Tate is a workhorse back who averaged more than 20 carries per game last season. He's always been one to carry the load, dating back to his high school days when he topped 2,800 yards rushing as a junior at Snow Hill HS.
"Everybody wants to call me a bruiser, but if you sit down and watch film, I make a lot of people miss," he said. "But if I see a guy in the hole, I don't mind challenging him."
Auburn RB Ben Tate
Tate believes he is a three-down player.
"I'm good at [blocking and blitz pick-ups]," he said. "Done a lot of that in my career."
While Tate is unlikely to duplicate L.T.'s success as a receiver, that wouldn't be necessary in San Diego thanks to the presence of Darren Sproles. Instead, he could focus on other areas of his game, such as goal-line situations.
Even late in his career, Tomlinson was among the NFL's most dangerous weapons near the goal line. Tate believes he has the skills to be similarly dominant.
"Most the time I get it in [near the goal line]," he said. "My percentage is pretty good. You have to have the heart and the will to beat that linebacker one-on-one in the hole. That's usually what it comes down to."
Tate's heart has never been questioned. His cocky demeanor has raised a few eyebrows, but Norv Turner may be willing to live with that if it provides some much-needed balance to his offense. Last season, the Chargers fielded the league's No. 5 passing offense and the No. 31 running game.
Tate feels he's the man to help close that gap.
"I would say I'm the most complete running back in this class," he said.
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Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.