Browns coach Mike Pettine understands why Ben Tate is displeased. But rookie Terrance West has earned the extra carries, Pettine said, and the first-year coach is more concerned about weekly victories than pleasing everyone on his team at the same time.
“Ben’s a competitor,” Pettine said Wednesday at the team’s practice facility. “And while I don’t think it’s good practice to kind of air how you feel publicly … it’s understandable. I think if you sat with every player and said, ‘What’s your agenda? What’s your goal? How do you think your playing time should be handled? What do you see your role as?,’ we’re not going to bat 1.000. There are going to be times where we have to choose as a staff what we feel is best for the team over what the individual feels is best for him. I just think this is an example of that. Ben’s a guy that wants the ball, wants to be out there, wants to be the guy. And so it’s understandable when we started Terrance over him and had the results that we had.”
West is on somewhat shaky ground given the talent in the Browns' RB corps, but Pettine gave him another vote of confidence, so it appears he will continue to serve as the team's lead back.