BY Doug Farrar 09:51PM 10/02/2010

Golden Tate

Sports Press Northwest spotlights notable athletes, coaches and sporting trend setters in lively conversations that will be published every Thusday.

Golden Tate

Golden Tate gets vertical in practice as Kelly Jennings looks on. (Rod Mar/Seattle Seahawks)

What is the biggest adjustment from college to the NFL level?

Just being precise with everything you do. It’s coming to meetings early, on the field with the passing game, Matt Hasselbeck’s expecting you to be in this exact place at this exact time – it’s all about timing.

Is there a higher emphasis on route-running at the NFL level?

Oh, yeah. Absolutely, because everyone’s on that field for a reason. Everyone’s got tons of talent. At this level, you can’t rely so much on your athletic ability. You have to rely on your fundamentals, and how technical you are.

As a baseball player, how far do you think you would have gone?

I never really, really thought about playing professional baseball. I was drafted out of high school in my senior year, and also drafted this year, but it was never really something I wanted to go and pursue. After playing a few years at Notre Dame, I found out that football was what I enjoyed the most. I can see myself playing for a long time, and really enjoying it. Baseball was always an option if I wanted it to be, but I wanted to make football the priority.

You never thought of going two-sport at any point?

At this level? Oh, no! I’m having enough trouble managing this sport. It’d be tough to manage two.

Better two-sport athlete: Bo or Deion?

Bo. For sure.

You were inactive your first regular-season week in the NFL, then you came back and had a great day against the Broncos in week 2. What was that week of “inactivity” like for you, and how did you play your way back on the roster?

I decided that I never wanted that to happen again. And I was going to do whatever it took to get on the field – or, in the first place, actually dress [for the game]. To feel a part of the team. So, I came out for practice, and I was really hustling, studying a lot more film and really making sure I knew my assignments. Finishing everything in practice, and showing the coaches that I know what I’m supposed to do. Just fundamentals – coming in and out of my breaks, and just trying to show the coaches that I deserve to be on this field. I was going to work hard until I got there.

I was talking to Lawyer Milloy this week, and he’s really the advisor to all the young defensive backs. Do the receivers have a guy like that, who they can go to about stuff on and off the field?

Absolutely – Deion Branch has been great for me. Any questions I have about the offense, or any problems I have in my life, he’s there to help me out. For the most part, every day after practice, we get some extra conditioning in – not because he needs the reps, but because I do. When a guy makes an effort to help me because he thinks I can help this team, you have to appreciate it. So, I’m very appreciative to have a veteran guy to show me the way – to show me how to practice, show me what I need to do when I’m having a problem with this or that look. How I need to break down film, and things like that.

Have you talked to Jimmy Clausen since he got the starting job in Carolina?

Not much – I talked to him on Monday, and he’s pretty excited. I think he’s ready, if he can get in sync with the line and his receivers. I think he’s going to do very well, both now and in the future. He may have a few mistakes early on, but once he gets in a rhythm, he’s hard to stop.

What’s his primary attribute that you think will transfer well to the NFL?

Watching him versus other quarterbacks in college, and even at this level, he has a sense of technique and fundamentals. You can tell that he’s a very well-coached quarterback. Now, he just needs to understand routes and coverages [with the Panthers], and I think he’s going to be very successful.

He’s throwing to a guy in Steve Smith that a lot of people compare you to – is Smith the guy you kind of model yourself after?

Yeah, definitely – he’s a guy I like to model my game after. He’s a very physical guy with the same kind of build – same kind of speed, also. I think that we play alike. I want to have the kind of swagger he has on the field, and also make the big plays that he makes. I’m not sure that he might not be even shorter than me, but he plays very tall. I’m not sure that at my height (5-foot-10), there aren’t many players like me.

Being that you were a tailback in high school, and you’re kind of built like a running back, do you see some end-arounds or trick plays in your future? Maybe throwing some passes in an Antwaan Randle El role?

You know what? Anything I can do, I’m gonna do it. And that’s one of the things I’m hearing from veterans here – the more you can do, the longer you will stay around. I’m not going to turn down any way to get the ball in my hands, and I’d love to see that happen.


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    I was surprised when Don Baylor and Paul Molitor were let go but IIRC that was done because a new manager came in. But really, how could you not want either one of those two as your hitting coach? Still think it’s weird that the M’s admit Safeco is hard to hit in but still fire Chambliss.
    It would have been a lot cheaper to have just stayed in the Kingdome.

  • Da Kid

    John —

    Sounds like you went to the same press conference every other baseball writer went to. Nice to see so much comraderie in the sports press…everyone writes the same absurd puff piece. I guess you guys chose to gloss over this:

    “SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Mariners have hired former major leaguer Dave Hansen to be their new hitting coach, replacing Chris Chambliss, who was fired after the season. The Mariners made the announcement on Monday. Hansen spent half of the 2011 and all of the 2012 season in the same position with the Los Angeles Dodgers

    before being fired at the end of the season.
    Hansen’s charge will be improving a Mariners offense that was the worst in baseball. They finished last in the league in batting average (.234), on-base percentage (.296), slugging percentage (.369) and on-base plus slugging (.665). ”

    Yeah??? Good luck with that! A .260 lifetime hitter, most of which was in the NL, who batted .229 in two years with the Mariners (his only years in the AL). Even the impotent 2012 M’s hit five points better! Long-suffering Mariners fans in particular are intimately familiar with the perennial failure of NL hitters in the AL. (Here’s looking up your old .237, Al Martin. That’s .205 to you, Richie Sexon and Jeff Cirillo.)

    Same old same old. Big Town Car and Chuckie Cheesehead rearranging more deck chairs on the Titanic, hoping all we’ll notice is the increased ticket prices!

    REFUSE THE LOSERS!!!