By John Boyle
Outside of the Seahawks’ quarterback competition (you have heard a thing or two about that, right?) one of the big story lines at training camp is how things will shake out at receiver for the Seahawks. One questions is how soon Sidney Rice will be 100 percent healthy, and beyond that, if he can stay healthy. Then if Rice is healthy, the next question is who will be Seattle’s other starter at receiver.
We’re still a long, long ways from anything being sorted out, but we saw a glimpse of positive signs in both of those departments Sunday during Seattle’s second day of training camp.
First, Rice, who opened camp Saturday in a red (no contact) jersey, was back in blue with the rest of the offense on Sunday. Now that doesn’t mean he practiced without limitation—he still avoided contact and took part in limited reps—but it’s another step on the road back for Rice, who had surgery on both shoulders in the offseason. He did, however, admit that the decision to ditch the red jersey was made by him and not the training staff or coaches.
“I snuck it in,” he said. “They got on me when I came out here… I wanted to be in the blue with the rest of the team. I’m not a quarterback, so I don’t want to wear a read jersey.”
As for the battle for the other starting job, one person who could be considered a front runner is Golden Tate, who is looking to build off of a promising finish to last season. He didn’t hurt his case Sunday, making several spectacular grabs, including one diving catch on a deep ball, and another leaping grab while taking some contact on a pass over the middle.
That doesn’t mean Tate will win a starting job with ease. He will be pushed by several players, including veteran Ben Obomanu, who was very involved in Sunday’s practice, and young talented but unproven players like Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette. And that sits just fine with Tate, who by his own admission didn’t come into the league with the right approach two years ago. Rice noted Sunday that he’s seen a more mature Tate this year compared to when they first became teammates last summer, and Tate appears ready to show that maturity on the field as well as when reflecting on his career.
“Going back a little bit, I’ve always been the guy, I’ve always been the guy you’re throwing the ball to,” he said. “I’m getting the ball. I never had to work for my position; I was always more athletic, so for the first time ever, I felt like I had to work, it wasn’t given to me, and I didn’t respond correctly my rookie year.”