Seattle might lean more on Tate and Baldwin

    2013-07-26 17:39

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AP Sports Writer

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - When Seattle made the move to acquire Percy Harvin, there were understandably questions raised by the rest of the Seahawks receivers.

Anytime a move that significant is made, there is bound to be a trickle-down that impacts others.

``Naturally when a team brings in an additional receiver, a receiver that is similar to my skill set, that's been used and utilized in the same position, of course you're going to wonder,'' wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. ``But at the end of the day I can control only what I can control and I have an opportunity here to play and that's all I'm going to worry about. I'm not going to worry about it. The game plan has it to where we all can be successful in this offense so we're not really worried about it.''

With Harvin's injured hip suddenly becoming a major issue right at the start of training camp, the roles for Baldwin and receiver Golden Tate could be changing or expanding. That's fine by them, since both believe they are more than what their defined roles have been in the past.

``Doug can do a lot of the same things. Golden can do some of those things as well,'' Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. ``There are different guys we could plug in and still be able to function at a high level.''

Harvin's addition was expected to add another dynamic dimension to the Seahawks offense, one that could be lined up anywhere on the field and use speed to bolster an offense that averaged 32.9 points the final nine games of last season. After seeing all the different alignments Minnesota used with Harvin, Seahawks fans were giddy about how he could be used in Seattle.

That may still happen, but not until Harvin gets a second opinion on what is happening with the labrum in his hip and whether surgery is the answer for repair.

With that uncertainty hanging over Harvin, the Seahawks could be relying even more on the duo of Baldwin and Tate.

``I want to win a Super Bowl and that's another weapon to help us,'' Tate said of Harvin. ``(I'm) happy that he is on our team, hopefully gets healthy soon so he can help us. I'm just going to continue to work hard every day. Who they bring in and who they send out has nothing to do with how I come to practice every day and work. I'm going to work my tail off to be the best receiver I can and be reliable.''

Baldwin has spent his first two years with the Seahawks almost exclusively playing in the slot when Seattle used three- and four-receiver formations. It was a role he thrived in during his first training camp in 2011 when he came out of Stanford as an undrafted free agent, only to become the Seahawks' leading receiver that season.

Last season, Baldwin was nagged by injuries he said were the result of not taking off enough time during the offseason before the start of the 2012 campaign.

The result was that Baldwin missed two games due to injury and caught only 29 passes.

``At the end of my rookie season I thought I couldn't take time off. That if I took time off somebody else would be catching up to me and I kept going, kept going and when I was at camp last year at this time I had already peaked. My body was deteriorating,'' Baldwin said. ``Now, I took more time off, forcing myself to take more time off so now at this point we're going to continue to go upward.''

Next to Harvin, Tate might have the most athletic skills of any of Seattle's receivers. His speed is a notch below Harvin's, but Tate's ability to use his athleticism to rise above defenders to catch passes might be better. Tate is coming off his best season after catching 45 passes for 688 yards last season and it's a contract year.

``There are no restrictions on what Golden can do,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ``He can go down the field, he can go tough through the middle, and make catches through traffic. He is a terrific guy with the ball after the catch. We can do everything with him.''


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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