WR Golden Tate III
September 21, 2020
Q: Obviously, we didn’t get a chance to talk to you yesterday. I’m just curious what your take was on that last play?
A: Just a very competitive play. I went back and watched the film. I think it was a close call. But the refs called what they called and it is what it is. I’m a believer in just not leaving it up to anyone but ourselves. If we handle business earlier in that game, then maybe we don’t have to even get to that point.
Q: Not trying to get you to lose any money here, but do you think there could have been offsetting penalties with the way (Eddie) Jackson kind of crashed down on you?
A: Yeah, just my initial thought. Once I saw the flags, I thought the flag had come out pretty late after the play, I thought it was on Jackson or whoever that was on my back. But that didn’t happen to be the case. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.
Q: Joe (Judge) seemed pretty perturbed I guess would be the word with the call at the end of the game. I’m just curious if he had a conversation with you afterwards and maybe what that was like?
A: No, I didn’t have any conversations about that particular play with anyone really. Everything happens so fast. I kind of saw it as I was being competitive with Buster (Skrine) and just trying to find a way to get open. I don’t know what you guys think. What do you all think about that call?
Q: It looked kind of ticky tack or could have gone both ways. Real quick, just another angle here. How frustrating is it that when you get yourself and Sterling (Shepard) and Evan (Engram) and Saquon (Barkley) all on the field together for one game finally, and Saquon goes out for the year with a torn ACL and Shep goes down with a toe injury. How frustrating is that, and what’s kind of the range of emotions in that locker room right now?
A: I know all of our guys, especially the guys that you mentioned, love the game of football, love competing and want to be out there every play of the game. I just know how important it is and how much we all were looking forward to playing together. For it to happen the way it did yesterday, I know we’re all kind of bummed because we are brothers. We love each other so much. It’s unfortunate, but that is the nature of the game. There are injuries that happen in this game every game unfortunately. It always hurts when you have guys like Saquon and Shep deal with an injury. But we’re just going to keep chugging. We can’t dwell on this. We have to just keep working hard and find a way.
Q: I thought it should have been offsetting penalties, but nobody gives a crap what I think anyway, to be honest with you. Anyway, where does the offense go from here? How do you offset the loss of Saquon and possibly Sterling in the short-term?
A: I think we will be critical of this film. I know the receivers have watched it and have been very critical of what we could do better. I think everyone just must be accountable, and everyone must know our assignments very, very well. You look back at this game yesterday. If you give us a few plays back and maybe the outcome is different. Just dialing in, doing our jobs, play after play after play, and all 11 men on the field doing their jobs collectively. I think that’s where we’re going to take it. We’re going to have a great week of practice. We have great coaches. We have a bunch of really good players and we’re just going to find a way. Wins are never perfect. You never go back and look at a game and say ‘we played perfect.’ No. We’re just going to find a way. We’re competitive, and that’s it.
Q: On one hand, you look at yesterday’s game and say ‘great comeback in the second half that falls short.’ On the other hand, you look at the big picture and say ‘0-2. Arguably their best player is not going not play again this season.’ And probably fans are going ‘here we go again.’ How do you kind of mix the two together?
A: Look, I think we take all the good from the film last night, and we hold onto that. I think one thing I did learn about our team is that we will fight. We will fight until it says zero on the clock. That’s no doubt. When you look at that and what we did in the second half, that’s pretty impressive offensively and defensively and special teams. We hold onto that. Obviously, when we see Shep, we see Saquon go down, when we see any of our brothers go down, just the very natural feeling is it kind of can deflate you. However, after sleeping on it overnight and a lot of praying, the show has to go on. Next man up mentality. We have complete trust in our coaches and other players we have in our locker room that we can get the job done. We can’t get caught in the ‘well, if Saquon was back there, what would have happened?’ Or ‘If Shep was back there…’ The reality is, unfortunately, and we’re crushed that we don’t have these guys right now. Next man up is going to step out. Wayne (Gallman) is going to have more opportunities, Dion (Lewis) is going to have more opportunities, some of our other receivers are going to have some more opportunities, and we’re just going to make it happen and just go from there. Take it play by play and see what we can do. We still have a lot of other good players that can help us win.
Q: As a veteran and as one of the leaders of this team, what’s your message to the young guys in terms of kind of some of the things you were saying in terms of not feeling sorry for yourselves and moving forward, losing a dynamic player like Saquon and continuing to struggle without wins?
A: I would say control what we can control, and what you can control is showing up and being a professional every single day, preparing your tail off to give yourself the best chance to go out there and put the best product you can. I think if we can get guys to do that, we’re going to feed off of that. I think simply that. It is what it is, and that’s NFL football. Things happen. If you look outside of our locker room, other teams had some pretty major injuries to some of their major players. We don’t just show up to work and say ‘alright well, we’re resigning this year.’ We have to keep it going. We’re going to just continue to play ball, and that’s that. At the end of the day, no matter who we bring in and who we lose and what we think, we have a job to do. That’s what we’re going to do.
Q: I was just wondering what you’ve seen out of Daniel these first two weeks, and if you think he’s maybe playing with more confidence than last year, especially when you see how he commanded things at the end on that last drive and worked the way up field? What have you seen out of him in these two weeks that gives you confidence that he can keep doing that going forward?
A: The guy’s love for the game is… I love it. I love to see it. It’s the most important thing in his life and he puts in the time. When we see him here, he’s always putting in the time. But also when he goes home, whenever I text him and have a question, he gets back to me quickly. If there’s ever a play that I want to look at on the film, he gets it right up and gives me his perspective. He’s one of those guys that’s just built to do this. He’s getting more comfortable in the huddle, commanding the offense and leading us. As you can see yesterday, he seemed completely comfortable late in the game. When we had a critical third down, he puts a ball on a covered receiver low so only he can get it and we make that play. Or on the fourth down, he takes off running to get the first down. The guy is growing each and every day, including during the week at practice. That’s what you want to see out of the leader of your offense and really the leader of the team. We’re all behind DJ. DJ can’t do this by himself. We all have to do our part, from top to bottom, consistently. When we do that, it’s going to take pressure off of him, it’s going to take pressure off of the offensive line, it’s going to take pressure off of the receivers, running backs, tight ends. It’s going to make it I think a little bit easier once we’re all just doing our jobs, play in and play out, and starting fast.
Q: Just real quick before you go. The 49ers were complaining about the turf at MetLife Stadium. I know you guys have practiced a lot there during training camp. Have you noticed anything weird about the turf? Have you guys been ok when you’ve been out there?
A: I’ve been ok over the years I’ve played at MetLife. I don’t have any problems with it. You can’t help but to think about where we are now two weeks into the NFL season and where we were three-four months ago, not having any OTAs, no time to be with the team. You can’t help but think that has something to do with it. But as far as MetLife’s field, I think it’s fine. But again, also personally, I haven’t played a game on it this year. But our guys last week did well, I thought.