''All three weeks, a player's come up to me and said, `We knew what you were going to do,'' Tate said this week during his regular appearance on WMGC-FM. ''That's bad.''
Given a chance to clarify or elaborate Thursday, the first day reporters had access to him at the team's practice facility, he passed and said only ''maybe tomorrow.''
Coach Jim Caldwell and at least a few players said reactions to Tate's comments were overblown. Quarterback Matthew Stafford cracked a joke about the situation.
''Maybe they're hacking into our computers,'' he said.
Wisecracks aside, the winless Lions (0-3) have a tall task ahead: They travel to play the defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks (1-2) on Monday night.
Tate helped Seattle win the Super Bowl after the 2013 season, his fourth year with the franchise, before leaving as a free agent to sign a $31 million, five-year deal with Detroit. Tate said the Lions have to watch their tendencies and formations to figure out how they're giving away what is coming to defenses.
''I have to try to keep my emotions level,'' Tate told WMGC-FM. ''It's tough winning out there, but it's not impossible.''
Stafford threw two interceptions in Detroit's latest loss, a 24-12 setback to Denver. After the game, Broncos safety David Bruton said how the Lions lined up and what a running back did led to him picking off a pass late in the game.
''I wish we could find those same things they're talking about,'' Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ''I don't see what they're talking about.''
Caldwell insisted the situation is much ado about nothing.
''The two plays that we had interceptions on are two plays we've never run before,'' Caldwell said.
Tate signed with the Lions to be their No. 2 receiver, but he became their top target last year because Johnson struggled to stay healthy. The former Notre Dame star made the most of it. He had career highs with 99 receptions and 1,331 yards receiving in 2014, surpassing his previous records of 64 catches and 898 yards from his last season in Seattle.
''We had offers made and all that on the table,'' Carroll recalled. ''And unfortunately, he got away.''
Tate has the ability to get away from defenders, turning short passes into long gains. He has 15 receptions for 161 yards receiving this season with 103 yards coming after catches.
''He turns plays that look like nothing into something quite often,'' Stafford said. ''He did it the other night on the little bubble screen. I thought it was going to be a tackle for loss and he ended up getting an explosive play.''
NOTES: The Lions may get a key player in the lineup for the first time this season at Seattle. LB DeAndre Levy, who has been out with a hip injury, was able to practice on a limited basis Thursday and was able to do some hitting in early drills. OG Larry Warford, who had an ankle injury Sunday night, was able to go through a full practice. ... DE Ezekiel Ansah (groin), RB Joique Bell (ankle) and TE Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring) did not practice.
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