Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate has seen an increase in the back and forth on his Twitter timeline with Green Bay his team’s next opponent this week.
Tate said he’s been getting a lot of responses from Packers’ fans looking for revenge after his game-winning catch against Green Bay on Monday Night Football last year, which has become known as “Fail Mary.”
“I’m not letting it bother me,” Tate said. “I’m still showing up to practice, and practicing hard. What they say on Twitter or in Wisconsin doesn’t affect me. So I’m just going about it day by day.
“I think it’s funny that almost a year later people are still talking about it. But it is what it is. I guess I’m in the record books for that play.”
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he’ll make sure that Tate is focused on the task at hand when the team travels to Lambeau Field to take on Green Bay in Seattle’s third preseason game, considered a dress rehearsal for the season opener.
“I haven’t talked to him about that yet, but I will – particularly now that you guys are bringing it up,” Carroll said, smiling. “He can’t do anything but do the best he can, and be prepared to play a football game, and all of that. And I know he’ll do that.”
So with the play in a seemingly constant loop on ESPN last season, does Tate feel differently about the play?
“That was a game-winning touchdown right there,” Tate said. “I don’t care what you think, or what they think – it was a catch or no-catch – it was. It is what it is. The referee called it a touchdown. I did my job, point blank. End of story.
“So I see it as a highlight. It was a big play in a critical moment. And it helped us win the game.”
Carroll, of course, was asked once again whether he believed it was a catch. Here’s what he had to say.
“I think it’s just a statement that over years, years and years that stuff happens,” Carroll said. “And it doesn’t always work out exactly the way you see it, when you look at it a second or a third time. And that’s been happening for years. It’s just unfortunate for their side of it that they came out on the short end of that deal.
“And it shows you the human aspect. And it happened to show the replacement human aspect of it as well. The guy looked on the ground, and he saw that both guys had the ball, so he gave us a touchdown. I don’t know what another official would have said. Another official might have caught the push – that was legit.”
Carroll says Sweezy won the job
Carroll addressed the Seahawks trading offensive lineman John Moffitt to Cleveland for Brian Sanford. Seattle’s new defensive lineman will wear Moffitt’s old No. 74. But Sanford did not practice today.
“Well, we gave him a really good chance,” Carroll said about Moffitt. “We alternated all through camp to see if he could get J.R., and J.R. beat him out and did a nice job.
“But we would not been able to do a trade like that if the young guys hadn’t been doing a real good job. I think it’s really a statement about those young guys growing, and coming in and helping us.”
Carroll said that Sanford will work into the rotation at defensive tackle, and compared his skill set to rookie Jordan Hill.
“We’re going to play him inside,” Carroll said. “He’s played end, and he’s played three-technique. He’s active. He’s much like Jordan. He’s got good activity to him. He’s got good pass rush moves, and kind of side-to-side stuff that gives us hope that he can be an active rusher for us. And he has a good motor.”
Carroll also mentioned that rookie Hill banged his arm during practice, and will be evaluated further.
Sweezy said that he talked with Moffitt after the trade and wished him well.
“I talked to him,” Sweezy said. “Gave him my best wishes, and gave him a hug. All the O-line came and talked to him. He’s a great guy, a great friend. It’s rough to see him leave. But it’s a business.”
Sweezy also talked about the improvement he’s made from his rookie year.
“It’s night and day,” Sweezy said, when asked how much further along he is in his development from last season. “It’s unbelievable how much I didn’t know last year, compared to this year. So yeah, I’d say it’s a big jump.”
TE Miller returns to practice
Tight end Zach Miller practiced for the first time since the beginning of training camp today. And although he was limited to individual work, Miller looked good.
“It feels really good to get back out and do some stuff,” Miller said. “It’s no fun to watch.”
Miller did not want to go into specifics about his foot injury. But he did say it was unrelated to the torn plantar fascia he suffered against Atlanta.
“Once it heals, it’s supposed to heal stronger,” Miller said. “So I don’t expect any issues with it for the rest of the year, or the rest of my career.”
Carroll said the team will continue to take a conservative approach to getting Miller back on the field, which means he likely will not play against Green Bay.
“We’re going to be very careful,” Carroll said. “If you noticed, he’s as involved in the early part of practice. We kept him out of team periods and all of that. And we’ll just kind of go one day at a time and see how he responds. We’re still long-haul thinking for the opener.”
Carroll said that Sidney Rice (knee) looked good in practice today working in team drills. However, he would not say if Rice would play on Friday, and that the team is taking a long-term approach to get him ready for the season opener, similar to Miller.
Linebacker Bruce Irvin (groin) also returned to practice today as a limited participant.
“We’d love to get him some play time obviously,” Carroll said about Irvin. “It’s important that we do. And he’s fighting to get back, too.”
And defensive tackle Tony McDaniel (groin) also was back at practice.
Carroll said Michael Robinson was violently ill, which is why he did not practice today. But Robinson is expected to make it back this week. Derrick Coleman worked with the starters with Robinson out.
Running back Christine Michael did practice today, but Carroll said the rookie running back still is limited due to back spasms.
Although he returned to practice on a limited basis last week, receiver Bryan Walters remains out with a hamstring injury. DL Jesse Williams (knee) and OL James Carpenter (foot). But Carpenter did work through some pass sets on the side today.
CB Tharold Simon (foot), WR Percy Harvin (hip), DE Chris Clemons (knee) and DL Greg Scruggs (knee) remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. LB Korey Toomer (hip) remains on the non-football injury list.
Closest to the pin competition
Jim Gallagher and Bart Bryant, golfers on Champions Tour in town for the Boeing Classic, competed in the team’s annual closet to the pin competition here at the VMAC.
From 60 yards out, Gallagher won the competition by sticking a wedge 5 feet, 10 inches from the pin, with Tate the runner-up at 10 feet, 4 inches.
Bryant (11 feet, 10 inches) and Steven Hauschka (14 feet, 11 inches) brought up the rear.