Tate: Talk of tipped plays not criticism of coaches

Golden Tate told a Detroit radio station this week there had been a "couple occasions in literally each game" when the Lions' opponents had called out their plays before they'd run them.

Obviously, this is very bad and it doesn't necessarily reflect well on the Detroit coaching staff, which is tasked with crafting a game plan that will allow its players to succeed. Tate offered some clarification on Thursday, explaining that his comments were not a criticism of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi or anyone else.

"I think Joe's a heck of a coach," Tate told the Detriot Free Press. "I can't sit here and speak ill about a guy who helped take us to the playoffs and also a guy who helped me have a career year, who also put his tail on the line to get me here in this offense. He's one of the first guys I met with when I came on my trip, so I have nothing but great things to say about him and I'm super, super appreciative for him."

Tate's goodwill for Lombardi makes sense. The sixth-year wideout went to the Pro Bowl in his first season with the Lions, collecting 99 catches for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns.

Tate chose not to elaborate on specific plays that were diagnosed by the Broncos' defense on Sunday night.

"I don't want to open this box up anymore," Tate said. "I just wanted to clear it up."

Who knows if the Lions are actually tipping plays, but there's no debating this is a team on the brink of irrelevance before the leaves change colors. Being 0-3 with a trip to Seattle up next is some real rock and a hard place stuff.

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