Dedication Showed Sunday

November 14th, 2016
Freddie Martino hauls in his touchdown catch Sunday. (Photo courtesy of

Freddie Martino hauls in his touchdown catch Sunday. (Photo courtesy of

When the Bears and John Fox decided that come hell or high water they were not going to get beaten by Mike Evans yesterday, it meant two things:

Either America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, was going to force the ball to Evans with potentially disastrous results, or other receivers were going to find a way to get open to help Jameis.

It was the latter. And to hear Jameis discuss the play of tight end Cameron Brate, the pride of suburban Chicago, Naperville, Ill., and wide receiver Freddie Martino and his Band of Renown, those two came to play thanks to tireless work with Jameis himself.

Brate caught seven passes thrown at him, finishing with 84 yards and a touchdown. He leads the NFL in touchdown catches for a tight end with five (tied with two others). Martino, fresh from the velvet-lined lounge of the Vero Beach Ramada Inn, had a touchdown, too, hauling in a Jameis pass from 43 yards out. It was almost forgotten since it came after Jameis and Evans hooked up on a beautiful backyard football play for the ages.

“Let me tell you about Freddie: If you guys stick after practice, the last person I’m throwing to is Cam Brate and Freddie Martino,” Jameis said. “He’s staying out there, working. You never know when your time is coming. You never know when your time is going to be taken away from you. Take advantage of it.’’

And the duo did. Martino quickly pointed out Jameis and Evans set up his touchdown the play before.

“First, I’ve got to give credit to Mike [Evans] and Jameis for allowing that drive to keep going from that play [before] that Mike caught,” Martino said. “Coach [Koetter] dialed the play up, we were running it in practice a couple times, we kind of knew the looks that we would get in certain situations and I ran my route, broke, I [saw] grass and I looked back and I saw Jameis and he hadn’t thrown it yet. But then I saw him winding up and the ball seemed to be in the air for a long time, and those – the easy catches usually are the ones that you kind of mishandle, but I was very confident and I was ready. I saw it, I grabbed it and made the touchdown.”

It’s good to see undrafted guys who bust their tails like Brate and Martino, a couple of guys no one expected to be in the NFL, shine when they get a chance.

Hey, who would have expected, with all the sick tight ends in the NFL, that Harvard man Brate would lead the league in touchdowns caught through 10 weeks?

5 Responses to “Dedication Showed Sunday”

  1. TonyTega79 Says:

    Got woke up at 3am to respond to an outage at work (thats the life of an on call tech for you) and idc. Its 4am and its Victory freaking Monday and as important as the W was, it was in my mind more important that the team played well. And sans Demar Dotson going full blown Kenyatta Walker, they played beautifully.

    I was at the DOD in 112, ive been there every stinking game and damn that was fun to watch. Go Bucs and Believe in Jameis!

  2. KingBuc17 Says:

    I agree great team effort!!! Go Bucs!!!

  3. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Now please win remaining home games so we can stop calling it den of depression.
    C’mon BUCS

  4. buccfan305 Says:

    That’s what I’m talking about….give some these unknowns a shot. No one is expecting them to shine until its to late. You bring in somd has-been from another team and all they want is a check, and they come in a lay down. At least our unknown guys have a reason to want to play hard. It’s called keeping your job and providing for your family. KC might not have to game plain for them but I bet it’s a topic of discussion in their meeting rooms this week. Lets build on that.

    Go Bucs!!

  5. Brandon Says:

    I for one, am not surprised or impressed. The records of home teams coming off Thursday night games has been ridiculous through the years. I think they win something like 75% of the games, usually in blowout fashion. I expected this to be a blowout. Teams with 10 days of rest will undoubtedly do better than teams on 7 days of rest and have to use one of those days to travel.

    Start winning some games where the other team is decent and we’re not expected to win and I’ll be enthusiastic.