Caserio: Tate is coming around

November, 2, 2009
11/02/09
10:12
AM ET

New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio held his weekly conference call with media members, and one of the primary topics of discussion was rookie receiver Brandon Tate.

Tate, a third-round draft choice out of North Carolina, made his debut Oct. 25 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played 23 snaps and had an 11-yard run on an end-around on his first play, although he didn't finish with a reception.

A few Tate-related nuggets:

Running the wrong route: Caserio revealed that Tom Brady's second-quarter interception -- a long pass down the middle to Tate -- came on a play in which Tate ran the wrong route out of the huddle.

Experience counts: Caserio said he felt the performance was good in terms of experience for Tate, whether on offense or kickoff returns, or in specific situations such as the two-minute offense or in the red zone. "There were some good plays and some bad plays, just like everybody else," he said.

Coaching approach: Caserio was asked if Tate is learning all receiver spots, or if there has been a more narrow-minded approach with him. "It's hard for any young player to give them a large volume, so you try to start them at one particular point and let them sort of build on that and get comfortable with one thing," he said, noting that Tate is moving in the right direction in terms of eventually absorbing more.

Tate vs. Harvin: Caserio was asked if he saw Tate as being similar to Vikings first-rounder Percy Harvin. He said the similarities came in that both were good with the ball in their hands and that both had good quickness and playing speed. The differences came in their roles -- Harvin was like a de facto running back who also lined up in the slot at Florida, while Tate played on the perimeter while also seeing time in the slot at UNC.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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