Coming into the Cleveland Browns training camp, it was expected that Ben Tate would be named the starting running back.
What wasn’t known was as to how big of a role Tate would have and how much of a role Terrance West would carve out. At minimum West would be able to take away third-down duties from Tate, right? Apparently not as a woeful preseason from West has essentially forced the hand of the Cleveland Browns coaching staff.
Unhappy with West’s play, Mike Pettine stated that Ben Tate is essentially the only trustworthy running back on the Cleveland Browns roster currently and he’ll receive the vast majority of work, including most third downs.
Pettine said West could also get work on third downs, but Tate is the first choice.
“He’s been solid in protection. I think he does a nice job catching the ball,” Pettine said. “Probably the guy you can trust the most right now would be Ben.”
Even before the suspension to wide receiver Josh Gordon, the Browns were expected to be a run-heavy team. That’s likely only to increase now with Gordon out for the season, so it seems likely Ben Tate could very well lead the league in rushing attempts (or at least be in the top five) when all is said and done.
Thankfully it’s likely the Browns will have a short memory in regards to Terrance West and if he can string together a solid outing or two, it’s very possible he’ll be able to get himself back in the Cleveland Browns rushing rotation.