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Ben Tate: No one can touch me for Browns' starting gig

Not since the Toledo War has land on the Ohio shores of Lake Erie been in such dispute.

The modern-day discord takes place in the Cleveland Browns' offensive huddle, where the battle for starting spots has spilled from the quarterbacks into the backfield.

The Browns signed Ben Tate this offseason, and as the top back on the market, he expected to be the starter.

However, rookie Terrance West has gotten high praise as a dynamic, one-cut back who could flourish in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's system. West took the majority of snaps with the first team during offseason workouts -- likely because the Browns are bringing Tate along slowly after he suffered broken ribs in 2013.

Tate, however, dismissed the idea that he's battling with the rookie for the starting gig.

"Truthfully, I don't look at it like that,'' Tate said Thursday, per The Plain Dealer. "You guys may see it like that, but there's nobody in that room that scares me. I'm just honest."

Tate then scoffed at the importance of the rookie taking practice reps.

"Honestly I'm not worried about that, because I know when I'm on my game -- no disrespect to any other running back here -- but there's no one that can touch me or that's close to what I do,'' he said. "I battled in and out every day with what some people consider the best running back in the league in Arian Foster. I've seen the best. I went against him every day. I battled it, so this around here to me is really not anything."


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When told of Tate's comments Thursday, West held his own, reiterating that he hopes to prove the veteran wrong.

"Yeah, that's our job out here, to come out here and compete, push each and everyone forward to bring the best out of each other,'' West said. "That's what I'm here to do. I want to play. I want to be the starter, and I'm going to practice like a starter."

Despite the competition, both men said they were working to help each other improve.

Aside from a few Adrian Peterson-like characters, the NFL is a two-back drama. With a dearth of playmakers at wide receiver behind Josh Gordon -- whose potential suspension still looms -- both West and Tate will be asked to tote the rock often in 2014, regardless of who takes the first snaps.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes debate the Super Bowl windows of Brady and Manning.

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