The Cleveland Browns’ 2013 stable of running backs was horrendous – old guy Willis McGahee led the team with a measly 377 rushing yards. He was followed by Chris Ogbonnaya with 240 yards.
GM Ray Farmer addressed the issue in free agency, signing veteran RB Ben Tate from the Houston Texans. Throughout his career, Tate has battled with one of the league’s top running backs in Arian Foster, earning quite a lot of playing time. When he signed with the Browns, it was automatically assumed that the starting RB job was Tate’s.
However, in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Browns snagged one of the highest-touted backs in the draft: Terrance West. West is a bowling ball, and a touchdown machine – in 3 seasons with Towson, he had 83 rushing TD’s. When asked, West made his goals very clear, stating: “I want to be the starter, and I’m going to practice like a starter”.
Training camp will be here very soon, and the performance of these two backs during camp may well determine who carries the first rush against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Tate certainly has the advantage, but he needs to work hard to stay ahead of West.
Plus, given Tate’s injury history, it’s pretty likely that West will be starting anyway at some point in 2014.