RENTON - Consider wide receiver Golden Tate a humbled man.
A first-team All-American and Fred Biletnikoff Award winner, signifying the best college receiver in the country, during his final season at Notre Dame, Tate landed on the inactive list and watched in street clothes from the sideline for his first NFL game last week.
With only five receivers on the active roster, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll chose to go with Ben Obomanu over Tate because of the Auburn player’s impact on special teams.
Tate had been a daily highlight reel during training camp, making a series of head-turning plays during drills. But once training camp ended and weekly game preparation began, Tate struggled to pick up the nuances and precise routes offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates wants in his West Coast offense. Tate has played noticeably slower because he appears to be thinking.
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“I kind of sensed it earlier in the week when I wasn’t getting very many reps,” Tate said about being inactive on Sunday. “But that just made me work that much harder when I did get my reps. For me, it was kind of a lesson learned. Don’t ever relax. As far as I’m concerned, my spot was only guaranteed in theory for this year. I’m going to have to earn my way onto the (53-man roster) next year, and so on.”
Carroll said Tate is part of the team’s game plan for Denver, but whether he will suit up on Sunday remains a game-time decision.
“I love what he’s done to show us that he can make plays,” Carroll said. “The consistency is what you’re looking for. And sometimes in the young guys you just don’t see the fine point or the details enough where you can count on them to get lined up right and run those exact depths and get everything crisply run.”
During practice Wednesday, Tate followed his own advice, making several impressive catches during the two-hour workout.
“The biggest thing for me is it’s a long season,” Tate said. “So I’ve just got to keep my head up and learn from that, learn from the fact that this is what happens when you don’t take care of your business. So I’ve got to come out and work really hard.”
VALERO TALKS UP LINE
With Seahawks offensive linemen refusing to talk to reporters so far this season, new offensive line coach Art Valero has become their unofficial spokesman.
And there’s a lot to talk about. The offensive line has undergone a lot of shuffling because of injuries, and on Sunday will start its second different offensive line combination of the season.
The latest change is right guard Matt Unger going on the season-ending injured reserve list with a severe case of turf toe that will require surgery.
Recent addition Stacy Andrews will step in and start for Unger. Valero said the shuffling along the offensive line is just part of playing in the NFL, and his players will do their best to make sure they’re ready on Sunday.
“Everybody questions continuity and it’s a big thing with the offensive line,” Valero said. “But in the National Football League, with injuries and guys coming and going, and you’re always trying to better your team, that’s bound to happen, especially a first year in the system. … Whoever they bring in we coach up and get them ready to play.”
OWNER CANCER FREE
Seahawks owner Paul Allen says a test this week showed he is free of cancer.
He survived another immune system cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, more than 20 years ago.
Allen also owns the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. In an interview on the team’s website, he said a follow-up cancer test was “clean.”
Rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung is listed as out on the team’s injury report Wednesday. Carroll said Okung is running on a treadmill and getting better, but will not make it onto the practice field this week. … Defensive end Chris Clemons (ankle), offensive tackle Sean Locklear (family), linebacker Matt McCoy (quad) and wide receiver Mike Williams (thigh) did not practice. Offensive tackle Chester Pitts (knee) was limited in practice, but not offensive guard Mike Gibson (back). … Carroll celebrated his 59th birthday without much fanfare. “I just want to have a really good competition Wednesday is what I’m looking for,” Carroll said.