It didn’t take long for the Eagles new wide receiver to catch a plane and head to Philadelphia. After the team sent a third round pick to Detroit for veteran Golden Tate, he met with the Philly media for the first time on Wednesday and talked about what he can add to the team’s offense, and why he excited for this opportunity.
Here’s what the wideout had to say:
His opening statement
Tate opened by introducing himself and expressing his gratitude to the Detroit Lions organization for how they treated him and his family during his time there, and for all the ways they supported him on and off the field — especially with his efforts in the community.
“Moving forward, I am extremely excited to be a Philadelphia Eagle,” Tate said with a smile.
He went on to say that he’s followed the Eagles organization for awhile now, and he’s seen the organization have it’s ups and down, and he’s seen it win a Super Bowl — and made note that he was “routing for you all last year”.
Tate then said it was an “extreme blessing and dream come true to be apart of such an amazing organization”. He noted that he’s excited for at least (a word he emphasized) these next eight games and to show who he is as a person and as a player, and just wants to help this team win.
He also said that he loves where the organization is and where they’re heading. Tate also took a moment to thank Howie Roseman, Jeff Lurie and head coach Doug Pederson for bringing him in, and said he’s already met with the coaches.
Tate admitted it’s been a crazy day and a half, and that he wasn’t expecting to be traded, but, “again, I can’t even put into words how excited I am to be apart of such a strong, passionate fan base” (for all sports).
He reiterated that he’s going to do everything in his power to help this team win, and he’s going “to work hard, be accountable, help the people around me become better people, better players, and just win a bunch of ball games”.
Tate even made note of the teams coming up on the Eagles schedule, and says he sees a lot of opportunities to do some special things throughout the rest of the season.
On his feelings about the trade
The first question he fielded was about his reaction to the trade. Tate admitted his mouth kind of dropped, that he had read all the articles and talked to his agent, but ultimately he thinks he found out about it before his agent.
He said it was a bit of a shock, and information overload — even though it was only two minutes of talking — but it throw him off a bit. Tate talked about spending the days leading up to the deadline reading possible landing spots for him and imagining what it would be like to play in different cities, but he didn’t really wrap his head around it until the move was made.
“Here I am, I’m as happy as can be and I know my family is excited to get out here.”
On his thoughts on the Eagles culture
Tate talked about how he’s always known that the city of Philadelphia is super passionate “about really everything they do, especially their sports team”. He admitted he doesn’t really know a lot about Philly, but gets the feeling he’ll learn really quickly.
The wide receiver said there were about a dozen fans on his flight from Detroit to Philadelphia on their way back from London (with a layover in Detroit) and it seems like they accepted him right away. He talked about one guy specifically who was saying hi to all the other passengers and noted they were people he had just met at the game.
Tate said that showed him how well the fans travel for this team, and he’s an emotional and passionate player and feeds off that kind of energy. He said knowing that he’s playing for a fan base that’s passionate about all their [Philly] sports is a good feeling.
Later on, he was asked what that plane ride over was like and when people noticed it was him. Tate joked that it was before the doors closed, and that he actually sat in the wrong seat with all the excitement, and then one guy figured it out. He went on to talk to that gentleman for the remainder of the flight, and said he did learn one thing: Philadelphia has a 4% wager tax, and he was advised to fill out an exemption form since half of their games are on the road, he shouldn’t have to pay for those.
Tate said he can already tell that the organization and their players are willing to work hard, and they are not a selfish group. He went on to emphasize that there is only one thing that matters in that building and it’s winning football games.
He noted that Zach Ertz reached out to him, and told him that they have a lot of talented guys on the team, and that they don’t care where the ball goes, they just want to win. Tate said that’s the kind of attitude he has, and has had for awhile.
On what he can add to the Eagles offense
He said it’s still early, less than 24 hours, so how he’ll fit in specifically isn’t fully set, but he met with all the coaches and his job is to learn the material and the system as fast as he can, learn about his new teammates and find ways to bond with them quickly. Tate noted that he didn’t get the offseason or OTAs with this group, so he wants to work on fitting in.
The WR emphasized that he’s going to do whatever the team needs him to do in order to win. He said he’s not coming in demanding anything, and when he gets opportunities with the ball in his hands, he wants to make a play.
Tate also talked a lot about wanting to help some of the younger guys, like Nelson Agholor — who he’s already calling Nelly — and Alshon Jeffery, whether it be with technique or knowledge, he wants to do anything he can to help the team win.
“I don’t know where I’ll fit in, but I’m open-minded.”
He was asked about his impression of Carson Wentz over the past couple of seasons, and Tate said he’s a young guy whose gotten good quick. He went on to say that he’s heard Wentz has great command over the huddle and is a very vocal leader for the team, he also loves the quarterback’s faith and his desire to be great.
From the outside looking in, Tate said you can see Wentz is a guy who can make any throw, can create some things with his legs,and that with some time in the pocket (or out of it) he can make things happen.
Tate was then asked if he’s gotten a sense of how difficult or how quickly he might be able to pick up the offense. He said that what they’re doing in Philadelphia is definitely different from what he was doing in Detroit, but that there is some overlap from when he had Joe Lombardi as an offensive coordinator and at the beginning of his career in Seattle.
So, while it’s different, there are some things that came back to him relatively quickly. He said the bye week helps tremendously — especially having a couple days to figure out how to get his family here versus already being out on the practice field —, and that he’s not expected to learn the entire playbook before the next game, but just needs to focus on a few details to get ready.
He talked about how being a running back in high school helped give him strong legs, which he credits for being so successful in yards after the catch. Tate said his Mom always told him “you can’t hit, what you can’t catch” and he doesn’t like being tackled so he fights for every yard.
On his future with the organization
Later on he was asked whether there were any talks between Howie and his agent about the potential for him to be here past the 2018 season, and Tate said he’d love to be with Philadelphia as long as they’ll have him.
He pointed out that when he said at least eight games in his opening statement, it was because he intends for the team to be playing in the playoffs, so it should be more than the eight regular season games.
“Hopefully it all works out. I want to be here, and just know from Day 1, I’m all in.”
Tate also talked about how the sky is the limit for the organization, and this is the time to get hot, heading into November. He “absolutely” thinks this team can compete with the Rams and Saints. (It was during this string of answers that Tate’s word choice transitioned from “they” to “we”.)