By departing the Seattle Seahawks for the Detroit Lions this offseason, wide receiver Golden Tate went from a run-first team to a pass-first team. In Detroit, he should get more chances to catch the ball, especially when you consider that defenses will be dedicating so much of their attention to Calvin Johnson. There are going to be a lot more opportunities for Tate to get his hands on the ball this year.
Another big difference for Tate this year will be having Matthew Stafford as his quarterback instead of Russell Wilson. Stafford and Wilson have distinctly different skill sets. Stafford, for example, isn't going to run the ball nearly 100 times and rush for more than 500 yards like Wilson did last season. Stafford is athletic enough to move around when he needs to, but his running ability isn't exactly something defenses have to worry about.
The differences between Stafford and Wilson aren't just limited to their running ability. When Tate was on ESPN First Take this week, he noted that Stafford's passes arrive "way quicker" than Wilson's. From MLive:
"They both throw pretty balls," Tate said. "I would definitely say Matt Stafford's balls get there way quicker. I like Stafford's touch. He can place a ball wherever he wants. I've been in practice, running a seam route where I thought I was covered. But he put a ball up and over my left shoulder and all of the sudden I was open. There's going to be small windows and guys there ready to hit you.
"But if you can place a ball (like he does), that's going to help my chances of making a play and probably saving me from a headache."
Stafford's ability to put the ball in "small windows" can get him into trouble at times, but I suppose that's part of what makes him a special talent. On the one hand, not every quarterback can thread the ball between two defenders and make a play out of nothing, but then again, a lot of quarterbacks wouldn't risk an interception in that situation anyway. Stafford's decision-making could definitely use some improvement, and it'll be interesting to see if it changes at all this year with a new coaching staff in place and new weapons like Tate and Eric Ebron joining the team.