'In Seattle we might have thrown 15-20 times... I prefer what we have in Detroit'
The MMQB: How is the Lions’ offense different in philosophy than what you’re accustomed to?
TATE: The offense is kind of a feel offense. You feel your way around. Obviously there are rules and depths, but at the end of the day you’ve got to play football and just be an athlete. That’s one of the things I like about the offense. In Seattle it’s all about timing. The QB is coming to you as soon as you get out of your break at 14 yards. That can be good and bad, when you consider the potential for disruption like press. That’s a result of who the OC is and who the QB is. Coach Lombardi’s thing is to just put guys in different places and let them make plays. In Seattle we might have thrown 15-20 times a game so it made it hard to get off there. I prefer what we have in Detroit.
The MMQB: When you got to Detroit did you start comparing everything to Seattle in your mind?
TATE: When I first got here I didn’t know what to expect. There are 32 teams and I’d only been on one. There are differences; some are good, some are bad. One important, good thing is the coaching staff. It starts there. I think Detroit has always had a lot of talent. They’ve had really good players that haven’t worked out. The team is going to take the personality of the head coach, and one thing I like about coach Caldwell is that his door is always open, whether he agrees with you or not. He’s gonna go to bat for us. That’s one thing I like about him so far.
The MMQB: How can you make Calvin Johnson’s life easier?
TATE: It’s no secret Calvin’s the best receiver in the league and one of the best to ever play. I’m trying to take some pressure off of him and just be a great No. 2, and you never know, it might increase his production. I think his main focus right now is winning. If you watch practice you can see how upbeat and ready these guys are. It’s time for us to win now. It’s time for us to win a lot of games because we are a better team. We’re going to play disciplined, we’re going to win the turnover ratio. We’re going to do the little things every week and next time you look up we’re 13-3 and looking at home field advantage in the playoffs.