Golden Tate of the Detroit Lions has always played with a huge chip on his shoulders, and the receiver has never lacked confidence.
Never afraid to utter brash statements, Tate may have outdone himself this time.
As we know, Tate has a certain teammate who is widely considered the best player in the league at his position. Yet a recent interview revealed Tate doesn’t consider himself to be second to Calvin Johnson.
“I’ll go back to when I signed my contract,” Tate said, per the Detroit Free Press. “I was fully aware that if I’m playing with one of the best receivers to ever and arguably the best player to play in the game right now, I understood that. But I wasn’t coming in with the mindset that I’m going to be second to anyone.”
Tate played out the reasoning even more, invoking a trio of all-time greats.
“I don’t care if I was playing with Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Calvin on the same team. I don’t have that mindset that I’m going to be the No. 2. I came in fighting for the No. 1.”
There’s that massive chip we’ve all witnessed throughout his career, though one must wonder how Tate’s shoulder continues to bear the weight of it.
To be fair, Tate has certainly proved his worth in the NFL. He was undoubtedly the top receiver during his tenure with Seattle, and he exploded with his finest season to date in 2014 while Johnson’s injuries kept him out of the lineup for a few games. Tate caught 99 passes from Matthew Stafford, gaining 1,331 yards (No. 7 in the NFL) and scoring four touchdowns.
While some may view his comments as brash and arrogant, Tate’s blatant honesty is actually refreshing. And in no way is his outlook unique—every receiver in the league has the same outlook.
One player who may take these comments personally, however, is Johnson. Coming off a frustrating season in which he barely scratched out 1,000 yards receiving (a low number for the prolific pass-catcher), he will certainly be itching to assert his dominance on the field once again in 2015.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ben Margot