NOTEBOOK: Golden Tate admires Jim Caldwell's 'family atmosphere' approach

Posted Apr 23, 2014

Golden Tate believes a family atmosphere is just as important as talent when it comes to being a championship team.

Golden Tate is fresh off of a Super Bowl victory as a member of the Seattle Seahawks last season.

Tate was asked Wednesday what the biggest key to winning a Super Bowl is.

“One thing I really admire about coach (Jim) Caldwell is he thinks having a family atmosphere is important and that’s why Seattle did so well,” Tate said.

“In Seattle we had 7-9 years (in 2010 and 2011) and then we had a Super Bowl year (2013). I was a part of the lows and the highs and I watched that team grow. At the end of the day, this past year, we were playing for each other, we were playing for the city, we were playing for the 12th man.”

Tate said he expects the same thing here in Detroit from the Caldwell-led Lions. Family is important to Caldwell and Tate said a top priority is getting the locker room to gel.

“We want everyone to be able to sit down and know something about the guy you’re playing with,” Tate said. “I think that’s very important.”

Talent and competition were also important staples of last year’s Seattle team, but Tate said they wouldn’t have won a championship on those factors alone.

“You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse,” Tate said. “You’re never staying the same. I think competition is always going to drive us to get better.”

The Lions have talent and they should have good competition at a number of spots. Now they need to find some of those intangible qualities that championship teams have. 

Caldwell, Teryl Austin, Joe Lombardi, Tate and James Ihedigbo all have Super Bowl rings to their credit. They all know what it takes.


Ryan BroylesWR Ryan Broyles (Photo: Detroit Lions)

After sitting out Tuesday’s first voluntary minicamp practice, third-year receiver Ryan Broyles had a helmet and participated in drills during Wednesday’s open session to the media.

Broyles is in the middle of his third consecutive offseason rehabbing a major leg injury.

He tore an ACL as a senior at Oklahoma, tore the other ACL as a rookie and ruptured an Achilles tendon last season. He’s has played in 16 games in two years with 30 catches, 395 yards and two touchdowns.

"I know the deal with the Lions right now and you feel like you have a deadline because there's guys counting on you, especially coming in from the second round," Broyles told earlier this offseason. "I feel like I have to go in there and prove something and maybe I did that a little bit before my body was ready (last year).

"This time around I have to just focus on my future. I'm 25 years old right know. I just have to be smart from this point on."

Tate sits right next to Broyles in the receiver room.

“A great guy,” Tate said. “He’s had some tough breaks, but mentally he’s staying sharp and he’s still staying strong. He’s still showing up and working extra hard on what he can do. You see him in the weight room and he’s going to be one of the first one's in and one of the last one’s out and he’s limited.

“You see the work ethic there and those are things I see in players and I admire. I’m going to pray for him he comes back healthy and stronger and if he can get healthy and stay on the field, he’s going to be a great addition to this offense.”


The Lions continued their preparations for next months draft by hosting former California linebacker Khairi Fortt and William and Mary safety Jeroma Couplin in Allen Park on Wednesday.

Couplin (6-1, 213) established himself as one of the nation’s top defensive players and was a finalist for the Buchanan Award, given to the most outstanding defensive player in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

He led the team with 113 tackles last season with 2.5 tackles for a loss, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery he returned 51 yards for a touchdown.

Couplin, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds at his pro day, recorded double-digit tackle totals in six games last year.

He played in 45 career games with 257 tackles, 21 passes defended and five forced fumbles.

Fortt (6-2, 240) started at the Will linebacker for all nine of the games he played in last season before missing the final three contests due to a biceps injury.

He had surgery in April of 2012 to repair a ligament that stabilized the patella in his right knee.

Following the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, Fortt transferred to Cal where he was eligible to play immediately, but redshirted while recovering from his knee procedure.

Last season he recorded 64 tackles while adding 3.5 tackles for loss and a half sack.

He registered 13 tackles, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry against Ohio State.

Both Couplin and Fortt are considered late-round prospects or players the Lions could pursue as free agents after the draft. Let’s not forget the Lions found tight end Joe Fauria and tackle LaAdrian Waddle after the draft last year and both have turned into contributors.


Receiver Naaman Roosevelt joined the Lions minicamp on tryout basis Wednesday. He last played in a regular season game in 2011 with Buffalo. He had 16 receptions for 257 yards and a touchdown that year.