easton says:


    I think I’m correct. Under the old rules of the 53 man roster a team would have 45 active players on game day and 8 inactive players. Only one of the 8 inactive players could be a QB and that QB could suit up at the 46th player and be an ‘emergency QB’. IF the ‘emergency QB’ entered the game anytime for any reason prior to the 4th Qtr then the #1 and #2 QB’s could not play. That rule is now gone completely.

    The league added a 46th active player to the gameday roster. He can be the 3rd QB or he can be another position player. If the team chooses to use that 46th spot on another player other than a QB then they play the game with only 2 active QB’s but they can have any other player on the team play QB at any time and not have to designate them an ‘emergency QB’.

    So teams like the Bills who have a WR that is also their third QB don’t have to list that WR as an ‘emergency QB’ and that player can play WR/QB or anything else.

  15. chuck_easton says:

    In Seattle’s case they can have Portis on the roster as a 3rd QB and bring him in for a play or two at QB. They can also bring him in to line up at WR if they want and he doesn’t affect the starting QB.

  16. HawkfaninMT says:

    The case of Tate=Harvin is interesting…

    Lets look at size and speed:
    Tate: 5′ 10″ 202 lbs, 40 yd: 4.42
    Harvin: 5′ 11″ 184 lbs, 40 yd: 4.28

    So Tate is a little bigger, Harvin is a little faster, but I would agree that in measurables they are comprable.

    More importantly though, does Harvin’s routes in the offense take above average route running? Can anyone compare the route running abilities of the two?

    I feel as though MOST of the damage Harvin does is on bubble screens, or short slants… Am I wrong?

  17. Soggybuc says:

    Thanks Chuck that answered it perfectly. so if Portis is an inactive he will not be eligible to dress out and robinson will be the UHOH guy again. like i said just a feeling that they may have to stash Portis on the 53 to keep from getting him poached.

    Did not E mention somewhere that Tate is running routes much crisper and at the proper depth this year? seems that was the issue that kept him off the field last year. if so thats great news that he put in the effort to improve his game.
    Butler was on pace to get 50+ catches last year which was a major step up from his rookie season. had not he had the injury he could have been a very big part of the team this year going into that key 3 rd year.

  18. There is no comparison production wise….

    Tate: 21 catches for 227yds and 0 TDs.
    Harvin: 71 catches for 868yds and 5 TDs.

  19. MT – I’ve seen Harvin make his fair share of plays 20 yards down the field too, but I agree that his bread and butter is the short stuff to get the ball in his hands (part of the reason he’s such a great kick returner, too).

  20. If anyone wants a good laugh, get this visual in your head:

    Kelly Jennings covering Sidney Rice in 1-on-1 drills (especially when they throw jump balls 20 yards downfield).


  21. Dukeshire says:

    chuck_easton – That was always the case. You could always have another player take snaps and not affect the status of QBs 1-2, so long as he wasn’t the “emergency” QB. Wildcat, for example.

    Perhaps I do misunderstand that the “emergency” QB has been done away with altogether, and that would make the additional roster spot make more sense.

  22. 4.28 vs 4.42 in the 40 is more than a little faster, though.

    Chris Johnson may be the fastest man in the NFL. and he runs a 4.24 40.

  23. Ewalters7354 says:

    I don’t think Don Butler is a bust.He is a guy that continues to get better with every opportunity he gets.I wouldn’t consider him a starter though.Golden Tate is similar to Curry.He has a tremendous upside but can’t seem to apply his skills on gameday.I think the slot is Ben Obomanu’s come season opener.

  24. Ewalters7354 says:

    Percu Harvin ran a 4.38 at the combine.Idk where you get a 4.28 from.

  25. re: Tate, I never meant to say Tate doesn’t have elusiveness in the open field. From what we saw last year, it seemed that’s about all he had. On the other hand, he had no idea how to use his moves get separation and get open. Average CBs ate his lunch. I was disappointed in him last year, but I’m not doubting he can improve a lot.

    No doubt that Bevell’s offense has a huge role for the slot receiver, as his use of Percy Harvin showed. I just think Tate has a hell of a lot to prove before anyone should be comparing him to Harvin.

  26. Can’t wait for some questions to be partially answered Thursday! finally a real live (although pre-season) NFL football game on TV? say it ain’t so? hooray!

  27. I hear what you guys are saying about Deon Butler, but despite his little bit of sucess last year, I can’t believe that he will be used over Obo or Durham when he returns from injury.

    Top three receivers are going to be Rice, Williams and Obomanu. That leaves Tate, Durham and an injured Deon Butler fighting for 4th WR.

    My guess…… he may not be WR #4 for our first game, but I suspect that Durham will be #4 before the year is over.

  28. Ewalters – I don’t think it’s fair to throw Tate into the Curry category yet. Most people who follow the NFL generally agree that two of the easiest positions in the NFL to come in and make an impact are RB and LB. Curry has yet to live up to anything. Most NFLers acknowledge that it really takes three years to hit your stride at some positions like WR, of which Tate plays. Look at our own Sidney Rice, you could tell the talent was there the first couple of years (although he would have done better earlier if not for an injury) but he didn’t explode until year three, as with many other receivers.

  29. freedom_X says:

    Too much need for instant gratification by most of the fans. Even coming out of college, it was recognized Tate would need some work on his route running (so much for the “pro ready” coaching Charlie Weis bragged about.)

    Cortez Kennedy was considered a bust by a lot of people after his 1st year. Some guys thought Seattle’s 5th round DR (Eric Hayes) was a better player. There’s a reason why people say it takes 3 years to evaluate a draft!

    Tate does add something unique to the WR corps that the other receivers don’t (quickness and open field running ability) yet, even at his height, has the ability and desire to compete for the ball when in the air. Why do you think Bates kept throwing those 4th and short passes to Tate? Because he actually had the best chance of Seattle’s receivers to pull it down!

    Frankly, if Washington hadn’t been so good on punt returns (and Tate didn’t get hurt mid-season) Tate probably would have shown a lot of plus value as a return man. Would that have changed people’s opinion?

    As far as Jennings vs. Rice, I assume that matchup is happening every day in practice. I don’t hear any reports on how Jennings is getting dominated by Rice.

  30. LB Ben Leber (MIN) was signed by Rams.

    So, BMW @ SE (Butler as backup), Rice @ flanker (Durham/Baldwin as backup), Tate & Obo at Slot? Tate rarely ever drops. Obo played well short over the middle and on 20+ yd passes all across the width of the field.

  31. Dukeshire says:

    The flip side is that Tate was given a chance to return punts before Washington (and Thurmaond as well) and had he proven effective, Washington may not have been put into duty there.

  32. I think most have forgotten that Tate suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain last year that definitely affected him, too. Even without the injury, I don’t think his numbers would have been anything stellar as a rookie.

    freedom – Eric Hayes. lol Blast from the past, indeed!

  33. Anyone seen Carlester Crumpler lately?

  34. Dukeshire says:

    Regardless what I think about Tate, receivers take time to develop and one season isn’t nearly enough. He absolutely has the potential to add a very unique option at WR for this team. Hopefully he’ll be prepared enough to be active for all 16 games.

  35. “I don’t think it’s fair to throw Tate into the Curry category yet.”

    That strikes me as funny, Bobby, because I don’t think its fair to throw Curry in the “Curry category” yet.

    I think Curry was starting to figure things out as last year progressed, and I think he’s going to have a strong year. Opening day agains SF should tell us a lot about ACs progress since he will face his old nemesis Vernon Davis. (and yes I know its dangerous to root for AC on this board. But somebody has to stir the pot.)

    September 2010, SF@SEA: Vernon Davis 8 receptions, Curry 3 tackles
    December 2010, SEA@SF: Vernon Davis 5 receptions, Curry 8 tackles, .5 sack

    2009: Curry 61 tackles, 2.0 sacks
    2010: Curry 73 tackles, 3.5 sacks
    2011: ?

  36. That was the best ACIAB bait I ever wrote. And the dude isn’t showing up.

  37. You can’t even try to compare Curry to Tate. Curry was the forth overall pick plus like Bobby said, LB is probably the second easiest position to transition to from college. Plus, how many opportunites did Tate have to shine last year? Curry on the other hand started every game, what did he show. Unlike Curry, it looked like Tate made every effort to go up and get the ball and alsomst came down with it every time no matter how bad it was thrown. I know he ran the wrong routes a couple of times, but there’s always going to be some misques, especially with a rookie WR.

  38. Plus, look at all the promise he’s showin’ this year, i.e. crisp routes, I don’t remember hearin’ that about Curry last year.

  39. chuck_easton says:

    The Seahawks official website has the depthchart for this week if anybody wants to go look at it.

    Not that it will be the same 3 days from now but it gives you a good idea where things MIGHT go.

  40. seatowntp says:

    I will stand up and say that I remain a Aaron Curry fan. Certainly, expectations were highly elevated because of his “can’t miss’ status during the draft, but I am not as down on his play as the majority of the bloggers are. Maybe he will never be an elite LB, but I do thik he has the potential to be a very solid, effective LB. He has the tools. I think he will, eventually, figure it out.

    Anyone else disappointed the Seahawks did not get a deal done with Ben Leber?

  41. Dukeshire says:

    TruBlu – Actually, I will say that some of what Eric has written about Curry this camp (being focused, etc…) were the same things we read about Curry last summer in camp. Then there were all the reports about Tate’s spectacular catches last summer in camp. What I’m getting at, is that practice reports are a grain of salt situation.

    Thank god the games actually start in two days!

  42. Duke, and don’t forget how Kelly Jennings is shutdown corner in camp every year! lol!!!!

  43. Dukeshire says:

    Lol. Boy, isn’t that the truth. He’s been developing those elusive ball skills for several camps now…

  44. “I think Curry was starting to figure things out as last year progressed, and I think he’s going to have a strong year. Opening day agains SF should tell us a lot about ACs progress since he will face his old nemesis Vernon Davis. (and yes I know its dangerous to root for AC on this board. But somebody has to stir the pot.)”

    I’m with you and seatowntp – – Curry has definitely had some moments where’s he looked like a comer, and he’s started, what 32 games in a row for us? That’s worth something. Too early to yell he’s a bust.

  45. Audible says:

    The Rams signed Leber… …it was only a $1.25 mil, 1 year contract…

    This seems to suggest that Carroll likes what he sees at linebacker from our youngsters.

  46. I’m sure Jennings is blanketing and shutting down Sidney Rice. And as someone mentioned last week, Carlson is the offensive version of Jennings. Looks great in pads, but come game time there are too many tough catches that don’t get made.

    Stevos – even if Curry turns out to be a good player (a big “if” at this point), he’ll still be nowhere near a 6 year, $60 million player. I know it’s not the fault of Curry that the rookie wage scale was the way it was, but if you only have a certain amount of pie for everyone it seems pretty sickening that the biggest slice is going to a guy who “could” become an okay player. At this point, it’s unrealistic to expect he’ll become a Pro Bowl player so for a a guy like him to be a $10 million per year player is ridiculous. When a guy who is a billion times better like Sidney Rice is “only” getting less than Curry at about $9 million per season and a defensive teammate (Mebane) just signed for a lot less than Curry (about $5 million per season) it’s a bit sickening to see Curry so overpaid compared to our stars. Heck, Mebane AND Zach Miller combined don’t make too much more than Curry at his standard $10 million per season (and I know it’s not exactly $10 million each season, but it is when averaged out) and I sure know who I’d want on my team if I had to choose between Curry and some minimum wage scrub OR Mebane and Miller. Even if Curry has a decent year, he’s still a SAM who can’t cover, and he’ll still be way overpaid. Heck, I think Peyton Manning would suck this year (even though his stats would still probably be okay) if he got a 1 year contract from the Colts at $85 million dollars. It’d be pretty tough to get enough quality players around him if he were getting that much of the pie. That’s why I dislike Curry (in addition to his play), he’s not coming close to earning what he’s paid. I have no problem with Rice making almost $9 million because I know he’s going to be worth it in the grand scheme of things.

  47. Curry is scheduled to make $5,076,250 this season. However, that total is pushed to over $10 million this season because he’s got a $5 million guaranteed bonus coming, too.

    Basically, Curry is getting more this year than Mebane and Alan Branch combined are going to average per season during the life of their contracts. And those two guys just came off UFA where their salaries are the highest they could be.

    I believe the guaranteed money owed to Curry is done with after this season so if we want to dump him for a couple of better players (see Mebane/Branch comment above – and, no, Curry won’t combine to make more than both next year, but he’ll still make more than either of them and in the case of Mebane, Curry isn’t even close to as good or important as him), we can. Unless some people would rather overpay for a SAM who can’t cover a cold in a freezer.

    Here’s what he’s scheduled to make from ’12-’15:
    2012 – $5,757,500
    2013 – $5,838,750
    2014 – $8,120,000

    If you’re wondering where I got this information:

  48. Soggybuc says:

    “I believe the guaranteed money owed to Curry is done with after this season so if we want to dump him for a couple of better players”

    I think you just answered your own question there. since we are the hook may as well get what we can out of him for several reasons.

    A. Malcom and KJ are not ready to be starters yet. or…
    B. We upgrade the position with next years second rounder.

    One thing i think we can trust in is that when the time comes to send him packing this regime will not hesitate in the least.

  49. Dukeshire says:

    BobbyK – Wow! Carlson is “the offensive version of Jennings”? You can’t be serious. Carlson had an off season last year with some drops (on him 100%, clearly) and due to injuries that put him in positions where he could not factor (you know this). Bate’s biggest criticism (drops aside) was that he ran his routes “too precisely”. His two seasons prior were solid and consistent. And mind you, that was in spite of some of the worst QBing and o-line play in Seattle history, as you also well know.

    I’m stunned you would perpetuate that notion that a marginally serviceable corner (and a former 1st round pick BTW) is equal to that of a solid, pros pro TE who has had success in spite of the absence of quality talent surrounding him. I’m blown away right now…

  50. BobbyK – are you arguing with yourself? We all know the rookie pay scale was jacked up. That’s why they focused on it and made some changes. They could have done better but none the less. No more Jamarcus Russell contracts for a worthless POS.

    Why have you given up on Curry. Julian Peterson didn’t come into his own until his 3rd year. Focus on Tjunk who flopped just a year ago in his fifth year. Talk about your questionable moves. And it followed the trade for Whitehurst. These guys have an eye for talent at the position (sarc).

  51. Duke – You know enough of my history to know that I don’t think Carlson sucks. Heck, I own his jersey and am proud of it. Yes. I am frustrated that he can’t seem to hang onto as many tough catches as I’d like but he’s a guy who is more part of the solution that problem. Sometimes poking fun at things on a computer doesn’t always translate into the sarcasm the way you want it to.

    excile – lol
    But even if I haven’t given up on Curry, it still makes no sense, looking forward, to overpay for limited production for what he’s making. There’s plenty of potentially solid players out there that I’d have no interest in paying over $20 million for the final three years of the Curry contract. He’s just not worth what he’s going to make even if he becomes above average.

  52. Dukeshire says:

    Well, that’s why I was so caught off guard. lol. I’m happy to hear it was mostly sarcasm. (whew…)

  53. Soggybuc says:

    LOL no worries Bobby, unless Curry unleashes it this year he will be Tatupu’d in ’12

  54. For the record, I hope Curry plays well. I’ve just seen him look totally lost and confused in space to be optimistic. That and whiffing on too many would-be tackles. And the more than his fair share amount of penalties. The tweets, too.

  55. Soggybuc says:

    He is such a frustrating player, all the athletic ability that made him a #4 is evident. what he has to do is just learn to relax, slow it down and let the game come to him. if the plays goes the other way and you dont get there it’s OK just dont leave your assignment.
    In some ways it seems like he really is just trying to hard. look at Babs. some games you would hardly notice him out there but he was a smart player who used his head and instinct to be in just the right place at the right time to make those game changing plays. just ask Romo.

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