Archive for July, 2015

Golden Tate: Doesn’t view himself as #2

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Tate, who led the Lions in catches and receiving yards last season while Johnson missed time with injuries, said he views himself as a No. 1 receiver no matter who else is on the field.

“I’ll go back to when I signed my contract,” Tate told the Detroit Free Press. “I was fully aware that if I’m playing with one of the best receivers to ever and arguably the best player to play in the game right now, I understood that. But I wasn’t coming in with the mindset that I’m going to be second to anyone. I don’t care if I was playing with Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Calvin on the same team. I don’t have that mindset that I’m going to be the No. 2. I came in fighting for the No. 1. And realistically, we understand the situation. And that’s just kind of my mindset.”

In Weeks 4-8, Johnson missed three games and was severely limited by injuries in two others. In those five games, Tate totaled 39 catches for 599 yards, and the Lions went 4-1. Tate is proud that he helped the Lions move toward the playoffs while their biggest star was sidelined.

“I was told every day just to be the best I possibly could,” Tate said. “And we don’t know what injuries are going to happen or different things are going to happen during the season and [last season] they needed me to show up big. And when Calvin was out I tried to lead this team a little bit more than I had in the past and it worked out for us. So it builds trust.”

Given that the Lions are devoting more than $28 million in cap space to the wide receiver position, by far the most in the NFL, they’d better have more than one guy who can act as a No. 1 receiver.

Golden Tate: Time is now for the Lions

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The recent history of the Detroit Lions is a sad tale, overflowing with bitter losses and miserable season stacked upon miserable season.

The Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 — that was pre-birth for the team’s 2015 draft picks. Detroit last won a division title in 1993, back when it was still the Central Division, kids. After being lugged to the playoffs by Barry Sanders six times in the ’90s, Detroit has gone to the postseason just twice this Millennium, as a Wild Card, and lost both times.

Oh, the woe is not finished.

Since divisional shuffling in 2002, the Lions have never gone three consecutive seasons without finding themselves in the cellar of the NFC North. Guess how many back-to-back double-digit win seasons Detroit has? Zero. You read that correctly, in the entire history of the Detroit Lions, dating back to the 1930s, they have never compiled consecutive double-digit win seasons. Since 2000, the Lions have earned more seasons with five or fewer victories than six or more triumphs.

This is a franchise whose players in 2001 boisterously celebrated a Week 14 victory that avoided a zero-win season. Seven seasons later they went 0-16. This soliloquy of woe doesn’t even touch the myriad draft picks busted and coaching fumbles plaguing the Ford-owned team.

Despite the negative history, Lions receiver Golden Tate believes all that despair can be relegated to the past by the current iteration wearing Honolulu Blue.

“I think it’s time for us to consistently, year in and year out, win ballgames,” Tate told the Detroit Free Press. “I think we have the personnel. I think we have the coach, the coaching staff. I think we have a heck of a fan base.

“It’s time. We’re trying to shake ‘the same old Lions.’ We’re trying to become — I thought we were good — I think we’re trying to become elite now. I think we’re trying to compete with the Packers and give them a run for their money and take over our division year in and year out.”

If only words were so easily acted out.

The Lions have some stellar pieces. They boast one of the top receiver combos in the NFL, rookie runner Ameer Abdullah could be a stud and it will be intriguing to watch defensive coordinator Teryl Austin tinker and scheme with a flexible unit.

But there is a long way to get over the Green Bay hump and the plucky Minnesota Vikings are clipping at their heels. The Lions have their work cut out to achieve the first back-to-back 10-plus win seasons in franchise history and dispatch that ‘same old Lions‘ moniker.