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Lions' Golden Tate: 'I’ve got to find that fire'

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Lions wide receiver Golden Tate loses the ball after a reception and Cardinals' Rashad Johnson recovers for a turnover in the second quarter.

Allen Park — A few hours after Lions coach Jim Caldwell said the players didn’t give 100 percent effort in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, wide receiver Golden Tate said he spoke to coaches Monday about some plays where he didn’t give his all.

“I’ve got to find that fire that I had last year and that I’ve shown earlier this season,” he said. “I didn’t have that yesterday for some reason. I’ve spoken to coach, my coaches and coach Caldwell, and it’s going to be back.”

Tate finished the game with eight catches for 74 yards and lost a fumble for just the second time in his six NFL seasons. He also received a penalty for an illegal chop block in the second quarter that turned a third-and-1 at the Arizona 29 into a third-and-15 after which the Lions had to punt.

Caldwell admits Lions did not give full effort vs. Cardinals

“There were just a couple plays uncharacteristic of myself where at times I felt like I could’ve been a little bit better, I could’ve helped the situation out and it took me digging deep to go get it,” Tate said. “I feel like I’m back on track and I’m ready to play, bring my A game back and reach my potential.”

Tate has 26 catches for 264 yards this season, putting him behind his pace from 2014 in which he had 99 catches for 1,331 yards in his first year with the Lions. Tate has yet to catch a touchdown this season, too.

“I really can’t say I’ve been at my best lately with all this, and that’s something that I’ve got to get back to,” he said.

After the loss Sunday, which dropped the Lions to 0-5, Tate also shared some thoughts on the fans booing the team early and often in the game. After saying the fans turned their backs on the team at times, he said the players need their support. By Monday afternoon, Tate said he appreciated some of the responses from fans and that he did some research related to the decades of devastation experienced by Lions fans.

“I understand where our fan base is coming from as far as their patience with this organization and a lot of people put it in perspective,” he said.  “And I’ll just keep it at that.”