Bates: No. 1 Receiver Up For Grabs

With the trade of Deion Branch back to the Patriots (it really does feel good to type that), the Seahawks have opened up competition where they’ve needed to do so ever since Darrell Jackson faded into obscurity: wide receiver.

Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates told reporters Thursday that Seattle’s No.1 pass-catching duties are officially up for grabs, and fortunately for us, there’s a healthy assortment of promising talent ripe for the job.

“We’ll give them all a shot,” Bates said. “We’ve got to see what they can do. We look forward to Deon (Butler) stepping up, Golden (Tate) stepping up, Mike (Williams) continuing his progress. We’re just looking for someone to take it over.”

Despite the talent, one thing this unit needs is consistency. There is no clear-cut deep threat in this group — at least, not yet — and with Matt Hasselbeck’s shaky play so far this year, opposing safeties need to actually drop back into coverage about as often as Chris Sullivan cracks a funny joke.(Don’t worry Chris, we’re not keeping score here.)

So, competition is good. Branch’s departure means more looks for Tate, Butler and Williams, with Brandon Stokley channeling Bobby Engram in the slot. The bye week and the pickup of Marshawn Lynch can only work in the team’s favor at this point.

And on the subject of Lynch, Mr. Beast Mode himself is ready to roll in blue & green for the first time on Sunday:

“It’s still football. Nothing has changed but the play-calling,” Lynch said. “As far as conditioning and the mindset of getting up and going out there and putting in work, it’s all the same. I’m just learning some new plays and wearing some new colors.”

Indeed, Marshawn. And at least you’re not stuck in Buffalo with some dude named Roscoe.