Allen Park — The Lions haven’t been to the Super Bowl.
Receiver Golden Tate has been to the Super Bowl.
In February 2014 in Super Bowl XLVIII, his Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos and their historic offense, 43-8. Following the triumph, Tate left Seattle for a bigger payday in Detroit. Now in his fourth season with the Lions, a sense of frustration seems to be building with Tate, one of the more outspoken Lions when it comes to his desire to win at all costs.
“When I came here, it was to set a standard,” Tate said after practice Wednesday. “I (was) fortunate enough to be drafted into an incredible organization in Seattle where we won five or six playoff games, including the Super Bowl. That standard was set high at a very young age.”
Despite what’s turning into another disappointing year in Lions lore after a loss in Baltimore knocked the team to 6-6 and on the outskirts of playoff contention, Tate believes the organization is going about building a consistent winner in the right way.
“We’re getting close,” he said. “I think guys believe that we should win. This year hasn’t gone the way any of us expected it to, but I think the mentality here is that we expect to win, not hope to win. I think that’s what we’re seeing.”
A lot of the outcry around the Lions over the better part of a half-century has been the ownership and the way things are handled off the field. But when speaking with the players, they have nothing but good things to say about the way things are handled in Allen Park.
“To be a great organization, the (people) up top need to be in sync with the people down low,” Tate said. “I think we’re all in sync a little bit more than we were when I first got here.”
“The ownership is fantastic. Anything we need to be a winning organization, I think we are getting it in a very timely manner. (GM) Bob Quinn came from a championship organization, and he’s bringing in guys that are rookies, second year guys and helping us out.”
Veteran safety Glover Quin echoed Tate’s support for the front office, but said it’s more on the players to do their job in delivering a championship to the Motor City.
“We’ve got a great front office, great ownership,” Quin said. “We’re doing the right things, but at the end of the day, you have to play well enough on the field to win. We’ve got to make sure in big games we’re making enough plays to win.”
No matter how far it seems the Lions have come, the fan base always will argue that there is some kind of enigma around this franchise that is holding them back.
Tate hinted that he had an idea about what it could be, but he refused to elaborate.
“I have it in my head,” said Tate, 29, who has one year left on his contract. “But I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus.”
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer.