Browns' Pettine addresses Tate's release and the running back situation moving forward

BY foxsports • November 19, 2014


Pettine on Tate, RB Position: Pettine said there were a number of factors that led to the release of RB Ben Tate, including the emergence of rookie running backs Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West and Glenn Winston.

"We met and talked about the move Monday night," Pettine said. "At the time, and with all of the circumstances rolled in together, it was best for the Browns.

"Is Ben Tate a capable NFL back? Absolutely, but we felt given where we were that it was time for us to move on," he said. "As Ray (Farmer) said in the statement, we wish him well, but it was something that we felt we needed to do."

Tate was claimed by the Vikings on waivers on Thursday.

Pettine was asked if the decision to release Tate was a football decision or due to off the field reasons.

"I guess it could be perceived as that but we factored in all circumstances," Pettine said. "To answer your question it factored in but it was more of a football decision."

Pettine was asked if Tate was a malcontent.

"I think that is a little exaggerated."

Pettine said he is confident moving ahead with the rookie backs, and admitted Crowell is farther along than anticipated.

"Crowell probably even more so," Pettine said. "We had high expectations when we drafted Terrance, given the circumstances where we drafted him and the amount of the repetitions that he got. Crowell was injured part of the spring and didn't get a lot of those first and second team reps, but flashed throughout training camp and had the big day against Chicago (in the final preseason game). Once he had the success of what he was capable of really threw himself into it and his learning curve accelerated to the point of the production that he have.

"We're pleased with the production that those guys have had but were well aware that they are rookie and are going to have issues with them. They have a ways to go."

West said he was surprised when he heard Tate had been released.

"He's a good running back and a good teammate," West said.

West said ,"We're not rookies any more."

Pettine indicated that Winston is the third back and might be active if he can play on special teams.

"I feel like I've flashed some in practice," Winston said. "I hope to keep getting better."

On the Field: Of the six players that were listed on the pre-practice injury report, only two were seen on the field. DL Ahtyba Rubin (knee) and WR Marlon Moore (hamstring) were on the side working with trainers during the open media session.

TE Jordan Cameron (concussion), DB Johnson Bademosi (concussion), LB Karlos Dansby (knee) and LB Jabaal Sheard (foot) were not seen on the field.

Diles Back: The Browns re-signed LB Zac Diles, who was recently released by the Texans. With the injuries to LB Jabaal Sheard and LB Karlos Dansby, the Browns needed more depth at the position. Last week, they signed LB Keith Pough to the active roster after DL Phil Taylor was placed on injured rerserve.

"We were fortunate to be able to bring Zac Diles back," Pettine said. "He was close to making the team (in training camp). He gives us more depth (at linebacker)."