WR Golden Tate III -- August 19, 2020
Q: For the most part, you have the three core guys coming back at receiver: yourself, Sterling and Darius. You have a bunch of young guys, what have you seen from the young guys so far in camp?
A: I’ve been impressed with the ability these young guys have been able to learn the material but also apply it on the field. These young guys haven’t gotten OTA’s and the offseason work, we’ve only had zoom. For those guys to be able to digest all that stuff and actually go out and perform on the field, I’ve been impressed. In my opinion, this is a really good class of young receivers coming in that I’m excited about to help grow. To help them help the team and we are going to take it from there. We are taking it day by day, working on our tools to get better.
Q: You were in Detroit in 2018 when a former Patriots assistant came in and took over as head coach. Does this camp and this atmosphere feel similar at all to what you experienced then?
A: There’s some similarities for sure, a lot different as well. I haven’t really thought about it too much, it’s camp. This is a different camp because of the COVID situation. Everything is a little bit different, the location where we are having meetings, the standard that has been set with the masks and lanyards and stuff like that. I haven’t thought about it too much.
Q: As a veteran guy who has been around the league and played for different coaches, how does a coach who is quote, unquote, intense get players to buy in. What do you think is the key to get everyone on the same page?
A: As a veteran guy, my job is to keep the team close, help guys develop and echo what the head coach, GM, and my coach want to be put out there. So far, I’ve really enjoyed what Joe has brought to the table. One of the things I love most about him, him and Jason Garrett are very detailed. Coach Garrett uses all his time. He wants to be abundantly clear with everything. We teach the game in very much detail so once we get in the game it should come easy and we should know exactly what’s expected out of us.
Q: At the top of this receiving corps, you have you, Shep, Slayton. Three guys who are really good receivers. There is a perception around the league that you guys are missing that number one receiver. Does this remind you at all of you, Doug Baldwin, and Kearse in Seattle or your Detroit receiving corps. How did defenses play a corps like that versus when you had Calvin Johnson with you?
A: I haven’t heard anything like that being said. I’m not sure any of our guys even listen to it. We show up with one purpose every day and that’s to get better to help our team win. Honestly, we don’t have time to listen to the outside stuff. Everything is so intense right now with trying to learn the playbook, learn the standard of play. We’re all excited about each other. I try not to compare to other organizations or other players. We are excited about the opportunity to get back on the field and play in September. We are taking every step we possibly can to help our team win.
Q: You had 13.7 yards per catch last year, your highest since 2013, at age 31. Anything to why you were able to make so many big plays there?
A: I would say having opportunities and having a solid offense. When you have a couple stars on your team like Sterling and Saquon, it definitely opens it up for you. There’s no rhyme or reason to it besides showing up every day trying to work hard and more importantly trying to win. That’s always going to be my goal when I step on the field. The personal stats don’t really matter too much to me, I just want to win. That’s what we are trying to do.
Q: I know you spent some time working out with Daniel Jones at points this offseason. Then and now at the start of training camp, what have you seen from the young quarterback and his determination to want to get better and to take that next leap in year two?
A: For one, the guy is ripped now. The guy is solid, a very solid guy, I love seeing that. He put on some muscle. DJ is who he was last year. Same person but he understands the game a little bit more. He is consistent in who he is. He shows up every day, he’s looking for ways to get better. After every play, we are talking about what we can do better, trying to get on the same page. We didn’t have that time in April for OTA’s for that team building. We’ve had to do that offsite or once we got to camp. We’re taking it day by day. DJ has always impressed me from the moment he showed up in the building last year when we drafted him. He’s always conducted himself in a very great way. He’s who you want on your side. He’s hungry to be great and that’s what you want out of the leader of the offense.
Q: Can he golf?
A: Yeah, he can swing it. He’s not ready for me yet, but he can swing it. He hits it a mile.
Q: When you look around, there is a lot of the same faces on offense. The offense as a whole last year, for a lot of different reasons, wasn’t consistently good or great. What gives you confidence that the offense is going to be better? What’s different when you look around?
A: Every one of the guys is showing up every day trying to get better. We’re hungry to win. We’re taking it day by day. The attention to detail that we are going over as we install. Jason Garrett shows up every day and he is abundantly clear in what he expects from us. Our standard is very high that we are chasing every single day. The detail, no matter if it’s a walk thru or in the meeting room, whatever it is. We are paying attention to detail. Speaking as a receiver, no matter where it is, we are in the correct stance. No matter where it is, a walk thru or full speed, we are getting our steps down correctly in our routes. Things like that I think are going to make a huge difference come September when we start playing. The attention to detail is what’s going to really help us out this year.
Q: You are a guy that knows there is more to life than just football. I was wondering how much thought you gave to the opt out this year given all that’s going on in the world?
A: I definitely thought about it, not that I thought one way or another. It definitely crossed my mind and I talked to my wife and my family about it. We felt like we wanted to play and we felt confident we could play the game safely as long as the NFL protected us and we went through the proper measurements to make sure we were safe. I’m happy to be playing football and excited to be playing football.
Q: Were you leaning that direction at any point?
A: No, it crossed my mind. I read up on it a lot. I felt like being pretty healthy and I didn’t feel like any of my family or close ones were high risk or had any preexisting problems. For me, I wanted to play.