Golden Tate: Doesn’t view himself as #2

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

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.

Golden Tate on improved Team

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.

Golden Tate: Top 100 players of 2015!

May 28th, 2015

Golden Tate–Notre Dame 2015

May 28th, 2015

Golden Tate’s Football Camp — November 28, 2014

October 30th, 2014

 

 

 

The Golden Tate Show–Week 1 on Detroit Sports 105.1

September 10th, 2014

Listen to Golden as he discusses the Week 1 victory against the New York Giants here!

Training Camp Blog-I’m rooting for everybody

August 27th, 2014

I never take the mindset that I’ve made the team. I never get content. Right now, for me, I’m able to focus down the road a little more. I’m able to still dial in and try to get the timing down with Matt and figure out the offense a little more, work on the details a little more, versus having to game plan so much this week.

Golden Tate
WR-Golden Tate (Photo: Detroit Lions)

I’m in a very fortunate position where I guess my job for this year is solidified, for the most part. But other guys have to take the mindset of this could be their last game, hopefully not, but they have to go out there and put it on film and hopefully they make this team or another team.

I think our position is going to be one of the hardest to cut down because we have so many guys who bring so many elements to the offense and special teams. It depends on the coaching staff and how they want us to gel together, how they see people lining up in this offense and on special teams.

But from top to bottom, we have a bunch of good players who have grown a lot I hear from last year and made a bunch of plays this preseason and throughout the entire camp and have been consistent. So I’m rooting for everybody, but the truth of the matter is, everyone is not going to make this team. I’m interested to see who makes the cut and will be moving forward.

With preseason coming to a close, I’m extremely excited for the regular season to begin for a lot of reasons. It’s a new start for me — new team, new coaching staff, new stadium, new fan base and a new city.

I’m anxious to see what the atmosphere is going to be like at Ford Field for Monday night. We are very fortunate to start the season off with a primetime game. I don’t really know what to expect from that Monday night … other than a win.

Training Camp Blog-Takeaways from 1st Preseason, Head Coach Jim Caldwell, and the upcoming game against Oakland

August 15th, 2014

My first catch as a Lion was fun. The play call was kind of designed for, if the coverage was right, it to come to me. I knew I was going to have limited opportunities in the game, so I tried to make the best of it. It ended up being almost an explosive gain, which is exciting.

So I think it was a good start. I look forward to many, many, many more passes and great catches in this offense. I’m really excited about it.

Golden Tate
(Photo: Detroit Lions)

I thought Dan and Kellen, did a great job moving the ball and commanding the huddle. I think they handled their business. I thought our young receivers, once they got their jitters out, they balled out especially Peacock. And Broyles had some really, really big catches that definitely helped him out that day. Our young fellas, the tight ends, handled their business. I think overall we did a good job. I don’t think we played perfect.

The offensive line did a good job protecting the quarterback. I think one thing we can improve on is keeping the ball in our hands, not turning the ball over with interceptions, fumbles and mishandled snaps. I think that’s something that we will get better at each day, something we can never have too many reps with.

I respond the best to coaches like coach Caldwell who are involved with the players on and off the field. I don’t think anyone is intimidated by him. I think every person in this organization respects him. If there is something you want to discuss, football, not football, or he’s at home, I feel like he as an open-door policy and he will always give you an honest, genuine answer. I don’t think he is ever going to give you a selfish answer. If he can help you in any way, he will.

And with football, I think he’s done a great job. He is not just talking for his health, he is up there talking, backing it up with the stats, and I think that goes a long way when you have young guys in the locker room like we do.

For the Oakland game Friday, I’ll follow my usual routine. I show up about three hours in advance and get in the hot tub. I might eat a protein bar and get stretched and see the chiropractor, listen to music, go outside and get used to the field, the turf, especially in Oakland, with them having part baseball field and part grass, which is kind of tough to have a footing on. I will bring two pairs of cleats, detachables and screw-ins and my regular cleats.

I don’t think our offense is going to change that much as we get closer to the start of the regular season. I think we are practicing all that stuff now — what you see in practice is kind of what you are going to get in the game. It’s just going to be more intensified. We are going to be actually out there hitting and tackling and getting hit a little more than practice. And we’ll have Megatron making some heroic catches.

Training Camp Blog–learning the offense, competition at wide receiver and interacting with fans at practice

August 15th, 2014
For me personally, training camp is going good. I’m still trying to get myself into game shape. My reps have been limited because we have so many receivers so I really have to work hard and set an example when I’m out there.

Golden Tate
(Photo: Detroit Lions)

I think competition can only affect you in a positive way. The competition with the receivers is 100 percent healthy. It’s also healthy for the DBs. We’re all working together. We’re trying to get ourselves ready for September when it really counts.

I’m never going to give a selfish answer. If another receiver asks me a question, I’m always going to try to help them out. I want everybody in this locker room to be great.

I’m having a lot of fun in this offense. I know the plays, but now I just need to understand the details of the plays – like why a play’s called and why my job is what it is.

When I’m out there, any ball thrown in the air towards me is a good ball. I’m going to compete for it. I take a lot of pride in my strong hands and continuing not to have many drops, any drops really.

Hopefully the Detroit fan base appreciates the way I play the game. I’m only 5-10, but I’m out there giving it my all. I’m playing with a lot of passion. I kind of play off the crowd. That’s just how I’ve always been — I’m a crowd pleaser.

The fans have done a great job of welcoming me to Detroit. They’ve reached out on social media and a lot of fans at practice Saturday wished me a happy birthday. I really appreciate the support. Without the fans, the game wouldn’t be what it is now.

I think it’s important to show our appreciation. It only takes like 15 minutes out of your time to go say hi. You never know what people are going through. People have different situations back at home from sicknesses to depression to relationships and us spending 30 seconds with one person could change their day, their lives, their week.

It’s a blessing to be in the position I am to be able to affect people by just doing what I love. I’m very lucky and I always want to remember that.