It's been six days since Golden Tate arrived in Philadelphia, eager to get started with his new team. On Monday, Tate practiced for the first time as an Eagle. On Sunday against the Cowboys, it's showtime.
"I've been digging into the playbook as quickly as I possibly can and today was like Christmas," Tate said at his locker on Monday after the team's walkthrough, the first on-field action since the win in London over Jacksonville. "I actually got to get in here, meet some of the guys, see people, see the flow of things, so it's been fun. Not too overwhelming yet."
Offensive coordinator Mike Groh said the coaching staff is trying to get Tate acclimated as quickly as possible but is also taking a balanced approach. Tate knows it will be a work in progress but the experience of a player in his ninth year helps.
"He's done a great job, and just getting everybody back today off a bye week, we're jumping in the pool with both feet," Groh said. "He's a veteran player, he's been in a couple different systems, so he's got familiarity with different systems in the league and he can relate it to things that he's done in the past. We're trying to look back at things that he's had a lot of success with and start there."
Tate got to work right away in learning the playbook and has been in the building getting set since Friday. Several of Tate's new teammates reached out right away to make sure he felt welcome and to help him get up to speed in the wide receivers' room.
Tate was so busy getting prepared that when quarterback Carson Wentz invited him to his church on Sunday, something Tate said was "important" to him and his family, only his wife, Elise, could attend. Tate had to stay back and work on learning the playbook.
"I've got a bunch of guys around me who know the offense really well – Zach (Ertz), Alshon (Jeffery), Nelly (Agholor) – so those guys can kind of help me if needed but for today's material, I felt pretty good about it," Tate said. "The coaches have done a great job at getting me involved however they see so I'm just trying to really fit in."
Agholor has known Tate for quite some time and believes that his addition will make defenses respect the Eagles' offense even more. He said that the playmaking abilities of Tate will allow the offense to stay on the field more and give more opportunities for everyone.
It will also be valuable for him to play with another veteran with a similar skill set.
"I know that having a guy like him on my team is going to continue to increase my game," Agholor said. "If there are things that he can do that I don't have in my game right now, I'm going to learn from him and I'm going to add to my game and adapt and get better.
"At the end of the day, I respect him. I've known him for a while also. That's the cool thing about this league every time we bring a guy in … they don't realize, those are my big homies. I'm happy I get to play with those guys."
Tate said he has been a fan of Agholor's game for a "few years now" and has been impressed by his skills. Tate has known wide receiver Jordan Matthews for a long time as Matthews went to Vanderbilt with Tate's brother Wesley. Ertz and Wentz reached out to Tate immediately after the trade and wide receiver DeAndre Carter worked out Saturday at the NovaCare Complex with him.
For the teammates that he does not know well, Tate understands the importance of becoming friends off the field to become playmakers together on the field.
"I try to show my personality any way I can because we're halfway through the season, I've got to do whatever I can to build the camaraderie and be around the guys and let them get a feel for the player I am, the person I am, and that's important to me," Tate said. "We've got a lot of really good players, specifically in our room, that I've had a chance to spend a little bit of time with. It's going to be fun."