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Golden Tate and the New Possession Receiver

Dana Scully, all hips and shoulder pads, was a mid-nineties sex symbol. The helmet of red hair. The professional demeanor, veneer of strength, pant suits and eventual need for rescue. Scully, Mulder, The X-Files, were wholly and inseparably of their time. The writing was often poor. The special effects campy and small feeling. But the actors, the subject, the universe of The X-Files belonged in the nineties, belonged to the citizens of the nineties and thrived for over 200 episodes before petering out in 2002.

Any team can make three picks in the first two rounds and consider their draft a success. The talent is out there. What made Seattle's first three picks so special is that Russell Okung, Earl Thomas and Golden Tate each in their way perfectly match the modern game. Okung is a gifted pass blocker and that is the true test of a modern left tackle. Levi Brown was selected fourth overall by the Cardinals, but is an atavistic type of offensive tackle: The slow mauler. Thomas is as much corner as safety. Taylor Mays possesses better tools, but is as much linebacker as safety. He's misfit for the modern game and must be worked around.

Golden Tate is as much running back as receiver. He is the receiver of now. He has moves and power and can consistently break the first tackle. Tate may not be the old prototype, all speed, route running and hands, but suited as perfectly as he is to the modern NFL, he might just become the new prototype.

(Notre Dame burns a drive attempting a half-assed Wildcat. Tate can barely receive from shotgun before Panthers are streaming into the Irish backfield. After two rushes for a loss, Charlie Weis is forced to revert to a normal offense.)

1. 1st and 10 at ND 13 Golden Tate rush for a loss of 3 yards to the NDame 10.

2. 2nd and 13 at ND 10 Theo Riddick rush for a loss of 3 yards to the NDame 7.

3. 3rd and 16 at ND 7 Jimmy Clausen pass complete to Armando Allen Jr for 10 yards to the NDame 17.

Left slot, runs deep, does not factor. Clausen outlets underneath to avoid pressure.


(We learn that Bill Stull's parents have fled the stands because Pittsburgh fans boo Bill Stull.)

1. 1st and 10 at ND 10 Jimmy Clausen pass complete to Theo Riddick for 5 yards to the NDame 15.

Tate is split wide right. He runs a short square in. It's slow and methodical and though he's wide open, Clausen target Riddick.

2. 2nd and 5 at ND 15 Jimmy Clausen pass complete to Golden Tate for 8 yards to the NDame 23 for a 1ST down.

Corner Ricky Gary is playing off. Tate runs a hitch. Clausen receives the snap and passes towards Tate in the left flat. He step, step, strides, lowers his shoulder and powers through Gary, past the first and onward before being wrestled out after eight.

3. 1st and 10 at ND 23 Jimmy Clausen pass incomplete.

Tate runs a drag with a double move - looks like a lightning bolt. It's not a common route, but Charlie Weis uses it pretty extensively. Difficult route and performed capably if not John Carlson by Tate. He flashes free, but Clausen is harassed into an outlet underneath. The pass is perfect: Receiver open, targeting the hands, led towards daylight, and dropped.

4. 2nd and 10 at ND 23 Jimmy Clausen pass intercepted by Jarred Holley at the Pitt 30, returned for no gain to the Pitt 30.

The other side of Jimmy Clausen. Tate runs a short route but is never targeted. Clausen heaves a terrible, just horrendous, not even high school, deep ball and it hangs and hangs and allows stifling double coverage to swallow the Irish receiver. Easy interception. Terrible play call executed to terrible perfection.