Wide receivers Tate, Rice step up for Seahawks


Wide receivers Tate, Rice step up for Seahawks

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have become the go-to targets for Seattle Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.

Rice, healthy for the first time in three years, is enjoying a resurgence for the Seahawks. A hip injury derailed his final season in Minnesota before Rice signed with Seattle following the lockout.

Rice couldn't escape the injury bug last year, either, with a pair of bad shoulders and two concussions bringing his season to a premature end. Rice caught just 32 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns in his first year with the Seahawks.

Tate is finally having the breakthrough he's been waiting for after two mostly unimpressive seasons in Seattle. Entering this season, Tate had never had more than 61 yards receiving in his two years a pro. Through 12 games, Tate has already matched or exceeded his career highs in catches (35), yards (486) and touchdowns (7).

As Wilson has continued to progress as a quarterback, Rice and Tate have shown they can be dynamic weapons in the Seattle passing game.

``We're out here having fun. It feels good to be a part of a team that's so committed to each other,'' Rice said.

The Seahawks' offense has become more reliant on the passing game over the past two months. While Seattle still heavily relies upon the legs of Marshawn Lynch to carry the load, the Seahawks have put more on the shoulders of Wilson and the offense has responded. Seattle is averaging over 25 points over its last five games.

``Ever since that Patriots game we've been really throwing it a good amount and guys making explosive plays,'' Wilson said.

The receiver tandem has stepped up and provided more production. Their seven touchdowns apiece are already the most by any Seahawks receiver since Darrell Jackson had 10 in 2006.

The receiver position for Seattle has constantly been devoid off top-end talent. They have not sent a receiver to the Pro Bowl since Brian Blades in 1989. While neither Rice nor Tate seem destined for Honolulu this season, they have helped elevate the Seahawks' offense in the second half of the season.

``We've been getting things rolling these last few weeks and we want to continue to build from there. We know we've got an opportunity to do something special,'' Rice said.

Rice finally feels healthy again and it's showing in his play on the field. He leads the team in all receiving categories with 43 catches for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. Rice took a blow to the head from Bears safety Major Wright while scoring the game-winning touchdown in Chicago, but has already been cleared and is expected to play this week against Arizona.

``It feels great. Just being back out here on the field, I'm enjoying it. I love it. I love being out on the field being able to make plays for my team,'' Rice said.

Tate credited Wilson's attention to detail and openness in discussing every aspect of the offense for the Seahawks' improved success in the second half of the season.

``Since the three years I've been here, we've never watched the film with the quarterback,'' Tate said. ``But after practice we watch the film with the quarterbacks. When there comes a ball that's an incompletion I always ask, `What do you think Russ,' and then he'll say what he thinks and then I'll say what I think, Sidney will say what he thinks. We're all on the same page I think. We still got some work to do but we're all on the same page and moving in the right direction.''

Tate believes the offense is just scratching the surface of their potential. With the passing game taking a step forward and a manageable schedule over their final four games, the Seahawks are looking to make a strong push to solidify a spot in the playoffs.

``I think with this offense the sky is the limit,'' Tate said.

Notes: The Seahawks added CB Chandler Fenner to the practice squad. ... DE Red Bryant (foot) and CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring) did not practice for a second straight day. S Kam Chancellor (groin) was also held out of practice Thursday. ... LB Leroy Hill (ankle) and C Max Unger (hip) were limited. ... RB Marshawn Lynch (back) and WR Sidney Rice (head) were able to fully participate.


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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.