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The Receiver that Ran to Daylight and Other Postmodern Fairy Tales

Golden Tate is thick. Real thick. On tape, he looks more massive than his Combine weigh-in weight: 199. It's not uncommon for a player to drop weight to boost his forty or vert. And maybe Tate did. Just idle speculation, but something on my mind. He looks thinner.

Tate ran a 4.42. That surprised a lot of scouts. 4.4 is the threshold for excellent speed, and an official 4.42 is elite. It's fast among the fast. It's faster than Felix Jones. Equal to Ray Rice. Faster than Jonathan Stewart. Fast as Leon Washington. Faster than Leon Washington and Ray Rice, but less quick. Tate has what I call a "fourth gear." Get away speed.

Tate was up to 202 at Notre Dame's pro day. I could see him in the 210 range. At that weight, if he can maintain his quickness, he can be what I think he's destined to become: A rusher split wide.

The Wildcat is one kind of response to the ever-more dominant passing attack. Defenses built to stop the pass and contain the run couldn't contain the Wildcat. They were out-gapped. However, a more subtle response is already heavily in play. The screen passing game, especially screens to nominal receivers, is in many ways as much run as pass. The pass is short, often behind the line of scrimmage. Fellow receivers block and/or linemen pull and so the receiver is running through a designated hole. The effectiveness of the play hinges on skills we associate with a runner and not a receiver. Hands are downplayed. Route running is mostly irrelevant. Acceleration, vision, hitting the hole and breaking tackles, that's what makes a great screen receiver. Run to daylight, Golden.

Run to daylight:

1. 4th and 1 at PITT 43 Dan Hutchins punt for 44 yards, returned by Golden Tate for 87 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.