Ben Tate – Still Not A Featured Back
As a guy who has advocated Joe Banyard, it’s becoming clear with the lack of playing time, the coaching staff don’t believe he is ready for a heavier workload.
Next in line for more touches is newcomer Ben Tate. The former second round pick definitely has the ability to be the feature back. This season in limited playing time, he had a two touchdown game and a career rushing gaming of 136 yards. The key word to the last sentence, “limited”. Tate has missed 3 games season, 8 the previous 3 seasons.
It’s a shame, at 5-10, 220 he’s got the ideal build for an NFL back who can be leaned upon. He’s got the thick legs, not too tall of a target too hit. I call it the “Emmitt Smith” mold. He’s got the stout build that maximizes the power of low center of gravity. This helps the runner churn out yards by moving a pile comprised of 300+ pound men (aka the cliché, falling forward). At the same time this type of runner is hard to see around the line of scrimmage because of his stature, which gives the runner a split second advantage to hit an open hole.
Adrian Peterson was more of the Eric Dickerson mold, tall and freakishly athletic and physical. Unfortunately those type of runners typically aren’t as durable. Peterson and Dickerson are the exception, not the norm.
In this case, past history tells us that Ben Tate is the one who probably won’t be able to hold up during the regular season if counted on as a full time starter. What will be the solution for 2015? My prediction, Ben Tate is the starter and plays about 55-60% of the time. The other side of that running back by committee, 2014 3rd round pick Jerrick Mckinnon. Tate will bring the clock killing hammer and Mckinnon the flashing big play ability.