The Lions are investing in their own organization, and wide receiver Golden Tate sounds encouraged by the changes he’s seen so far.
In addition to hiring a new president and general manager this offseason, as well as new personnel in the scouting department, the Lions revamped the team weight room and hired a full-time nutritionist. They also upgraded the locker room, installing new equipment and carpeting.
These may not seem like the kind of changes that matter on the football field, but as Tate tells Kyle Meinke for Mlive.com, these changes can alter the culture surrounding an organization.
“They’ve brought in what it takes to be a winning organization consistently,” Tate said. “We’re trying to get to where we expect to go in and win our division every year, and things like (this) matter. It shows us they care, and makes us want to play more for them. It drives guys in free agency here.”
Tate’s final point might be the biggest. While players often choose the money in free agency, when there are competing offers on the table, details like the quality of the team facilities can help drive those decisions. It speaks to the state of the organization.
As Tate also notes, it doesn’t hurt the morale of the players who are already there either. In fact, the seventh-year wideout thinks these changes might be a turning point for the franchise.
“We’re just tired of being the same old Lions. We’re tired of being that. We don’t want to be what the Lions have been the last 20-25 years, or however long it’s been. … And we feel like things like the (new lighting in the) end zones and what they’re doing around the facility, it helps, it matters. They’ve made a bunch of new additions in the weight room, the nutrition, the cafeteria. The meeting rooms are different. There’s so many different things, that I think they matter. They might be small, if you’re looking at them one by one, but they accumulate.”
Ultimately, talent on the field and coaching drives wins and losses, but changing the attitude in the building certainly doesn’t hurt. If nothing else, the Lions are showing a commitment to building a championship team on the field and off, which that alone can make a difference.