WR Tate says Lions starting to build an empire

DETROIT — The Detroit Lions: A football empire.

That is what Golden Tate envisions. The Lions receiver said Thursday that it’s early in the process but, as players begin to see how they fit in together, they are laying the foundation of something potentially great.

“Now we’re just going to start building the empire,” Tate said, “building something great.”

That’s lofty talk for a team that limped to a 1-7 start and saw several coaches and their top two executives fired in 2015. Tate said his definition of building an empire starts with high expectations.

“Just going into every game and, every year, expecting to win and not hoping to win,” he said. “That’s the mentality that, I think, as an organization, we need — as a state, as a city, we need, is that we’re afraid of no one, we’re going into every game thinking we have a good chance to win or even blow them out.

“And that’s just kind of the mentality we want to have here. And I think we’re trying to put the pieces together and I think guys can see that.”

He said the key for the team to live up to high standards is to make sure it’s a uniform goal among every person in the organization.

“I think one of the key things is everyone being in sync,” he said. “The way I like to look at it is we’re all on a string, we’re on one string. And you can have the GM up here and even down to whoever, the chef, the janitors, the equipment guys. And I think when, up top, they pull, I think, at the bottom, they need to be pulling, as well, in sync.

“So I think we’re getting closer to that, having everyone dialed in with the same goals in mind. We’re excited. I’m excited about the new president, the GM, the scouting department. I can’t wait to get the new guys we’re going to bring in and just start building. Just start building and try to be great.”

Draft talk: The Lions have the 16th overall pick in next week’s NFL draft. With Calvin Johnson retired, the Lions could draft a receiver, such as Mississippi’s Laquon Treadwell or TCU’s Josh Doctson. Tate said he doesn’t care which positions the Lions draft.

“I just want to bring in guys who are going to help us win,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. And if that means you draft three receivers the first three rounds, then so be it. I just want to win.

“Those first eight games (last year) were just tough. That was tough. I don’t ever want to go back to that point. That’s not something I’m used to, and I don’t want to get used to. Just bring in some guys who are going to help us. I don’t know where our scouting department thinks our needs are. But my job is not to decide who we draft, it’s to support and control myself.”

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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