Archive for June, 2015

Golden Tate on improved Team

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Wide receiver Golden Tate says the offense is showing ‘night and day’ improvement from where they were at last year during OTAs.

This time last year Golden Tate and the rest of his teammates on offense were learning a whole new scheme. Last year OTAs were about the terminology, getting lined up right and learning what offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi expected from them.

Tate said it’s “night and day” in terms of where they are as an offense at the same point this year.

“I think we’re definitely ahead of where we were,” Tate said Monday before teeing off at The Charlie Sanders Foundation annual charity golf tournament at Knollwood Country Club. “We’re not totally trying to make over our team because we have what it takes to be a good team and a good team for a long time. We just want to keep building on what we did last year.

“Offensively, I feel like we know our assignments now. We know how it’s supposed to look. Now we can dial in on really understanding the coverages. What pass or what play does Matt (Stafford) really like in this coverage? Being able to know a different signal without it being too much, and being confident that we’re both going to be on the same page. Just things like that. Simple things.”

Golden Tate
WR Golden Tate (Photo: Detroit Lions)

The Lions’ offense was inconsistent in its first season under Lombardi, finishing the year ranked 19th overall and 22nd in scoring.

“We don’t have to do anything different,” Tate said. “We just have to be a little bit better and that’s one thing that coach (Jim) Caldwell said this offseason.

“If we just convert one or two more third downs a game, score seven more points a game, have one less penalty, whatever the case is, we will see improvements.”

Tate had a huge impact in his first season in Detroit. He caught 99 passes for 1,331 yards with four touchdowns during the regular season and earned the first Pro Bowl nod of his career.

He’s expecting an even bigger contribution in year two.

“Catch one more ball in a game or make one more block in a game or help this team win one or two more games,” Tate said of how he plans to be better in 2015. “I just want to improve any way I can.

“I had a career high year (in 2014), but for me, that’s not good enough. I want to see how many career highs I can stack on consecutive years. Never show that (I’m) losing a step.”

That’s a goal head coach Jim Caldwell said is well within Tate’s reach.

“Maybe he doesn’t catch 100 balls, but maybe he has 20 touchdowns,” Caldwell said. “You can improve in a number of different ways in our business and I know he’s committed to doing that.”

Tate has become a huge part of the Lions offense, and if that side of the ball is truly “night and day” ahead of where it was this time last year, the Lions just might be closer to being a more balanced football team.