LIONS INSIDER

Golden Tate excited to join passing-orientated offense

Posted Mar 16, 2014

Over the last two seasons in Seattle, Tate has been a part of an offense that ran the ball 52 and 55 percent of the time, respectively

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said his offense would look a lot like the New Orleans Saints’ offense he spent the last seven years helping to mold as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach.

If that’s truly the case, expect quarterback Matthew Stafford and the passing game to still be the featured weapon in the arsenal.

It’s for that fact receiver Golden Tate chose signing with the Lions vs. returning to the run-heavy offense in Seattle.

“For me it just made more sense to come here,” Tate said in his introductory press conference. “You know, I just see a ton of upside in the vision that this organization has and that I have. It’s all the same. I’m excited just to be a part of something special.

“Like I said, I’m leaving a run-heavy offense to a pass-happy offense, so that’s exciting. I get to play with one of the best to ever play the game, so I wanted to jump on that opportunity and I’m just excited.”

Over the last two seasons in Seattle, Tate has been a part of an offense that ran the ball 52 and 55 percent of the time, respectively. That’s a big change over his first two seasons in Seattle when the offense passed it 56 and 60 percent of the time, respectively.

Yet Tate has seen his catches and yards increase every year, despite the fact the Seahawks offense has steadily gone away from the pass since his arrival in 2010.

That should bode well for the Lions. Tate is coming off a career-high 64 catches for 898 yards.

The Saints have not had less than a 61/39 pass vs. run percentage over the last four seasons.

Detroit has had pretty much the same ratio over Tate’s NFL career. They had a 60/40 pass-to-run ratio in 2013 and that was their most balanced in years.

“I mean, if I wasn’t going back to Seattle, it was definitely huge for me,” Tate said of the Lions offense. “I wasn’t going to go from Seattle to another run-heavy offense. Or at least I wanted to go where it’s even.

“I guess, pass-heavy might have been the wrong term. I think more of a balanced offense is a better wording for it, which I see because we have great backs. So, I just see, offensively, us opening it up everywhere. I think it’s going to be tough to stop us.”