Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vikings Add Ben Tate to Roster

Earlier today, the Minnesota Vikings added recently released ex-Cleveland Brown, ex-Houston Texan running back, Ben Tate, to the roster.  The addition is significant for several reasons.  First, it suggests that the Vikingsare not comfortable with the play of their current running backs, are concerned about recent injuries to each, or both.  Second, it underscores the Vikings' sense that Adrian Peterson will not prevail on his appeal of his league suspension.  Finally, and perhaps most significantly, it suggests the Vikings are preparing to part with Peterson after this season.

Not particularly productive in a Browns' backfield begging for production, Tate's addition should probably be viewed as one that will give the Vikings a player capable of staying on the field in third-down situations, while also contributing, less modestly than Matt Asiata, on first and second downs.  That's particularly important for disguising play calls and giving quarterback Teddy Bridgewater every possibility to demonstrate that, with a semblance of a running game, he can deliver.

If nothing else, Tate's addition suggests that the Vikings are still interested in competing this year.  Given the team's remaining schedule, that will be a challenge, but it should be slightly less of a challenge than it had been before Tate's arrival. 


Childress of A Lesser God said...

This move is a head-scratcher. Peterson is certainly done as a Viking, but how does Ben Tate help, either now or In the future? He washed out in Houston and Cleveland. He doesn't know the offense and offers no "special" traits (speed, hands, return-ability). Better to continue to develop McKinnon and Asiata with an eye to the future.

HBandM said...

Have to agree with Chilly here. Tate strikes me as an insurance / value move to have a backup available if your other RBs get too injured. Akin to keeping Ponder on the roster.

Thanks for blogging, VG. We may not always comment but we're reading.

vikes geek said...

While I agree that Tate is not much of an upgrade on paper, he should be proficient enough at this point in his career to block. That gives him the edge over McKinnon. That he can also run a bit, gives him the edge over Asiata, who generally is only in the game as a goal line or blocking back.

Having a running back who can block and run gives the Vikings the opportunity to better assess what they have in Bridgewater. If Tate can provide the option of block/run, defenses will be less inclined to send extra pressure. If Bridgewater cannot make plays under those circumstances, the Vikings will have a decision to make in next year's draft. Although it would be great to develop McKinnon, it's more important (I hope) to assess the QB.

vikes geek said...

Chilly is a better moniker than Lesser.

vikes geek said...

Though Childress of a Lesser God is, of course, much better.