Golden Tate was inactive in week one as the Seahawks rolled past the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field. Watching from the sidelines was obviously frustrating and Tate, like most athletes in the National Football League, is not used to riding the bench on game day.
Instead of resentment, however, Tate responded. He wasn’t critical of the coaching staff or didn’t rip the decision through the media. Tate waited for his opportunity and made the most of it.
“For me it was kind of a lesson learned. Don’t ever relax,” Tate told the media last week.
Tate’s debut on Sunday was a statement. Following a demonstration of big-play potential, it will be hard for the coaching staff to keep him off the field.
Despite only two targets and one catch, Tate led the Seahawks in receiving yards. He displayed amazing athleticism and ball skills on his lone 52-yard grab, almost single-handedly bringing Seattle back into the game. The Seahawks eventually turned the ball over on downs that drive, but it would have only been a two-score game had they put points on the board.
On his first touch in a regular-season NFL game, Tate returned a punt 63 yards to put the Seahawks in scoring position. Game-breaking ability was showcased as he made several defenders miss and dodged additional would-be tacklers. After Tate’s impressive return, the Seahawks drove a short field and scored their first touchdown of the day.
Tate returned another punt for 19 yards and averaged 41.0 yards per return. Unfortunately for Seattle, he was not the returner to open the game; Walter Thurmond muffed a punt earlier that gave Denver an easy scoring opportunity and eventual lead.
Head coach Pete Carroll has already announced that Golden Tate will return punts for the Seahawks moving forward.
Tate was one of the few bright spots from yesterday’s loss and offers potential moving forward. If the Seahawks are going to win, they need to give Golden Tate at least five touches per game.
He may be young, but Golden Tate is a playmaker. He is only going to get better.