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Browns' roster rundown: RB/FB

6/24/2014

Assessing the Cleveland Browns roster as we head to training camp, with a position-by-position rundown comparing it to when the season ended and now.

Running back/fullback

Then: Willis McGahee, Edwin Baker, Fozzy Whittaker, Chris Ogbonnaya.

Now: Ben Tate, Terrance West, Baker, Ogbonnaya, MarQueis Gray.

Thoughts: This is almost improvement by default, because things couldn’t get much worse than the team’s backfield situation of a year ago. The guys the Browns had gave their all, but there simply wasn’t much to give. McGahee led the team in rushing -- with 377 yards. That’s three games of work for some backs. He averaged 2.7 yards per carry. Uncle. GM Ray Farmer had to upgrade the position, and he did it with the best free agent running back available in Tate. And he did it on the cheap, giving Tate a prove-it contract that Tate accepted. West is an intriguing draft pick who looked great in the offseason, but he has to prove it with pads on. One of the more intriguing moves the Browns made was to shift Gray from tight end to fullback. The Browns don’t want a bulldozer for a fullback, which is why they let Chris Pressley go after a quick look-see. Gray brings run, catch and run-after-catch abilities -- unique abilities this coaching staff could tap into.

Positives: Tate and West seem to be a potent combination of speed and power.

Negatives: Tate might not be happy in another part-time role, and if WR Josh Gordon is suspended, the Browns might have to rely on the running game to win.

Upgraded, level or downgraded: Upgraded, drastically.

Previously: Quarterback

Coming: Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, secondary, coaching staff, front office.