Detroit Lions Jerseys Golden Tate knows people see what he’s able to do on the field. He knows people watch him seemingly bend his away around opponents. But he insists it’s not because of what many think.
Tate has a high level of athleticism. But flexibility? Not so much, he insists.
“I’m just a tight human. I’m no Gumby at all,” the Detroit Lions receiver told ESPN.com this week. “You look around at some of those guys in here and they are very flexible. Like Marvin [Jones is] a very flexible guy who can move very well and Calvin [Johnson] was a very flexible guy, or it seemed like it at least.
“I’m just not that guy.”
Tate can’t explain what he does on the field. It’s not something he consciously thinks about. Instead, he typically relies on his instincts from his time as a high school running back and reads from his baseball days in the outfield.
He has always been the catch-and-make-you-miss guy, one of his more intriguing qualities when he was coming out of college and again in free agency, when he went from Seattle to Detroit in 2014. On Saturday, the two teams will meet in a NFC wild-card game.
“Golden Tate is just one of those players, Cheap Jerseys you know, he can do so much,” said his former teammate Michael Bennett. “Golden Tate is just a great player. He can catch the ball, run the ball, his YAC (yards after catch) is outstanding.
“He has the weirdest-looking body but he can always make plays. I always think he looks like a bird. I can never understand how that body does what it does.”
Golden Tate has a knack for making defenders miss, and has collected 2,835 yards after the catch since he entered the league in 2010. Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY Sports
A lot of it, Tate said, has to do with the tightness. It has led him to continually work on his releases — after seven years in the NFL, he says that area of his game still needs improvement. Because of that lack of flexibility, he sometimes struggles to get off the line of scrimmage on longer routes.
But that doesn’t seem to stop him. Tate has caught 90 or more passes in three consecutive seasons with the Lions, and he totaled 1,077 receiving yards in 2016 — just two years after finishing with 1,331 yards in 2014.
More than half of his 1,077 yards this season came after the catch — he was second to Jarvis Landry among receivers in YAC with 611 yards — and that has made him valuable in a Lions offense that features short passes in space.
Those shaking moves are what he used to do in his backyard growing up in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
“My brother’s always been crazy athletic,” said Tate’s brother, Wesley. “He just, everything, from baseball, basketball to football and everything — he’s always
Cheap nfl Jerseys been a step above everyone else. It’s not really anything new. It’s just something I’ve grown accustomed to growing up together.”
But those releases, man, they continually annoy Tate, and he never feels like he consistently gets it.
“I feel like every time I think I have it, I come back and make a stupid mistake,” Tate said. “A simple, silly, knucklehead mistake. That seems to happen all the time. It’s like, ‘I got it. I got it. I think I got it.’ And I guess I become slightly complacent and then, ‘Boom.'”
The “Boom” happens less frequently now and often in places most don’t see — like in practice, when he’s still running hard. If he makes the mistake there, then he’s hoping to fix it by game time.
This season was even more of an adaptation. Tate wasn’t seeing the ball much early, and his numbers showed it. That led to the well-known benching in Week 4 against Chicago. From there, he emerged as Matthew Stafford’s favored target. Tate stopped focusing on his numbers and his
Customized Jerseys targets and, in turn, ended up producing more on the field.
That was an adaptation by Tate to just refocus himself. And the Lions’ offensive staff worked to feature him more.
“Maybe I was not adapting as well to some of the things he does well,” offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter said. “So we tried to do that a little bit more. He’s got the ball in his hands a little bit more.
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