When the Kansas City Chiefs take the field against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will no doubt seek out WR Golden Tate, one of the best weapons he had while at Notre Dame. Tate has yet to catch on during his rookie season though, as the Seattle Times reports, with starting WR Mike Williams hurting this could be his shot.
“I see it as an opportunity for me,” Tate said. “It’s an opportunity for me to show in a game and show the coaches I can make plays too. That’s how I see it.”
That’s also how his coaches see it. Pete Carroll said Tate didn’t miss a down this week in practice and his playmaking ability is obvious. Picking up the finer details of the position, however, took the speedy second-round choice some time.
“I think with Golden, sitting out for a couple weeks helped him a little bit,” Carroll said. “He’ll tell you that. In the middle of the fray, sometimes you can’t make the adjustments and can’t see as clearly.”
Along with using the time off to heal, Tate used it to improve.
He studied film and paid attention to what makes his teammates successful. How Deon Butler separates from a defender. How Williams gets open downfield. How Brandon Stokley prepares for a game.
Tate also took the time to ask questions. Why is my coach telling me this? Why does this play work or not work? Why do I have 10 catches in six games?
“I found a lot of answers taking the time to think about it,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, my rookie season is over with,” Tate said. “It’s a new start for me right now to show the coaches that I’m here.”
When Tate was still on the board in the middle of the second round, there was little doubt in my mind that the Chiefs would select one of Weis’ biggest playmakers from Notre Dame. Instead, Scott Pioli decided to take Javier Arenas and after 10 games it sure looks like Kansas City made the right decision.
It will be interesting to see just what — if anything — Tate can bring to the table now that he is healthy and seemingly hasn’t allowed his “donut incident” to lead to more off-the-field issues.
During his time at Notre Dame, all Tate did was catch the football. With the issues in the Kansas City secondary and injury to Williams, there isn’t going to be a better opportunity for Tate to break out for Seattle. The best player to stick with Tate would be the Chiefs fastest defensive back Javier Arenas. The potential absence of Brandon Flowers has the cornerback alignment up in the air, but Arenas is best suited for keeping up with the speedy wide receiver.