Ben Tate RB CLE 5 Hrs

Coach Mike Pettine indicated Sunday that he's comfortable using Tate as a third down back, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Tate is "probably the guy you can trust the most right now," according to Pettine, who also praised the back for his pass-catching ability out of the backfield, an essential skill if he's going to see the field on third down. Tate caught a career-best 34 passes last season with Houston, and it's an area of his game that he continues to refine. Heading into camp, rookie back Terrance West was expected to threaten some of Tate's workload, but after a lackluster preseason, it looks as if the job is unquestionably Tate's. Heading into Week 1, look for Tate to be the Browns' every-down back.

Ben Tate RB CLE 3 Days

Tate gained eight yards on three carries with a touchdown in Thursday's preseason finale against the Bears.

Tate only saw work on one drive with Brian Hoyer and the first-team offense, and after scoring at the goal line, he didn't see another snap. His main running back competition -- rookie Terrance West -- did little to impress, gaining only 13 yards on six carries and losing a fumble. Tate remains the unquestioned starter heading into Week 1, but the real concern here is his durability, as he's missed at least one game in each of his three NFL seasons, including seven total over the past two years.

Ben Tate RB CLE 9 Days

Tate gained five yards on three carries in Saturday's preseason game against the Rams.

Terrance West didn't fare any better and hasn't done enough to displace Tate from the starting role. However, the rookie looms as a threat to eat into Tate's workload, which should be pretty significant early in the season. While he figures to touch the ball rather frequently, Tate may be taking a lot of those touches deep in his own territory, as the Cleveland offense has been awful this preseason.

Ben Tate RB CLE 14 Days

Tate carried the ball 10 times for a total of 51 yards in Monday's preseason game against the Redskins.

Tate was effective in the running game, something the Browns will surely have to count on considering the dismal quarterback play of late. He out-shined the No. 2 back -- Terrance West -- who collected just 31 yards on eight carries of his own. Tate both looked and played like the veteran in this one, and continues to be the projected starter heading into the season.

Ben Tate RB CLE 23 Days

Tate gained 25 yards on six carries in Saturday's preseason opener against the Lions.

Tate fumbled one of his carries but recovered the ball himself. He started and split the first-team work with Terrance West, who also saw some touches with the second-team offense. Tate remains the favorite to start, but West is seemingly in line for a significant role in the offense.

Ben Tate RB CLE 1 Month2 Comments

The Akron Beacon-Journal has Ben Tate "penciled in" as the Browns' starting running back with camp on the horizon.

Full-squad Browns camp begins Friday. Beat writer Nate Ulrich does consider third-round pick Terrance West a "legitimate threat." Tate has an early edge because of his background in Gary Kubiak's zone-running scheme, which is very similar to new Browns OC Kyle Shanahan's. If Tate makes it through camp healthy, he's the likely Week 1 starter. We still wouldn't be surprised if West ends up with more 2014 carries, based largely on Tate's injury history.

Ben Tate RB CLE 2 Months

Browns.com's Vic Carucci considers Ben Tate "at least a slight favorite" for the team's starting tailback job, but expects third-round pick Terrance West to pose serious competition.

Carucci expects a "spirited" battle, stating West has "quickly emerged as a formidable challenger." Carucci notes West is a "natural" in OC Kyle Shanahan's outside-zone scheme, and it "wouldn't be the least bit surprising if he ends up winning the starting job or at least getting a significant number of carries in what is expected to be a run-oriented offense." Tate's Average Draft Position is the middle of the fifth round; West generally lasts until early in the eighth.

Ben Tate RB CLE 2 Months5 Comments

The Akron Beacon Journal describes new Browns OC Kyle Shanahan's offense as "predicated on being able to run effectively while mixing in the pass."

Browns LG John Greco also noted Shanahan will try to get his quarterback on the edges of the field. "We're not kind of limited to just pocket passing," Greco said. "We can get people on the move." Shanahan's 2014 offense will very likely attempt to mirror the success of the Redskins' 2012 offense, which led the NFL in rushing and ranked 30th in pass attempts. Ben Tate will benefit if he can stay healthy, though Terrance West will be breathing down his neck.

Ben Tate RB CLE 2 Months2 Comments

ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi believes Ben Tate would lose his starting job to rookie Terrance West "only through injury."

Tate knows OC Kyle Shanahan's run-game concepts, is functional in the passing game, and has plus-starter running ability. Injury has been his greatest NFL obstacle. Tate has missed 24 games through his first four NFL seasons and played in many more at less than 100 percent. He's a dicey RB2 in the middle rounds.

Ben Tate RB CLE 3 Months6 Comments

Browns RB Ben Tate said he does not see third-round pick Terrance West as a threat to his job.

"I'm not worried about that because I know when I'm on my game," Tate said, "there's no one that can really touch me or that's close to what I do." Tate probably is the best running back on the team when healthy, but the when healthy part has always been a problem. He has missed 24 games through his four-year career, and he ceded first-team carries to West during minicamp because he was "a little nicked up." Tate is the starter right now, but he will have to stay healthy to hold off the oncoming freight train named Terrance West.