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Tate eager to return to field after sour ending to season

Strong safety Kenny Tate has not been talked about a lot this training camp, but I had a chance to talk to him some after practice Tuesday. Remember, Tate is a guy with great physical skills. He badly sprained his ankle late last season and missed the last two games.

I asked Tate if he had any specific goals for this season.

“I just thank the Lord for the blessing of being able to play,” Tate said. “That’s my goal – just to play. Because you never know.”

You never know what?

“It’s a privilege to play,” he said. “Just getting hurt last year, I had not missed a game since I was in like eighth grade. That hurt me, to miss those last two games and to not practice. It hurt me inside. I was just like, when I get my opportunity, every play, every down, I’m just going to go hard.

“When it came to me that Monday, I was like, I had not missed a game in like five years. I had not missed a practice in five years. I got hurt in high school, my same ankle, but I practice, I tried to, at least. From there, it was just like, you never know. It just makes you think.”

With size and speed, Tate can be a valuable asset in coordinator Don Brown’s defense. He finished seventh on the team in tackles (47), even though he missed the last two games and made just four starts. It will be interesting to see what he can do during a junior season in which he will be even more of a key player.

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 1, 2010; 8:31 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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