SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30: Brandon Tate #19 of the Cincinnati Bengals returns a punt for a touchdown against David Vobora #54 of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 30, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Bengals defeated the Seahawks 34-12.(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Competition. Training camp battles. Multiple players fighting like gladiators for a sustained paycheck through the 2012 season. Perhaps a postseason appearance, bonuses for all-star consideration and maybe the ever-elusive ring to add to their collections. There will be fights for multiple positions. Cornerback, with unknown variables that fail to dictate predictions (aka, Leon Hall), is one. Who will be the team's No. 2 wide receiver is another.
And through the first week of OTAs, it would appear that Brandon Tate is the early favorite. And Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is excited about what Tate can do.
Said Dalton of Tate, "I'm excited about him. He's done a good job. You can tell he's put in the work this offseason. He's running around well, and right now it's just getting everybody on the same page."
Tate spent his first season with the Cincinnati Bengals last year as a returner on punts and kickoffs. He easily shattered Quan Cosby's single-season record for most punt returns (474), generating 543 yards on 51 returns, including a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks.
On the other hand Tate hasn't caught a pass since New England's regular season finale in 2010 against the Miami Dolphins on January 2, 2011, hauling a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer. Tate generated 432 yards receiving on 24 receptions in 2010, including four receptions of 40 yards or more. In the third-quarter against the Minnesota Vikings, Tate posted his first career touchdown, a 65-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady.