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O'HARA: Tate excited to get back to work

Golden Tate posted on social media to his multitude of followers recently that even though it was hard for him to leave behind the warm weather of California, he was eager to get back to Detroit to start work with his Lions teammates.

There was a bonus, as the Lions were greeted by above average temperatures as they began their official offseason workouts this week.

The weather is nice, but Tate enjoys the work even more.

"The good thing about our job is, every year is a new start, a new opportunity, new goals," Tate told reporters Tuesday. "The big thing is a fresh start. Forget about last year. Try to do something even better.

"For me, I kind of got tired of hanging out and golfing, casually working out.

"I'm ready for the structure, being around the guys, building the camaraderie and really getting to hang out with the guys."

And, of course, good weather should Tate want to pursue his passion of playing golf. It was close to 60 Tuesday.

"Came back, the weather's pretty dang nice," Tate said.

Tate is enjoying the fresh winds of change throughout the Lions' organization. They include last week's uniform reveal at Ford Field, and the massive renovation program undertaken at Ford Field and the team's headquarters in Allen Park.

"The uniforms are a huge upgrade I think-- long overdue," Tate said. "I'm very impressed with what we've drawn up.

"You just kind of feel this organization changing in many, many ways. Personnel-wise, upgrades throughout the facility and stadium. I think it helps, I think it definitely helps."

Tate has had three straight seasons of at least 90 catches since signing with the Lions as a free agent in 2014. The 2016 season was a mixed bag for him. He had a slow start, during which he appeared to lose focus at times.

However, he finished strong with 53 catches in the last eight games for a 91-catch season.

With 99 and 90 catches in 2014 and '15 respectively, he became only the second player in franchise history with at least 90 catches in three straight seasons. Herman Moore is the only other Lion to do that. He went over the 100-catch mark three straight years, from 1995-97.

"I guess for some it might be impressive, but looking back at last year I didn't have the year I expected, the year I wanted," Tate said. "I kind of hold myself to a higher standard. I wouldn't say it's a terrible year. I want to do

View photos of the Detroit Lions offense in the weight room at the start of the offseason workout program.

more for this organization.

"Numbers-wise, a lot of guys would be ok with 91 catches and a thousand yards. I want more wins – so my part a little bit better."

Tate also finished fourth in the league – and first among receivers – with 635 yards after the catch, according to stats compiled by the FOX sports website.

However, drops were a negative issue for the Lions receivers as a group. Tate has been one of the NFL's most sure-handed receivers. He had four drops last year after three in 2015 and two in '14.

"That's not our DNA," Tate said of the drops. "That's not who we are. It's kind of embarrassing. That's one thing I personally want to work on, is catch the ball -- since it is my job."

It has been a year of change on many fronts involving the Lions. That includes Tate, who was married to his fiancé, Elise, in Cabo.

He also came to the offseason camp three or four pounds lighter than in previous years.

"It's three pounds less that I have to carry around when I'm running sprints," he said. "When you get older, you have to take better and better care of yourself. This is what gets you paid."

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