BEREA, Ohio -- If it is one thing Cleveland Browns running back Ben Tate does not lack, it is confidence.
Tate approaches each and every drill of training camp with a chip on his shoulder, and does so in an effort to defend what he has worked hard for, on and off the football field.
"That is just who I am as a person," Tate said. "You see me on the streets, I am not going to let anyone walk up to me and mess with me. That is just who I am. I think that is needed too.
"There is a time when you need to chill out, but there is a time when you need to step up and show guys. For me, at times, to show the offense that, 'Hey, we are not going to let these guys keep doing this. It is time to put our foot down and let them know what is up."
In fact, Tate proved on the fourth day of training camp that it was one of those times in which he "needed to step up and show guys" they could not mess with him and just walk away.
Already frustrated because fellow running back Dion Lewis had been tackled twice in non-tackling drills, Tate's competitiveness turned combative when he was being hit by defenders trying to knock the ball loose after the whistle had already blown.
Tate responded to the constant swatting of the defenders by firing the football into the facemask of defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin. That sparked a melee that eventually involved nearly a quarter of the team.
"It started a couple of plays before with one of the other running backs," Tate said. "He tackled him, then threw him to the ground. That's unnecessary, so it started then. Next play, someone came up and did something else.
"Then, I got in there and kind of, I guess, felt like they were big, you know beating their chests, and I was like, Whoa, hold up. It ain't gonna go down.' It was good for us too because we do have a good defense. They are going to be a good defense, but we cannot let anyone bully us.
"It is a little frustrating, but I understand that they need to work. You know it's a line, and you know when they cross that line, offensively, we have got to let them know that it's not acceptable. That is really what it was about, just setting the tempo that 'Hey, you are not going to bully us.' You know what I am saying. Everybody, pro defense, defensive head coach, but I am letting them know it don't matter. 'Y'all are not gonna bully us.'"
Tate believes showing his defensive teammates that they will not bullied is one step in displaying to the rest of the NFL that the 2014 Browns are not the same team that has suffered double-digit losses in each of the last six seasons.
"I feel like especially in our room, all I can do is start to control our room because I have not really been here, but I am going to try and make my imprint on this team that or in this room that we ain't gonna take anything from anybody, that it is time to change around here and it starts with an attitude and a mindset," Tate said. "I believe that at a position like running back, you can change. You can change the mindset. You can change the way things go during the game.
"That goes into what I said of having that mindset and having that attitude. It is very important because you know everybody. You think about the San Francisco 49ers' defense or the Seattle defense. You think about those teams and they are supposed to intimidate you, but when you guys talk about them, they are an intimidating defense. Those are things that we want reporters and to be out there about us, that we are a tough, hard-nosed offense that's not going to back down from anyone."