The Cleveland Browns running back competition is just as heated as the quarterback competition, especially when you factor in Ben Tate’s confidence in his own ability. After backing up superstar back Arian Foster for several years while with the Houston Texans, Tate is ready to stake his claim as a true feature back in this league. He was one of the league’s best change-of-pace RBs in Houston, rushing for 942 yards on just 175 carries for an average of 5.4 yards per carry as a rookie. Just 25, Tate can be a great running back if he can stay healthy and show that he can lead an offense’s rushing attack.
Tate’s main source of competition on a deep Browns depth chart at running back is Towson rookie Terrance West, who is already a favorite of head coach Mike Pettine and the organization. According to the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram’s Scott Petrak, West made two impressive receptions in 1-on-1 drills, adding that his second reception came with one hand “falling” to the ground. Petrak added in a subsequent tweet that West added another reception and is “showing something early” in training camp. Tate’s career-high for receptions was set last year with 34, so West could forge a nice role for himself if he can keep up the good receiving.
While it’s always too early to draw big conclusions out of training camp, it’s clear that West has come to play. ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi recently tabbed West to get ten carries per game behind Tate, as the Browns offense has room for two significantly-used running backs. This is a legit competition, though there are also two other names behind them worth monitoring as a change-of-pace RBs in rookie Isaiah Crowell and the underrated Dion Lewis.