Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Rice, Tate catching on

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 4, 2012 at 7:06 am with 50 Comments »
December 4, 2012 7:09 am
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate (81) celebrates with teammate Sidney Rice (18) after his touchdown reception against the Chicago Bears late in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

As our own Dave Boling of The News Tribune writes, Seattle receivers Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have picked up their game in the second half of the season.

In the last four games, the two have combined for 30 receptions for nearly 500 yards, and eight touchdowns.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said that’s no coincidence – getting the duo the ball became a point of emphasis during the second half of the season as Russell Wilson continued to grow in the offense.

“We really focused in on those two guys,” Carroll said Monday. “We decided to push those guys to the front and see if we couldn’t accelerate the process of the chemistry.”

Boling notes that Rice and Tate have seven touchdown catches each, which puts them on pace for 19 this season and a tie for second-most in team history. That’s short only of the 1984 combo of Steve Largent (12 TDs) and Daryl Turner (10).

Here’s my story on James Carpenter re-injuring his knee. Carroll said on Monday that he feels like the team didn’t bring back the second-year pro too soon after ACL knee surgery last December. Carroll: “He’s shown us enough at this time that we know what he’s capable of doing. We’re excited about his future and all. If we can’t get him back right away, we still have gained some. It was a major and miraculous recovery that he made, and he’s to be complimented for that.”

Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that one of the things we learned from Seattle’s win over Chicago is Russell Wilson’s preseason success wasn’t a mirage.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com says the Seahawks are focused on finishing strong with four games left.

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus takes a closer look at the Seahawks-Bears matchup. Palazzolo notes that Malcolm Smith graded out well in his first start, while James Carpenter and John Moffitt struggled at left guard.

Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Golden Tate is finally emerging in his third season.

Rachel Binns Terrill, the wife of former Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill, writes in this Seattle Times’ piece about how the Jovan Belcher tragedy in Kansas City reveals the dark side of the NFL. This is a must-read if you have a few minutes this morning. It’s not long. Terrill: “I don’t know what made this superhero snap. I don’t know why this NFL girlfriend lost her life or why their daughter is going to be left to grow up without her mom and dad. But I can guess that there was a private pain that plagued them both. Inside the world of the NFL, it’s neither incomprehensible nor is it senseless. Tragic, yes.

“But the pain is not new to NFL families. Four current or former NFL players have committed suicide in the last eight months. The details in this story will likely continue to leak out throughout the days and weeks to come. After all, nothing remains private for fallen superheroes.”

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post admits he was wrong on Russell Wilson. Bowen: “293-yards passing. 71-yards rushing. 2 TDs. That’s veteran stuff right there from a young player on the road vs. a defense I considered to be one of the top units in the league. And because of that, I have no problem admitting I was wrong about Wilson today. The rookie can play some football.”

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic writes that Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett reportedly spit on teammate Kerry Rhodes during the final moments of the team’s 7-6 loss to the New York Jets.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com reports that Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt still has not made a decision on who will start at quarterback against Seattle on Sunday – Ryan Lindley or John Skelton. The Cardinals are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports takes an interesting look at how NFL teams have done against teams projected to make the playoffs right now, calling it a team’s “real record” at this point of the season. The Seahawks are 3-1against projected playoff teams right now (wins over New England, Green Bay and Chicago, and a loss to San Francisco). The NFC West actually has the most wins against projected playoffs teams of any division at 10.

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  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Putting more emphasis on getting Rice and Tate the ball more probably explains some why Baldwin,(when healthy) hasn’t been getting the ball like he did last year.

    I can’t wait until our WRs and Wilson have a whole off season to practice.

  2. HawkfaninMT says:

    Preface with I have not yet read through the links:

    Georgia: I was thinking the same thing about Wilson and the WRs. It seems like Wilson has the Manning type work ethic that he will continue to be at VMAC at 6 AM through the offseason watching film and working out. I don’t see that as an issue. But with regards to your comment… Do you see the WRs making the same committment or showing the same work ethic. It’s great for Wilson to be there. But if Rice, Tate, Baldwin, and Miller are not there watching with him, and catching passes from him it won’t be as effective.

    So which of the WRs do you think will have show the study habits and work ethic to follow Russ’ lead?

  3. I am going to say the same thing I said before the Miami game – the Hawks better approach this game with AZ as a dog fight. Winning and losing is cyclical and AZ is due for a bounce. I don’t care how bad they look on film or paper, or how much chaos there is with the QB position, any opponent should be viewed as capable of winning. This is no time for thinking that we are the better team and therefore will win.

    The Hawks control their destiny as far as post season goes, so they need to keep the intensity up for all these final games.

  4. Palerydr says:

    As I’ve stated before I don’t care for the way Tate has approached his profession in the NFL. I will give him credit for making plays that help the team win. Hopefully he will continue to make positive headlines on the field and not start making negative ones off the field. I also hope they look for Miller more in the middle of the field to add that 3rd option to keep the field spread while making themselves less predictable when throwing the ball. I do see them run more naked boots now with the TE scraping the line of scrimmage and a WR crossing over the top. Anything that gets the TE involved is a good thing to me.

  5. ChrisHolmes says:

    ” It seems like Wilson has the Manning type work ethic that he will continue to be at VMAC at 6 AM through the offseason watching film and working out.”

    And that is what a franchise QB does.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    HawkfaninMT- I think all of them will want to work some with Wilson in the off season. At least I hope they do. Baldwin forsure. I can see Wilson and Baldwin developing the kind of chemistry that Hasselbeck and Engram had.
    Baldwin made it a point last off season to work with Flynn in Florida.

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Pilot- Agree! We all know that Arizona’s defense will at least show up. I just wish we can build up a huge first half lead for once, all these down to the wire games are killing me. Lol.

  8. CDHawkFan says:

    McCoy was targeted a few times early in the season, but ever since that slip and pick 6 he hasn’t seen too many his way. While the 2nd TE, he seems to be on the field often.

  9. I think an upgrade at the TE position is something we should keep in mind come draft time. Miller is a grinder, and I don’t dislike his play, but he never ever runs away from anyone; would be great to have more of a weapon at that positin.

  10. Ewalters7354 says:

    Just imagine how good this offense would be had they kept K2.

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    A disappointing game for Carpett, especially Moffitt. They clearly still have aways to go imo. Hopefully Sweezy will be ready to step up in case Carpitt continues their inconsistent play next year.

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Ewalters7354 – K2 is a QB killer, just look what he did to Freeman last year. We don’t need no chemistry buster around here.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    I too think an upgrade at TE is important. But it’s not Miller that is a “weak” link, it’s McCoy. As often as they split him out, I would really like to see a significant upgrade, athletically, to replace him.

  14. HeinieHunter says:

    It looks to me like Tate and Wilson are tight in their personal lives based on pix I’ve seen with them and the significant others. It seem likely that this will continue into the off season. I think Rice is a real pro who will work to get chemistry with RW. Baldwin wasn’t drafted, had a great first season, and I suspect he will do anything and everything in his power to get back to that level. Russell Wilson work ethic is influential. You lead by example and his example is inspiring.

  15. Ewalters7354 says:

    Georgia, I get that.But from a talent perspective, he would be a big help.

  16. Dukeshire says:

    Disappointing for Moffitt? After re-watching the game, I identified two blown assignments. Aside from that, he was very solid. What are you referring to?

  17. bayareahawkfan says:

    I agree with Danny O’Neill, and that’s exactly the way I had framed Russell’s play in this game for myself yesterday, as I reflected on it.

    That game just delivered on the promise of what we saw in the KC preseason game.

    It would be absurd to talk about enshrining him in Canton, and he’s still got a lot to learn, and a number of other tests to pass in his just-starting career.

    But it has always struck me as more absurd to say that we knew he could not succeed at this level from his play over the first 6-7 games of the season. And to those who were certain, I think it would be interesting to determine what has changed to allow him to have at least some success.

    In a related story, I have trained myself to take this season for exactly what it is, and not extrapolate from any week’s game results that they’re a great or a terrible team. My mantra is, this team is exactly what it puts out on the field, and I’m going to enjoy the ride, but not get too high or too low.

    The next two to three years, my expectations will come into play again.

    Luckily I came to that conclusion before the final 24 seconds of regulation, or I would have been sleeping on the couch again, after shouting and throwing things.

    All of that said, we’ll see if I can maintain that over the next few games, if they keep winning :).

  18. tchristensen says:

    Keeping in mind that Moffitt only played a bit more than half the season last year and also missed some games this year, my thought is he’s doing really well. If Sunday’s game should turn into a blow out, will we get to see Matt Flynn in the second half?

  19. Ewalters7354 says:

    Please don’t start this blowout talk!

  20. Carp is injured again. He plays soft( the second play of the Game-Peppers put a hit thta sent Carp flying horizontal for about 5 feet) He was off the ground flying… Moffitt is good & young so he`ll get better. A hard look at Carp for next year is in order. Hopefully we`ll draft or sign someone else. As far as our receivers staying in Seattle to work with RW I don`t see that happening..Maybe coming in early (two or three weeks before Camp begins. Mccoy should be gone for next year. he`s a drive killer. He`s got too many dropped passes & falls down(with no contact).. Miller is versatile catches & blocks well. Mccoy does none of these.

  21. Seems to me in the beginng of the Season there was a lot of hype tauting the powerful Hawks..Arizona came in & blew that talk & the Hwaks away. Zona`s “D’ is still there & like any NFL Team on any givin day one team can beat another. This is another game that`s scary. Hawks play & execute…don`t loose contain. Play Hawk Footabll on both sides….Go Hawks!!!!

  22. Audible says:

    If our starting WRs slack off during the offseason, expect some of our younger, hungrier players to emerge next year.

  23. mindnbrad says:

    Arizona pressured RW relentlessly the last time we played them. I think he is much better equipped to handle the pressure at this point in his development, but OLine protection will be a key Sunday, IMO.

  24. My thoughts exactly Origun. I am not getting into the mode of thinking we will smash AZ (like i was week 1). This is, after all, the NFL. The hawks are the better team by far, but you never know. Hawks must come to play and the 12th man needs to show up big time. Go Hawks!

  25. I noticed that some ESPN talking heads were saying yesterday that Russell Wilson is slightly behind RGIII-Luck in performance/talent. We need to keep in mind that some QBs who look good early fail to progress to the next level while others keep developing and turn into superstars. I’m hoping Wilson will surpass RGIII-Luck, but only time will tell. I do think that Wilson’s work ethic will make a big difference. If Wilson went back in the draft right now, he’d be a certain Top Ten selection, probably Top Five. What a steal for the Seahawks.

  26. I didn’t think Rice or Tate were any good?

  27. “I too think an upgrade at TE is important. But it’s not Miller that is a “weak” link, it’s McCoy. As often as they split him out, I would really like to see a significant upgrade, athletically, to replace him.”

    McCoy is such a non-factor, I don’t even think of him. But Miller is the #1 TF, and gets the majority of the targets, and while he mostly hangs onto the passes that get near him, he usually has so little separation that he is tackled as soon as he gets the ball. I’d just like to see a little more speed at the position.

    Love what we’re seeing from Rice and Tate, can barely remember any drops at all from those guys over the past several games. Thinking about it, not too many as a team either.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    The concern I have regarding Sunday, is Seattle’s propensity to “play down” to their opponents. That is, on more than one occasion this season, they’ve had opportunities to close an opponent out and yet allowed them to hang around. Whether that’s a product of in-game scheme adjustments or the players themselves, I’m not sure. But quite frankly, Arizona shouldn’t be in this game at all Sunday. No in Seattle anyway.

    Moreover, I have to say how impressed I was with Carroll going for the TD in OT, rather than play for 3. *That* is the smart aggression I’ve been hoping to see from him for nearly 3 seasons. Not the reckless aggression we’ve seen many times.

    Bobby – Calling Rice a top 5 receiver countless times as you have is so easily misunderstood. And your constant belief that Tate would develop in year 3 is really just like saying he sucks…

  29. RDPoulsbo says:

    Carp really shouldn’t have been pressed into service at all this year. ACL replacement takes time to recover and be at full strength. It’s pretty foolish to think 300+ lb guy can come back so early and play a position that requires a ton of leg strength. Just put him on IR and start fresh next year before he does anymore damage to it.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    pdway – You should. They split out McCoy far more often than Wilson targets him. To me, that signals a desire to create mismatches with two TEs, but so long as McCoy’s inability to exploit those mismatches exists, this offense will be hampered. Seriously, watch how often 85 lines up outside the numbers or is put in motion outside the formation. I think you’ll be surprised. Miller is a classic in-line TE and this offense really does need that.

  31. “Seriously, watch how often 85 lines up outside the numbers or is put in motion outside the formation. I think you’ll be surprised. Miller is a classic in-line TE and this offense really does need that.”

    I’m not necessarily talking about just long balls to the TE, I’m also thinking of the 5-7 yard throws that the more athletic TE’s turn into 10-15 yrd gains, and also those who are a threat in the end zone. But I’ll keep an eye on McCoy (just 13 catches on 20 targets so far this year).

  32. People used to criticize Belichick for running up the score on opponents but I think the Hawks need that mentality. Put the pedal to the metal for 60 minutes and don’t let up until the other team is ground into the dirt.

  33. Dukeshire says:

    I’m not talking “long balls” either. I’m not sure you understand what I’m saying: They are trying to incorporate 2 TEs, and McCoy not Miller is holding those concepts back. The fact they put McCoy in the formation as aften as they do, and his lack of targets and production speaks to this.

  34. mindnbrad says:

    With the TE talk, what about Evan Moore? I can remember ONE catch the guy has made. What a waste.

  35. Rice is really playing well the last month or so, and its great to see Coach FINALLY feeding those two the ball. Tate has really stepped it up. I love that kid! I really hope they keep this up.

    Now the trick is to throw the ball a little more early in the game, and coming out in the third quarter, and get the ball to Baldwin and Miller.

    McCoy did well early, then screwed up multiple times. He made a play or two lately, but they havent been giving him much of a chance. I keep waiting for him to be the guy he’s supposed to be….Maybe like Nate Burleson he’ll never really get there…

    RD–I agree, Carp shouldnt have played until he was thoroughly healed and in real game shape.

  36. Every game this year has been a first for Wilson. This is his first time seeing an opponent he’s faced before.

    Wilson’s preparation and ability to learn from his mistakes adds another level of intrigue to this game. He’ll be ready this time around.

  37. bird_spit says:

    At least Carp did not have a new injury like the old Sean Locklear. I wont link the pictures of him injuring his knee, because frankly I never want to see them again. I’d suggest Sean has played his last game professionally.

  38. jchawks08 says:

    Heinie, yea, Wilson and Tate are tight off the field. They had Thanksgiving dinner together with themselves and their significant others.
    Re: Tates play: I was his biggest fan when they drafted him and would love to say I TOLD YOU SO! But the reality is that I’m just relieve he’s finally figuring it all out. Man can he makes some plays or what?
    Oh, and stay classy, Dockett. lol..

  39. @duke – I don’t think we’re necessarily disagreeing. What I’m saying is that irrespective of the two TE schemes, I just don’t think Miller is much of a threat in the passing game, period. Not a detriment, but not a weapon for RW to utilize either. And in a system where I don’t see very many throws to the RB’s, his options are primarily limited to our WR’s, and it would be nice for him to have some additional ones.

  40. PugetHawk says:

    Not sure whats more disappointing, Carp being injured again or the inconsistent pass rush. I really like a healthy Carpenter at guard. I think he can be a top tier player at that position.
    The defense goes as the pass rush goes. Not so well in the past six games.

  41. mocarob says:

    So we just got done reading an article about how the team is prioritizing getting the ball to the WR’s. Then we look at the targets that Zach & Baldwin get. How many throws do you think RW usually makes in a game? This game was an aberration.(37) How many balls do you think are left over for McCoy? It’s been mentioned before that he’s used more for blocking. I don’t quite get the criticism he receives. Yes, He slipped vs the Rams. In what, Week 4?

    He did catch the first 1st down of our 97yd drive on sunday.
    I’ve uploaded both game winning drives here in case anybody wants to watch once more. https://vimeo.com/54828793

  42. Dukeshire says:

    pdway – I don’t necessarily think we are either. But my feeling is that Miller is a very capable if unspectacular player. The position would be done a greater service by upgrading McCoy rather than Miller. This offense is committed to two TE sets and if McCoy is the one they are splitting out to the perimeter, that’s a problem.

  43. I also believe Miller is a receiving threat–or he would be if Seattle actually targeted him more than twice a game. He was open several times and Wilson never saw it, from what I hear. The guy put up crazy stats while with the Raiders, and Louis Murphy was really the only other receiver catching passes regularly…so he CAN get open when everyone knows its coming to him. Its not like he’s slow or anything…Seattle just uses him to block a lot more than the Raiders did.

    And that annoys the hell out of me. You dont pay a dude 7 mill a year to block, but then again you shouldnt pay a guy 7 mill a year to put up 800 yards a year, but thats what Rice will end up with this year barring an Air Coryell impersonation by our fav team over the last month of the season.

    I hope next year we see more balance to our run/pass during the first three quarters. If we still have the same coaches. That isnt certain yet, in my mind.

    Miller may not be Jimmy Graham or Gronk, but he’s perhaps the best all-around TE in football. Seattle just aint using him much. Thats on them, not Miller.

  44. Sad to hear about Locklears injury. The guy was a really good player here until injuries etc robbed him of his ability. He also seemed lazy, but it might just have been bad knees/out of shape etc…He sure turned his career around lately, and was playing well. I hope he can come back, but since I havent watched the injury play (and wont), the comments from those who did–even his coach–suggest he’s done. Throw in his age and its more than a long shot he’ll every play again…

  45. Some Dude on ESPN just said RG3 was the best player in the NFL – period. are you Kidding me. Good yes, BEST – Not quite yet. IMO

  46. “Miller may not be Jimmy Graham or Gronk, but he’s perhaps the best all-around TE in football. Seattle just aint using him much. Thats on them, not Miller.”

    Huh?

  47. pdway–Graham and Gronk are better receivers than blockers. Miller is a fantastic blocker and a great receiver, but he’s not as explosive in the passing game–ie, not as fast.

    Gronk may be a better all-round TE, thats open for interpretation. Miller is certainly up there, despite his disappointing Seattle stats.

  48. Wow, if RGIII is the best player in the NFL, then Wilson is number 2 and right on his ass!

  49. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Dukeshire – Concerning Moffitt against the Bears, I was referring to Steve Palazzolo of Pro football focus.

    BTW- He had Malcom smith graded out well.

  50. Duke – lol

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