Lions: Golden Tate Focused on Getting Even Better


The Detroit Lions’ addition of wide receiver Golden Tate turned out to be one of the best free agent acquisitions of 2014 free agency, but Tate isn’t satisfied yet.

Not only did Golden Tate have a big year in his first season with the Detroit Lions, he also kept his streak of improving his catch and receiving yards totals in each of his professional seasons. Tate is obviously aware of this streak as he acknowledged it this week and expressed his goal of keeping it going as he enters the sixth year of his career.

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Tate via the Detroit Free Press:

"I had a career-high year, but for me, that’s not good enough. I want to see how many career highs I can stack on consecutive years, never show that he’s losing a step, if that’s what’s being said in the next few years, I’m sure. But I just want to keep improving and I think it’s going to start with just winning more games, winning a few more games, going deeper in the playoffs."

It’s not often that athletes put together the kind of statistical progression Tate has seen over his first five seasons. Here are his reception and receiving yards totals for each season.

SeasonReceptionsRec Yards

Tate’s 2014 season was certainly a breakout year, but it actually wasn’t far off from the trajectory set by his performance over his first four seasons. Seeing those numbers in graphical form makes it easy to see the steady statistical improvement Tate has made.

Graph produced by Zac Snyder/Detroit Jock City

Graph produced by Zac Snyder/Detroit Jock City

Last year’s success will make it difficult for Tate to post a sixth-straight career high in receptions and receiving yards. Continuing along the trendline that results from plotting the first five seasons of Tate’s career would see him catch 108 passes for 1,522 yards.

Those aren’t impossible totals, but it’s hard to envision anyone other than a healthy Calvin Johnson posting numbers that big considering the Lions will be looking to not only spread the ball around, but also make a bigger commitment to the running game.

However, the Seattle Seahawks made the mistake of underestimating Golden Tate when they let him leave via free agency. Don’t be surprised if he is even better in 2015 than he was in 2014.

Next: Ameer Abdullah Wants to Be an Every Down Back

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