Heart Wins Out For Howard

July 17th, 2017

Praise from former Bucs TE.

Pretty cool breakdown on just what a beast Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard could be.

Now Joe isn’t going to go fully ga-ga on Howard yet. Something tells Joe it might be a few games if not until next season that we begin to see the full potential of Howard, but a former Bucs tight end is all in on the Alabama product.

In a very insightful piece typed by data-driven, limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’, kiss-stealin’, data-analyzin’, Bucs-film-studyin’ Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times, Bassinger shared a sit-down with former Bucs tight end Todd Yoder, who  coaches at Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater. Yoder and Bassinger reviewed film to illustrate Howard’s potential and what a sick weapon he could be.

In short, Yoder likens Howard’s talent to another stud tight end in the NFC South, Greg Olsen of the Stinking Panthers.

Size. Speed. Strength. Howard checks all of those boxes.

Think of the trouble Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has caused for the Bucs in recent seasons. Since 2014, only Julio Jones of the Falcons has more receptions and receiving yards against Tampa Bay. Howard can be that kind of matchup nightmare.

“Olsen’s one of those what I call a throwback tight end where he’ll get his hand in the dirt and he’ll block,” Yoder says. “Some of these guys anymore — and it’s probably because they play a spread offense in high school, they play more of a spread offense in college — they don’t know how to put their hand in the dirt.”

Yoder went on to demonstrate Howard’s potential via a game at Alabama when he locked horns with this spring’s overall top draft pick, defensive end Myles Garrett of Texas A&M. For Howard, Yoder explained, it’s all about his heart.

Another cool thing about Bassinger’s piece, Yoder referred to Howard as a walking explosive play the way he can rack up YAC.

11 Responses to “Heart Wins Out For Howard”

  1. stpetebucsfan Says:


    I certainly share your concerns about expecting too much too soon from O.J. It’s certainly a valid concern.

    Here is what gives me optimism in this particular case. Then again I’m always optmistic!

    If this was a few years back with our thin roster the entire drafting spectacle of how we lucked out and got OJ and his obviously impressive skill set would have burdened him with unreal expectations. He would have been the latest in a long line of “saviors”. Who was that tight end that Brate beat out…can’t even remember his name…went to the Jets…he was the next coming of…..

    That’s not the case with OJ. And in fact I think my point includes all of our rookies. With OJ in particular though we already have a TE who will have to be covered. We have one of the top 3 WR’s in the NFL on one side and DJAX on the other. We have a rookie under the radar in Godwin who is going to present nighmares for DB’s. We have Hump…we have a LOT of targets. There is NO pressure on OJ top play like Olson right out of the gate.

    In additon OJ is going to benefit from the fact that he’ll be the 3rd…maybe 4th consideration of DC’s…unless he REALLY has a breakout rookie year…They simply can’t cover everybody and so OJ will not get undue attention…he should be able to find some open spots.

    Go Bucs! Minnesota or bust!

  2. Andrew Says:

    For me, A successful year for howard will be he played in every game and averaged 14+ ypc. We have weapons. His target may be limited. I’d like to see him stretch the field, even if that’s only on 2-3 catches per game. Cam will still lead our TES in Rec, yards, and tds.

  3. Joe Says:


    Honestly believe if Howard blocks well, the Bucs will consider that a successful rookie season. Good thing is team doesn’t need to lean on him (remember, they have a guy who led NFL in TD catches for a TE).

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Best TE prospect in many years and he’s a Buccaneer 🙂

    Greg Olsen at 32 can’t block even half as well as 22 y.o. OJ Howard so the comparison is not all that valid.

    Olsen is quite a threat downfield as OJ will be – but Greg is not much help in the run game. Howard will be a stud at the line of scrimmage from day 1 helping to open holes for our RBs

  5. Pa Privateer Says:

    I agree with the above statements. Howard doesn’t need to perform to a high standard this year. He can just be an outlet to Winston, help block in the run game, and be a Red-Zone threat. The Bucs could systematically target Howard 2-3 times a game and make him a very real threat to the defense in that sense. The threat of Howard in the passing game will take off the pressure of the other offensive weapons. We finally have a team that can bring in rookies and let them grow and learn rather than the super high expectations that were previously placed on the bucs rookies.

  6. KfromFLA Says:

    OJ Howard is a potential transcendent player in the NFL. For a player to have transcendent used in a sentence along with their name, even with potential included as well is significant. For me, Howard the Beast is a matter of when, not if, but like a couple people have already said, he is under no pressure from the team to take the offense on his back right away.

    My favorite video segment on OJ is from Brett Kollmann – The Film Room Ep. 26: O.J. Howard Scouting Report. He said the following that sums up OJ Howard perfectly:

    “We are talking about a Tight End here who is 6-6, 250 and at the combine ran as fast as David Johnson, put up a better 3-cone time than Tyler Lockett, and a better short shuttle than Khalil Mack. He is a bonified freak of nature and unfortunately the Alabama coaching staff just straight up refused to use him.”

    The Bucs get a fresh TE who moves like a WR and blocks like a guard. I’d say Howard will not catch many passes per game initially, but would not be surprised to see a high percentage of those passes go for long yardage. If a DB is not within one step of Howard when he catches the ball, they will not run him down. Howard will be a threat to break one off on every down. That type of potential is tough to ignore and I expect Koetter to work it in soon, very soon.

    IMO, OJ Howard has the potential to reset the standard for TEs. Jameis love himself some TEs, and once Howard breaks one for a 50+ yard TD, it’s going to be game on.

  7. ATLBucsfan Says:

    We have to remember that Howard is going up against big men now, not college boys. He’s going to have to take time to adjust to the size, quickness, strength and discipline of the pro players he will be up against.

    Koetter’s history is to use the TE in must win situations…getting the needed 1st down to extend the drive and spreading the D in the red zone. Shadows of Tony G still haunt me.

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Good call KfromFLA. Brett Kollman loved OJ as a prospect and showed some good video examples why – also saying directly that Lane Kiffen was highly negligent in so rarely/infrequently using a talent like that downfield.


    his final conclusions about OJ if you don’t feel like watching were:

    “At worst, I think Howard is a quality starting TE who will be worth a 1st round pick. But best case scenario – I think he can be a perennial pro bowler and all pro who terrorizes (his division) for the next decade.”

    “There’s really not any downside with OJ. Prospects with this kind of diverse skillset are very – VERY rare in this league.”

    “I know TE is not really the “sexy pick” in today’s NFL, But I can guarantee you that whoever does end up with OJ Howard in this draft will NOT be disappointed”

    “If there was EVER a TE who was worth a top 10 or maybe even a top 5 pick – It’s him.”

    “Howard is a true 3-down contributor – and he’s going to be good for a long, LOOONG time.”

  9. Bill Says:

    If OJ can run block well enough to keep the SLB on the field this offense will explode. It’s as simple as that.

  10. RayJameisStadium Says:

    OJ best asset for the offense is confusing DCs in not knowing what is coming.

    Are they passing or running?!?!

    The Greatest Show on Grass will be displayed at RayJay in 2017

  11. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    OJ Howard the new age John Mackey.