There has never been a question about the arm, which is as strong and as accurate as any in the NFL.

When Golden Tate watches Matthew Stafford lately, however, the Detroit Lions’ receiver sees his quarterback working to enhance another aspect of his game: running.

‘This guy is tough as nails and we’ve always known it about him’

“One thing I have noticed over this offseason is he’s been spending a lot more time on the elliptical and on the treadmill and running a lot more,” Tate told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “And you could see he’s not to scared to run right now, and this guy is tough as nails and we’ve always known it about him. And he’s taking hits, bouncing up, getting first downs on crucial, crucial third downs. That’s one thing you’ve got to appreciate, that he can drop a dime and throw a pass to anywhere on the field, but he can also take off and run and be effective with that.”

Tate couldn’t be happier about Stafford receiving a five-year, $135-million contract extension that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

‘I think we’re a complete team, which makes his job easier along with everyone else’s’

“In the fourth quarter, he’s clutch,” Tate said. “There’s no doubt about that. We’ve seen it time and time out there again, and he’s been a great quarterback his entire career. I just think, at times, the guys around him could have helped him a little bit more. But right now, I think we’re a complete team, which makes his job easier along with everyone else’s, and we’re just playing good, team football. Our defense is holding it down for us, but I love seeing guys like Matthew be rewarded for their play because he leaves it all out there every single day and his preparation is second to none.

“He spends late nights here. Every time I text him outside the building, he’s always studying or doing something football-related, so I’m happy for him.”

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