Golden Tate attracting attention with his play now

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There were times last year when the Seahawks weren’t sure what they had in wide receiver Golden Tate.

Now, partly through necessity, they think they’ve found a player.

Tate’s hoping to follow up on a solid final month of 2011, by taking a more professional approach.

He’s grown a lot as a player,” teammate Sidney Rice told Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune. “He used to make big plays, jump up and throw the ball in the air and jump around – things like that. But I see him becoming more of a professional. He’s doing much better.”

These days, the ball goes back to the ref with a simple flip, no showboating. But more importantly, he’s making more plays. When Rice missed the end of the season because of concussions, Tate posted 19 catches for 209 yards and a touchdown in five starts, solid numbers after a lackluster start.

“I felt like when they had nowhere else to go I had to step up,” Tate said. “I had to do it. . . . So I took it a lot more serious – not that I didn’t take it serious in the first place.

“So there was more studying, more film and paying attention to details on the field, and on the practice field; being very coachable, so when it was time for me to shine I did my best to make the plays I’m supposed to make.”

Tate’s the favorite to claim the starting job opposite Rice when he returns to the field. Granted, the Seahawks bigger problem is settling on a quarterback, but having someone else to make plays can only help whichever one ends up under center.