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Seahawks’ Golden Tate ready to take starring role in Super Bowl

Updated: March 3, 2014 4:56PM



JERSEY CITY, N.J. — After
enduring the unenviable task of
facing the Seattle Seahawks’ top-rated defense weekly in practice, receiver Golden Tate wouldn’t place any bets on it breaking down in Super Bowl XLVIII, even against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos’ high-octane offense.

But should a shootout break out at MetLife Stadium — one in which big-yardage plays are needed from the seemingly overlooked Sea-
hawks offense — Tate, the former Notre Dame star who comes with the Twitter nickname of ‘‘Showtime,’’ is ready for, well, showtime.

‘‘If it needs to be a scoring fest where we need to air it out, so be it,’’ Tate said. ‘‘This is the perfect game to do that, when the whole world’s watching. I believe we’re ready to show up.’’

So much attention has been paid to the Broncos’ receivers —
Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker and tight end Julius Thomas — going up against the Sea-
hawks’ ‘‘Legion of Boom’’ secondary, led by cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor.

But the Seahawks have some firepower, too. Their offense might be built around powerhouse back Marshawn Lynch, but Tate is the leader of quarterback Russell Wilson’s receiving corps, which will get a big boost with the return of Percy Harvin from a concussion.

And Tate comes with a fire that suits the Super Bowl stage well.

There’s that ‘‘Showtime’’ side of him that comes out. It includes showy celebrations after touchdowns and big catches, but it sometimes comes at the expense of his opponents. He was fined this season for taunting against St. Louis Rams after waving goodbye to safety Rodney McLeod on an 80-yard touchdown catch.

In a way, Tate this week waved off Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan, whose self-proclaimed goal is to play like an ‘‘animal’’ in the Super Bowl.

‘‘Really, nothing,’’ Tate said when asked what he thinks of Trevathan. ‘‘It’s just another guy. We’re going
against the best defense in the league every single day [at practice], so as far as the intimidation and all that stuff, it doesn’t scare me.’’

And how about the Broncos’
defense?

‘‘I wouldn’t say anything concerns me,’’ Tate said.

That might turn out to be bulletin-board material for Trevathan and the Broncos and make Tate a target. But he prides himself on
being tough to tackle.

‘‘Obviously, his run-after-the-catch ability is really impressive,’’ Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said.

After his Biletnikoff Award-winning stint at Notre Dame, Tate was a second-round pick in 2010 and finally produced like one this season. He led the Seahawks with 64 catches and 898 receiving yards and had five touchdown receptions. He also averaged 11.5 yards on 51 punt returns, the ninth-best mark in the NFL.

His numbers become more
impressive if you consider the
Seahawks attempted only 420 passes during the regular season, the second-fewest in the league.

‘‘If you look at the efficiency of the receivers, Golden Tate has caught almost 70 percent of the balls thrown his way,’’ Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said. ‘‘You can’t name a receiver who has forced more missed tackles with the opportunities that he has had.’’

Tate did it all in the last season of his contract.

‘‘We love having him,’’ Bevell said. ‘‘We don’t want to let him out of here. He does great things for our offense. I know guys are always looking for more opportunities because of our style of play. He knows his role. He knows how he fits in. He knows how much we care about him, how much we love him, how much we really do want to get him the ball. He does great work for us.’’

And more great work might be needed Sunday.

‘‘I’m going to bring a lot of
energy to this offense and to special teams and give them my best and leave it all on the field,’’ Tate said.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



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