ALLEN PARK — Golden Tate only had two receptions in the Detroit Lions' 14-6 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. The Lions wide receiver had 29 catches in the previous three games.
“Here’s the thing it’s not a matter of going to him,’’ Caldwell said at his Monday presser. “The plays we call, a lot of plays we call, are the same plays where he might have gotten the ball previously.
“You look at progressions, progressions there may be a guy in front of him so he (Matthew Stafford) has to go somewhere else. Those are the things that happen moreso than saying, ‘You know what? We’re not designing any plays to go to Golden.’ That wasn’t the case. It’s the way things turn out sometimes,’’ Caldwell added.
The coach said every game is different — some games Tate might get 10, some one.
“I think because of the fact we’ve got a number of guys out there capable of getting the ball,’’ Caldwell said, “(Eric) Ebron got a few more this week, a couple guys here got a few more. It changes from week to week.’’
This is nothing new to Caldwell who coached the Colts for years.
“Those of us who have been around, there’s up and downs, there’s ebbs and flows,’’ Caldwell said, “I remember Marvin Harrison went into a couple ball games when he only caught one or two passes. Reggie Wayne the same thing. A number of guys across the board, it happens week in and week out.
“You all think it’s targeting but it’s not targeting necessarily,’’ Caldwell said, “it’s progressions and a lot of factors go into that pressure, all those kind of things that happen on those particular plays.’’
Caldwell said they have much to work on before playing at New England on Sunday, but he is good with the play calling by offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.
“Certainly, certainly I'm satisfied with it. Joe does a good job,’’ Caldwell said.
The coach also said that all play calls — offense, defense and special teams — go through him. If he doesn’t like them, he changes them. And he takes full responsibility for all of them.