WR Golden Tate Conference Call -- March 15, 2019
Q: What went into your thinking when signing with the New York Giants? What was ultimately the big selling point of why you came here? What are some of your thoughts on playing with Eli Manning and your thoughts on him from afar?
A: "Well first off from afar, I've been a New York Football Giants fan growing up and I've always admired -- really this entire division. I remember just always seeing the Giants on TV growing up and always kind of picturing myself maybe playing there one of these days, and it's kind of truly awesome that that time has come and I'm excited about the opportunity to play for this team. As far as Eli, playing against Eli a handful of times, whether it be in Detroit, or Seattle, or obviously in Philly, I like his game a lot. He knows how to get the ball to his playmakers. He's done that at a high level for a long time. I'm just hoping I can come in and fit right in and help him be the best player he can be, and also do the same for me and the rest of the guys on the field."
Q: This organization just traded a big-time player and personality in Odell Beckham Jr. How do you feel about the pressure of filling that role that he once filled?
A: "Odell is a tremendous talent. He's a buddy of mine. I enjoy watching him. I love his game. He's just a complete receiver. He can run, he can run routes, he can catch, great personality, very likable guy. As far as me, I'm just coming in and doing my job. I'm just coming in and putting my head down and working and do the best I can. That's one thing that I try not to do is compare myself to really anyone. I'm kind of my own player, my own unique player. I'm just going to do my job and not put too much pressure on anyone around me, or myself. We wish Odell the best of luck over there in Cleveland. I'm sure he's going to do some great things, just like he did here in New York. I'm just extremely excited, and gracious, and feeling super blessed to be a part of such historic, strong, winning organization like the Giants. I can't wait to get to work and see how far we can take this.
Q: There's a quote from January stating you didn't want to join a rebuilding organization. That you wanted to win now. Did something change? Or, do you not see the Giants as a rebuilding organization?
A: "I'm really excited. After speaking with (Pat) Coach Shurmur and my position coach (Tyke Tolbert), I'm really excited where we're headed. I really believe that you can win games while you build. We have a great division that's set up for us to do some great things in. Just really kind of excited to play. I see we have some very important, key, good pieces in this locker room that I'm anxious to learn more about. It starts off we have a really good quarterback I believe. We have a really good running back. We have a handful of really, really good players. I think the thing is we just need to build that comradery and play as a team day in and day out, week in and week out, play by play. I just believe that if we can get this team to just be on the same page all the times, that we're going to win games, and we're going to build as we go. I feel like every team in the NFL is building to an extent, but there's been no games played yet. We haven't even showed up for workouts yet. I think we're two or three days into free agency. I'm sure we're going to add some more pieces. We still have the draft coming up. We're going to bring some more pieces in that are going to help us win now and that's exciting.
Q: How do you fit with Sterling Shepard? He obviously does most of the damage in the slot. The last couple of years, you've played mostly in the slot. Have you talked to Sterling since you've signed? What type of role do you envision you guys playing in?
A: "I haven't caught up to all my text messages and calls, just because things have kind of been chaotic since I've heard the news, and trying to scramble to try to figure out when I'm going to leave and get out of here, and how I'm going to get out here, then being on the red-eye and dealing with all of that -- talking with agencies and all the coaches. It's kind of been chaotic, so I'm not even sure. Maybe he's reached out. I just have to go through my messages and see. I really like Sterling's game. That guy, he's a baller. He's a playmaker, he makes plays, and I can do the same. I think what makes both of us unique is that we can both play anywhere around the field. My first two to three years in Detroit, and most of my career in Seattle, I was an outside guy. I feel like I can run the comebacks, the hooks and any route on the route tree just fine. I feel the same way about him and a couple of other guys in the room. I'm looking to find a way to complement him and I hope he finds a way to complement me in this offense. We just kind of come together and make plays all over the place. I'm expecting Eli to spread the ball around to a bunch of guys and a bunch of guys make plays. I'm just excited to hopefully come in. Starting with our group, help our group get better and be an asset to this team.
Q: Is the fact the you come with Super Bowl pedigree and your track record in big games, was that an element that you bring that the organization felt as value that led to the Giants bringing you here?
A: "It's something I guess I hadn't talked about just because my time has been short. I literally got off the plane and went straight to the hospital to get all the tests and physicals -- came in, ate lunch. Haven't really spent too much time with anyone trying to figure out everything. My head is kind of spinning right now. I think that's one thing that can go without being said, is that if you look at my resume -- kind of like what you said. I have a Super Bowl under my belt. I've been to a Pro Bowl. I've stepped up in big-time games, and I strongly believe that big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. I hope thats one that someone assumes. If you watch football and just kind of know the type of player that I am. I'm excited to bring a veteran mindset that loves the game of football that cares about the game so much, and hopes the guys can see that hey, it doesn't matter what the stat line is. It matters how many wins you can get each season, and that's way more rewarding than the stats.
Q: Do you think some of the winning ways of the Giants have worn off? Do you feel as if you can be a part of that solution to get this team back to that top status where it was five or 10 years ago?
A: "That sure is my goal. I don't have all the answers for what this organization needs, or what this organization is missing, but I do have trust in the coaching staff that I've had the chance to speak with, and their vision, and what they want to achieve. If I'm looking from afar, if you look at the last eight games of the season last year for the Giants, I think they might have lost a couple of games by a losing field goal or a last-minute drive. It's not like we were getting blown out last year, essentially. You win those last two or three games, you're right there in the mix of the playoffs last year. I don't think we're as far off as people may think or see us, but only time is going to tell. Once April 15 gets here, that's when it's time to work, and that's when it's time to start building something great. Like I said, I think we have a solid foundation, and we're going to keep adding those pieces, and we're going to work. I think that's what it's going to come down to -- a bunch of selfless guys that want to work and find a way to win. It's not going to be easy always, but I do believe, from the little that I know, that we can win. We're not starting from square one. We have some good players, and I'm just going to use my ability, my personality, my work ethic, to hopefully lead these guys and find a way to win games.
Q: There was a lot of talk about you going to the Patriots. Can you describe what the whole process of free agency was like for you? Was there any turning point of something that swayed your decision in the end?
A: "A lot of praying went into it, and just being patient, and trusting in my agent to do what was best for me, my family, and put me in a good situation. I was drafted in the second-round and signed a big deal in Detroit. I guess this will technically be my third deal I'm signing. I was calm. I knew that I had done my job, and that was play ball, stay healthy, keep a clear head, a clean attitude in whatever locker room I was in. I kind of trusted in what I've already done. I knew it was going to work out, one way or another. I didn't know when it was going to happen, how soon or how late. I just kind of trusted the process, and kind of sat back. With it being my third contract, I wasn't being anxious as I was with my second contact. I'm very happy how free agency has ended, and my career starting in New York.
Q: What was your experience with the Eagles like?
A: "It was a great experience. I really didn't have too much time to take it all in, because I had to hit the ground running, because it was mid-season -- trying to learn the city, how to get to work, where my position room was, the quarterback situation, obviously the offense, the coaches. All that I had to learn very, very quickly, but I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed. Philadelphia is a fantastic sports town and just a great city overall. I'll forever be grateful for my time there, and I'll never forget it, but excited to be here in the Big Apple.