May 21, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Ben Tate (44) during organized team activities at Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Tate a “Loser” From Mini-Camp?


The Cleveland Browns have wrapped up Mini-Camp with a lot of excitement towards the future of the team. They have a lot to work on but Mike Pettine seems satisfied with the early installation. Ben Tate was brought in to carry the Browns running game, especially with his experience with the Zone Blocking Scheme that Kyle Shanahan prefers and brought to Cleveland. The Browns also traded up to select Terrance West and made signing Isaiah Crowell after the draft a priority. Where does that leave Tate? According to this NFL.com article it leaves him a “Loser”.

Ben Tate: The former Texans running back was under the impression he’d be Cleveland’s unquestioned bell-cow. Instead, we’re not certain he’ll even lead the Browns in carries. The coaching staff is impressed with rookie Terrance West, the Towson product who NFL Media’s Charley Casserly predicts will “be the starting running back this year.” While Tate says “nobody in that room that scares me,” Kyle Shanahan’s ground game is going to be a committee affair that leans on the hot hand.

A lot stands out from that one paragraph. The fact that the staff was really impressed by West is a good sign for him, Casserly’s prediction has a lot less meaning. Tate’s statement, while perceived as arrogance (or disrespectful to his teammates), is a sign of his confidence in his own ability. Something all players should have, whether they say it in that way or not. The note about Shanahan and a committee probably brings up bad memories for many fantasy football players. They watched Kyle’s dad alternate running backs or seemingly change the primary runner on a whim. Drafting Tate, or West for that matter, high in fantasy might be a poor choice.

Overall the Browns commitment to Tate is not high. The 2 year contract is much lower then many expected at the start of the season, and less then Tate expected. The Browns only have about $2.5 million in guaranteed money to Tate and total of just over $6 million for the two years. If Tate explodes in his first time as a full time starter then he will be looking for big money on his next deal, most likely from another team. If he doesn’t the Browns could cut him after 1 season or keep him on to spell West and Crowell and not wear down the young guys too quickly.

Either way the backfield of Tate, West and Crowell, plus any of the leftovers from last year, makes for a far better depth chart then anything we saw last year. Unfortuanetly for Tate he might find himself in a similar situation that he had in Houston, only this time being passed over by young guys who he hoped would be his backups. Tate has really taken to Cleveland via social media and will be a fan favorite next year, but can he stay healthy and productive to fight off West? Time and the injury report will tell.

What are your expectations for Tate this season?

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  • mathewmakio

    Terrible write-up by NFL.com sheethouse reporters as per usual.

    Tate has hardly even been participating. it’s just mini-camp.

    The two year contract was Tate’s decision. He wanted a short contract so he can prove his worth and get paid before he gets too old.

    That means he might not be a Brown in 2 years time so they drafted some young rookies to learn from him that hopefully will grow into starters.

    There is absolutely nobody near Ben Tate on this roster currently and the browns would be stupid not to use him as a bell cow and give him as much as he wants.

    Tate has it all to prove, has been waiting for this chance for years, has learned from Arian Foster, has experience in this Browns offense, already knows the plays, has big incentives on an already small contract for him to make over 1,000 yards and he is running for his next contract starting game 1.

    Whoever thinks a 5’9 rookie who has played with the equivalent of ten year old boys is going ot steal that away from him is clueless.

    • Guest

      And why do you sports sites associate yourselves as part of the Fansided network and SI.com? Just create your own blog and take your profits dude….they aren’t doing anything for you. You are just making them money.

      Make your own blog, write the same content for yourself and put Google ads on it…job done

      • Guest

        Oh I get it, it is your blog but they pay you (surely a shitful amount) to put up that banner across the top? Ditch the banner

    • Jared Mueller

      I agree with you. Especially if they only expect to have him for 2 years. Use him up and go with West or Crowell after that. As for West it is so hard to tell from film how much impact he can have right away. He doesn’t have that burst to run away from people but then again neither did Alfred Morris. I am intrigued by Crowell to say the least but he has to keep his head on straight. West was the only draft move I didn’t feel great about, especially trading up, but he could be fine in a year or two. Thanks for the in depth feedback/comment.