Q&A with Robert Tate

Player Spotlight Name: Robert Tate Position: Cornerback College: Cincinnati Measurables: 5-foot-10, 193 pounds Age: 28 Hometown: Harrisburg, Pa. Acquired: Tate was signed by the Ravens in August as a free agent after being waived by the Minnesota Vikings.

Resume: Tate replaced Alvin Porter as starter Chris McAlister's primary replacement shortly into the Ravens' 13-12 victory last week over the Tennessee Titans. Tate made the most of his opportunity with eight tackles and one pass deflection while being targeted on occasion by Titans quarterback Steve McNair. Tate has 11 tackles for the season with two pass deflections. He has returned 17 kickoffs for 356 yards and a 20.9 average before being replaced by Lamont Brightful after fumbling twice against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tate started 22 games over the last two seasons for the Vikings with 101 tackles and two interceptions. With a background as a receiver and a return specialist, Tate was originally drafted in the sixth round with the 183rd overall pick by the Vikings in the 1997 NFL Draft. He played for Ravens coach Brian Billick in Minnesota.

Role against Cincinnati: Tate will be used heavily in coverage against Bengals wideouts Chad Johnson, Peter Warrick and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. He's a possible starter if McAlister's ankle doesn't improve. If he doesn't open the game, he'll operate in nickel and dime duty.

Ravens Insider: "What do you expect your role to be on Sunday?"

Tate: "I still really don't know, but if Chris doesn't play me and Porter have to be ready because that's our job when a guy goes down."

Ravens Insider: "Are the 1-10 Bengals a dangerous team?"

Tate: "Definitely. It's funny to say that, but Cincinnati is definitely a dangerous team. They lost 10 games, but they keep playing teams tough. Any game could turn in their favor."

Ravens Insider: "Is Johnson's speed a factor?"

Tate: "Yeah, I look at him run on film and he's always making plays. Cincinnati has a good team. I think people underestimate them. Johnson is really fast."

Ravens Insider: "Jon Kitna has performed well over the last month, but faltered against the Ravens a few weeks back. Is that an aberration or just a credit to your defense?"

Tate: "I think it goes both ways. The majority of it I think is a credit to our defense. Our coaches put us in position to make plays. If we do it their way, it will make us come out on top."

Ravens Insider: "What would you like fans to know about you?"

Tate: "I'm just a guy who works hard and is going to come to work in the community. I love kids. I'll do whatever it takes to get the job done."

Ravens Insider: "Do you feel like Baltimore could be a good setting for you?"

Tate: "I think it could be. Baltimore, every time I go out with my family, they treat you well. You're respected. There are a lot of things you can do here in Baltimore. On top of that, this team is a family. I've been on other teams where people move different ways. This team, players interact with each other all the time. That's what I've been looking for."

Ravens Insider: "Do you expect the Bengals to throw a lot?"

Tate: "This team is good and I definitely think they will throw at us. If I'm in that lineup, anytime someone new comes in, they are going to challenge you. I'm looking forward to that."

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