To see the full list of the 30 most important Seahawks in 2013, click here.
This is the shocker of the list, but hear me out.
Golden Tate has gotten better every year he has been in the league. That’s a fact. Granted, he started off his career pretty poorly, but he’s always had that explosiveness about him that gives him the potential to be a breakout star. He doesn’t lack for confidence, which always helps at the wide receiver position. He has great hands. His route-running is the most-improved aspect of his game. He can improvise with the best of ’em (which, with Russell Wilson at quarterback improvising on nearly half of our passing plays, gives him the biggest leg-up of all). And, most importantly, Golden Tate has a nose for the endzone.
Golden Tate will lead this team in both receptions and touchdowns. He will lead this team in explosive plays. And I think he has an outside shot at surpassing 1,000 yards and even getting himself on the Pro Bowl squad.
Our other receivers are nice. If/when we get Percy Harvin back, I think it’ll be safe to say that the Seahawks will have the best wide receiver unit in the NFL (a far cry from the days where Deion Branch, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Nate Burleson were leading the way on a 5-win team). Doug Baldwin probably runs the best routes on the team. Sidney Rice probably has the best hands. Harvin, of course, is our primary slot guy and x-factor. But, Tate has the whole package. Tate can do what Harvin does. If the team wanted to line him up all over the field, hand the ball off, throw him screens and such, they could do that and he would excel. And, while Harvin is recovering, the team might choose to do just that. But, you really don’t need to. Let’s face it, you don’t need two Percy Harvins to succeed, and this team will do just fine without any, as long as Golden Tate continues on his path to glory.
The best thing going about Golden Tate right now is, as long as Sidney Rice stays healthy, Tate will always be the secondary focus of opposing defenses. That’s going to open him up to better matchups against inferior corners. Then, when Harvin returns and takes most of the focus off of Rice, you can consider Tate the 3rd highest focus of opposing defenses in the passing game. Everyone worried, when we brought in Harvin, that Tate’s numbers would decline as the team sought to incorporate Harvin into the fold. I think just the opposite will happen: I think Tate’s numbers will IMPROVE with Harvin on the team. His number of total catches might go down, but his number of big plays and touchdowns are sure to increase. I fully expect Tate to be in the Top 2 among Seahawks’ non-kickers in total scoring. On an offense that will most certainly run more than they throw once again in 2013, that’s going to be quite the feat.
Which is why Golden Tate gets my honor of most-important non-quarterback on this team. Go get ’em, kid. Do me proud!