ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate saw the hit Rob Gronkowski made on defenseless Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White on Sunday and was surprised by it. He didn't think the New England Patriots tight end was that type of player. And Tate, on Wednesday, essentially said it was uncalled for.
"Yeah, Gronk, that's just not a good play by him," Tate said. "He's a better player than that. He's got way better character than that to do that at the end of the play. I expect more out of him.
"I don't foresee him doing that ever again, just because that's not the Gronk that I know."
The Gronkowski that Tate knows -- or at least has viewed -- is someone who rarely gets upset, who seems to be as go-with-the-flow as it gets. The hit led to Gronkowski being suspended for Sunday's game and Tate said as laid back as Gronkowski may seem, he's also watched plays where defenders appear to be targeting the New England tight end.
Not that it made Gronkowski's actions right.
"But I kind of do get what we don't see behind the scenes maybe are all the shots that these teams and these players are taking at him," Tate said. "If you notice, every time he gets the ball, well, I see it sometimes, when he gets the ball, people are coming in 100 miles per hour at his knees.
"I can understand how he can be frustrated but you still got to play within the rules."
Tate did say while he appreciates being protected by certain NFL rules, he understands that it can be difficult for defenders trying to make plays. If they let up from going full speed, they could get faked out and scored on.
And he said there are times he's felt like defenders were targeting him, but he doesn't receive the attention that Gronkowski or Odell Beckham Jr. receive in similar instances.
Lions safety Glover Quin said there's no room for cheap shots or dirty hits in the game -- especially in today's NFL where an opponent one year could be a teammate the next.
"You go out, you play hard, you respect the game," Quin said. "You know, cheap shots, dirty hits, I don't think there's no place for that."