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Golden Tate and the Headline Wordplay

When I started this, it was still morning and I had just finished re-watching the pertinent portion of the game and taking some final notes. That's my procedure. The progression is typically: watch the game live, re-watch the game during the offseason, typically in January, February or March, figure out the most likely draftees and watch again, this time taking notes, and finally, if I get there, watch it intensively, recording the formations and learning a little about the quality of opponent; re-watching every key play until I think really understand it. Before I write it out, I watch it again so the action is fresh in my mind.

I do all this because I'm not an expert or anything, and I want a solid, supported and reasoned opinion about a player. It's the same process I use to evaluate the Seahawks, but prospect scouting is a lot more dry, and actually quite a bit more challenging. Schemes are much more diverse, as is quality of competition, and I know quite a bit more about NFL players, especially Seahawks, than I do college players.

So, when I started this, it was still morning and I was excited because I am attempting to end my offseason. My manuscript arrived for me to edit. It's time again to build momentum into the regular season, and I am heading up SBNation's regional Seattle site. So, when I started this, I had a lot of work ahead of me, but I was excited, because I like quality work and I promised my wife we would go swimming today. What's better than a day spent equally towards satisfying work and fun with those you love?

I started this in the morning and now it's after nine. I experienced a first today: A massive virus attack that threatened to kill my computer. I started this a regular person looking forward to a day of good work and company and ended it a serial killer specializing in rogue programmers. Dexter Morgan ain't got shit on me.

On to Tate.

1. 1st and 10 at ND 30 Jimmy Clausen pass complete to Golden Tate for 11 yards to the NDame 41 for a 1ST down.

It's a moment of convergence: Tate runs a shallow cross. Charlie Weis runs it high-low with Tate crossing "above" the rusher, running a parallel horizontal pattern. Clausen is under fire. He looks sacked, but breaks free. The linebacker commits to covering the back. The back turns up field into a wheel route. Tate slows his route and settles ahead of Clausen and Clausen steps up just long enough to sidearm a pass to Tate. Tate takes it, continues horizontal and streaks for the first before being taken down by an ankle tackle.

2. 1st and 10 at ND 41 Jimmy Clausen pass incomplete.

Good jump, but Tate does not factor. Bobbled pass incomplete in the right flat.

3. 2nd and 10 at ND 41 Jimmy Clausen pass incomplete.

Executioner pass by Clausen. Berry breaks into off coverage. Tate runs a slow curl route that looks, well, either half-assed or like Tate is attempting to fake the corner out with the soft sell. Clausen airs it out and Tate leaps to reach but sensing imminent danger, braces to defend Berry's low bridge. It's an uncatchable pass, perhaps a missed route by Tate, but his presence of mind to protect his body and avoid the kind of end-over-end tumble that dislocates shoulders and bludgeons brains is heartening.  

4. 3rd and 10 at ND 41 Jimmy Clausen pass incomplete.  

Berry again drops into off cover and spies Clausen. Tate runs a curl but doesn't achieve separation and does not factor.

1. 1st and 10 at ND 17 Armando Allen Jr rush for 5 yards to the NDame 22.

Kill the clock run called by Weis of no distinction but one: Tate delivers a crushing cut block that coulda, woulda, maybe mattered.