LIONS INSIDER

Golden Tate excited to see offense's progress in camp

Posted Jul 30, 2015

With the start of training camp just days away, wide receiver Golden Tate is looking forward to showing what this offense can do.

At times last year Golden Tate and his Lions teammates felt like they were back in school.

Not only was Tate getting used to his new surroundings after signing a five-year, $31 million free-agent deal in the offseason, but he, like all of his teammates, were also learning the expectations of a new head coach and new playbook.

Golden TateWR Golden Tate (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Tate persevered better than most, finishing the 2014 season with 99 receptions, 1,331 yards, earning him his first Pro Bowl nod. Now a year into the system, and with camp just days away, he is excited to be past the learning stages with this scheme and into the nuts and bolts of it.

“We’re not like a geometry class,” Tate said Thursday while taking a break from his football camp at Rochester Adams High to talk to reporters. “We’re like an AP (advanced placement) class now. We’re focusing on the details of the offense and defense and really just dialing in. I’m excited to see how far we can go.”

This offense can, and should, be better than the one that finished 22nd in scoring and 19th in total yards a season ago.

It needs to be better if the Lions are going to reach some of the lofty goals they’ve set for the 2015 season.

“I don’t think we’ll be any different as in personnel -- besides the offensive line. I just expect more production,” Tate said. “I think we need to be a lot better. I think we have the tools. I’m expecting a huge camp and preseason from (Eric) Ebron.

“I’m excited to see the young guys, the young cornerbacks and Ameer (Abdullah) and a couple other guys. This is a huge camp for us and a great opportunity.”

Everyone on offense is feeling more comfortable in Joe Lombardi's scheme now, allowing players to focus on the finer details.

“Understanding why we are doing this a little better,” Tate said. “Why we need to get our depths because we need to open it up on the backside or give Matt (Stafford) time. Really nitpicking the small things.”

Stafford talked this offseason about his comfort level in the offense and the ability to anticipate the action in front of him with more command of the system.

“When I arrived we were all in the same boat,” Tate said. “We were all dealing with a new head coach. We were all dealing with a new offensive coordinator. I feel like we were all bundles together.

“(Now) we understand what coach Caldwell wants from us. He doesn’t have to preach the basics, the small things.

“Now it’s time to play. Now it’s time to go out there put it on film and see that we are better than we were last year.”