By Ross Jones, FOXSports.com
It isn’t easy splitting time with anyone, even if it is Houston Texans star Arian Foster.
Ben Tate, the other half of the Texans’ 1-2 running punch, told FOXSports.com he doesn’t get a rush out of being a complementary back.
“I’m always trying to be the best player that I can be,” Tate said in a telephone interview. “But I would be lying to you if I told you that I embraced the complement role to someone else. That’s not why I wanted to be in the NFL. That’s not my dream to complement someone else. That’s not what my attitude or why I work out is to complement someone else.”
“I’m competitive and we compete in everything we do. That’s just the way it is. But at the end of the day I feel that we are both mature about the situation.”
While Foster was sidelined during the preseason with aches and pains, Tate took advantage of the opportunity for more carries and made enough of an impact to earn more touches during the regular season.
Head coach Gary Kubiak said after Monday night’s 31-28 win over the Chargers, he would like to see the carries between both running backs more evenly dispersed. While the franchise has completely invested in Foster by giving him an five-year deal in 2012, Tate is taking it for what it’s worth and isn’t satisfied as being a backup.
“It made me feel good that coach has that type of faith in me and to realize that what I have been doing through camp and preseason that I’ve been doing all the right things,” Tate said. “So it feels good to know that, but at the same time I know I need to keep working to keep the opportunity.”
Tate showed plenty of burst in the season debut, averaging 6.1 yards a carry on nine touches. Kubiak admitted that he expects Foster to assume the responsibility as the lead back later in the season but he wants to take it easy on him while he returns from a calf injury.
Tate, 25, is doing everything he can to his best of ability to help the team win. Although it could be tempting to see what’s waiting for him after this season, as he is destined to hit free agency, he is adamant he isn’t worried about those types of things.
“Not at all,” Tate said. “I play for the team to win. For the last three years, my whole career I always played hard and am always fighting to get extra yards. I don’t think about that at all. I think about whatever I can do to help the team win.”