I feel like I'm writing about Cleveland a lot lately, which strikes me as odd but so be it.
Ben Tate was brought in during the offseason to be the Browns' starting running back, and Tate fully expects that's just what he'll be. He was given $2.5 million guaranteed in his two-year deal -- a nice chunk of change for a back these days -- and with four seasons under his belt, he is one of the most veteran players in the group.
But upstart rookie Terrance West isn't going to simply accept a backup role.
"I want to play. I want to be the starter, and I'm going to practice like a starter," West told the Akron Beacon Journal on Thursday.
That sounds like a challenge. Mr. Tate, your response?
"I'm not worried about [competition] because I know when I'm on my game — I respect every running back here — but there's no one that can really touch me or that's close to what I do," Tate said. "So honestly, I mean I'm not worried really about that.
"[The media] may see it like that, but when I know what I'm doing, what I'm supposed to do, there's nobody in that room [of running backs] that scares me. I'm just honest."
Oh, let's get it on!
It's funny, because Tate is also quoted in the article as saying that running backs often lose their job when they underestimate their competition, and then he goes on to sound like a man underestimating his competition.
West is climbing up fantasy draft boards quickly, although I'm afraid it's getting a little out of control -- I saw someone compare him to Alfred Morris earlier today. Still, he should be drafted as a popular RB4 right now while Tate is more of a low-end RB2. West could definitely make a substantial jump up if he indeed outperforms Tate in training camp. The Browns are going to be a run-heavy team, and Tate has a fairly extensive injury history in his short career. He's already missed some OTAs due to minor nicks.