LIONS INSIDER

Golden Tate knows he needs to be better

Posted Oct 29, 2015

Wide receiver Golden Tate knows he needs to up his game and hopes a change in offensive scheme will help him.

Through seven games this season Lions receiver Golden Tate is averaging a career-low 9.4 yards per reception and is well off his Pro Bowl numbers from last year (99 receptions and 1,331 yards).

Tate’s production was expected to drop a little as long as Calvin Johnson stayed healthy, but certainly the Lions were hoping for more than 34 receptions, 318 yards and just one touchdown heading into the midway point of the season.

Golden TateWR Golden Tate (Photo: Gavin Smith / Detroit Lions)

Tate’s averaged less than 40 yards per game over his last four games.

“I need to be a little bit better whether it’s at practice or in games, just have to find a way to be better and hopefully this Sunday is the start,” Tate said.

He’s also hoping for a little more help moving forward from new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

“Yeah, that would be nice to get some more targets and get better opportunities,” Tate said when asked if he thinks he should be used differently the second half of the season. “And just make use of the targets that I do get.”

Tate’s been targeted at least 10 times in a game just twice so far this season. Last season that number was eight.

Of course Tate has to hold onto the ball when it’s thrown his way, too. He’s had a couple drops recently and in one particular play last week he alligator-armed a throw across the middle anticipating a big hit.

He just hasn’t seemed like himself and the Lions need him to snap out of his funk if they’re going to turn this thing around.

“He’s an important part of what we do,” head coach Jim Caldwell said. “He’s one of those guys, I think, that thrives off getting that ball in his hands, like most good players do.

“He wants the ball and wants to be a good player and wants to be a factor. We’re fortunate to have him and we just have to find ways to get him enough where he can get us a few explosive plays.”