Golden Tate Explores Uncharted Territory
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Chemistry isn't created overnight and in professional football, it's not always developed on the field, at least not solely.
For Carson Wentz and Golden Tate to sync between the lines, it's going to take as many repetitions as possible in practice but it's also about getting to know each other off the field.
Tate encapsulated that in a tweet to his 400K followers after last Sunday's 25-22 comeback win over the New York Giants:
The veteran receiver still hasn't lived up to the billing of playmaker on the field after being acquired for a third-round pick in the 2019 draft at the trade deadline and Tate admitted that changing teams, and more importantly offensive systems, has been uncharted territory for him.
“I just don’t know what to expect in this process so I’m just trying to fit in wherever I can,” Tate said at his locker on Wednesday. “We have a lot of talent on our offense, that’s for sure. And I never was expecting to come in and have the world kind of revolving around me. I’m just trying to help this team win, help this organization win and give this fan base something to cheer for."
Any hiccups were smoothed over after a victory, a much-needed one after the Tate era in Philadelphia began with consecutive losses to Dallas and New Orleans.
"I was hungry for that first one [win]," Tate admitted. "Just to get the feeling around here. It was definitely important to get that one. Hopefully we can string a few together."
When Howie Roseman acquired Tate the executive VP of football operations downplayed what seemed like a redundancy on paper between two receivers who excel most from the slot, Tate and Nelson Agholor. In actuality, the Eagles really have five outlets who consider that their wheelhouse when you add in receiver Jordan Matthews and tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert.
So the traffic pattern -- from both a repetition and route-concept standpoint -- has been a tough nut to crack for both Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Mike Groh.
Tate finished the Giants game with four catches for 30 yards. The high-point was hauling in a contested 50/50 ball in the middle of the field which could have been a Wentz interception with the low points being a dropped ball on a crossing route that surely would have gone for a first down and a shaky attempt at fielding a punt which could have been a disaster for the Eagles.
When Pederson was asked by 973espn.com after the game if Tate was pressing a bit to fit in, the coach offered up a simple "no," along with a sly smile to this reporter indicating he wanted no part of that question after a win.
Tate believes better times are ahead as the Eagles try to chase down Dallas and Washington in the NFC East.
"I look around and I just see endless amounts of talent," Tate said. "We’ve just got to put it together each and every play. Every man just does their job the best they possibly can. I’ve seen it already that we can march down the field on anybody. We’ve just all got to be on the same page. That’s an exciting feeling."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen