“Real Tight End”

August 31st, 2017


In so many words this summer, winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter has cautioned fans that rookie tight end O.J. Howard’s biggest contribution to the team may not be in the pass game, but the run game.

The reason why Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht and Koetter swooned over Howard in the draft process the way Joe does over Rachel Watson after he staring at her life-size poster in Joe’s lair for too long is the way Howard blocks.

It seems Licht and Koetter aren’t the only ones with a crush on Howard’s blocking. Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger has already cited Howard’s blocking in the Bucs preseason game at Jacksonville and how Howard helped spring Doug Martin on a nice run.

Well, Baldinger, now working fo NFL Network, Twittered a clip of Howard helping Jacquizz Rodgers get a couple of extra yards in the painful preseason game against Cleveland last week.

Yes, Joe knows the favorite pastime of many Bucs fans is to constantly whine about the offensive line. (Joe vividly remembers how Bucs fans couldn’t wait to run Donald Penn out of town. How’d that work out?)

But as Licht has said this summer, the Bucs got bigger and stronger on two positions on the offensive line without lifting a finger, when Ali Marpet was flipped to center and J.R. Sweezy was healthy enough to resume practice at right guard.

Now adding Howard and his blocking to the mix, offensive line should stabilize — except for those who wouldn’t be satisfied with the Oakland Raiders’ offensive line of the 1970s.

And the clips that Baldinger highlighted of Howard’s blocking? It seems running backs have been able to get two or three extra yards as a result. That’s called moving the chains, folks.

20 Responses to ““Real Tight End””

  1. Canadabucsfan Says:

    Yeah, He is going to silently be a huge contributer outside the passing game. Most broadcasters won’t always be throwing every good block out there in game so we will hear more about this in post game pressers or next day pressers from the coaches. Rookies arn’t talked about as much when it comes to blocking, but the stats by the RB will say otherwise. Go OJ go.

  2. tnew Says:

    The thing about OJ80… This is usually the aspect that must be learned. So much time has to be spent on blocking technique they don’t get to work as much on route running. He can do both.

  3. JAB83 Says:

    I’m not surprised they got all googly eye’d over OJ like I do pancakes. <- 🙂

    It was a point that I was making before training camp. OJ is gonna be a big game play maker. So maybe he goes for 150 yards and 2 TD in Miami.

    But you wont see him do that again till the playoff run. Or maybe not even till we make the playoffs.

    He is gonna be a force in the run game all year just like you see here.

    And he is gonna be a safety valve for JW when a pass play breaks down.

    Cant wait to watch this guy grow into All Pro eventually

  4. Lamarcus Says:

    He should make up a lot of poor play from those tackles. Dsmith has slow feet and needs help out there

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It’s not like we won’t use him in the pass game. We’re just not going to throw him 6-8 balls a game yet.

    So many creative ways to use him and because of his speed he is a 30+ yard play waiting to happen if he ever gets enough space. Love the idea of him faking like he’s going to block then going for a quick pass for a bunch of YAC

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    @Lord Corn

    And he does not even have to fake!!!! He can just get an arm and funnel end rushers to the struggling tackles!!!!!!! I like Baldinger’s analyst!!! But I wonder if someone has said this before??? OMG its the “Realist Repost”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Buc Realist Says:
    August 2nd, 2016 at 9:28 am
    Fans will say that WR then TE will be the biggest “need” for the 2017 draft!!!

    “The Buc Realist” or “The Buc Prophet” !!!!! you be the judge!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!

    While DS76 had a very rough 2 games. I think that this can be fixed by drafting a very good TE that can both catch and block so he stays on the field thru most snaps!!! If We had such a TE it will help the O-tackles by chip blocking and funneling the speed rushers right to DS76 or DD69!!!! The TE can then still run a pass route or block in the second level!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    @Realist … “Fans will say that WR then TE will be the biggest “need” for the 2017 draft!!!” Really Realist, that’s what the ‘fans’ said? Seems to me like a lot of ‘fans’ (as in ‘Most’?) were calling for drafting someone named Dalvin Cook with our 1st pick. And a lot of other ‘fans’ were calling for us to draft a DE or DT or Safety (no need to use our 1st pick on a WR since we got DJax in FA). Good fortune (call it what you want) smiled on the Bucs when OJ Howard fell to our #19 position. I for one was ecstatic (especially since Bama is my #1 college team), but the reality was ‘We lucked out.’ Had OJ been gone when we picked, more than likely we would’ve picked either a RB or a DE/DT with our first pick (Safety was also a somewhat less likely possibility IMO).

  8. Cobraboy Says:

    “A true Y.”

    A rare breed, indeed.

  9. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    O.J. Howard is a better combination of Run-Blocker/ Pass Protector than 97% of the Offensive tackles that were in 2017 draft.

    I realized this in January/ February when I watched his game tape’s against Texas A&M and Tennessee. And I saw him stone walling and manhandling Myles Garrett and Derek Barnett.

    O.J. will absolutely be a vital impact player this year, just because of how good he is already as a blocker. Every catch he gets, every first down he earns, every touchdown he scores this season, It’s all gravy. And I can say without hesitating that O.J. Howard has one of the highest ceilings and highest floors of any player drafted in 2017.

  10. NOSBOS Says:

    Wasn’t a painful game to me. I mean you add two pro bowl WRs and it might’ve been prettier I suppose. Hard Knocks showed Fameis saying at half time “we’re gonna get the ball go down and score(with backups I’ll add) Fameis did just that. The zebras just robbed us of the touch. Which game were you watching. All of sudden no one up in arms over our place kicking.

  11. NOSBOS Says:


  12. NOSBOS Says:

    That game meant a lot more to them. They threw the ball deep five or six times with kizer no success. Smith and VH3 were all over that ish. They blitzed d@&#! near every time we attempted a pass play.

  13. NOSBOS Says:

    The LVD deflection and the Beckwith force fumble,😙! Beautiful. We got playmaking LBs people,not just mere tacklers.

  14. NOSBOS Says:

    How some of you can’t see we bad to the bone is beyooooonndd me.

  15. Bucsfanman Says:

    Nothing says Nostradamus like a “Realist Repost”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Except……..I agree with Defense Rules. Most “fans” KNEW that OJ Howard would not fall to us. We got lucky.

  16. Dooshlarue Says:

    Just use him the right way coach K and we’ll be good.

  17. unbelievable Says:

    It’s funny that the Joes are still in denial about the offensive line last year, yet just the other day mentioned how much they respect football outsiders and personally know one of the guys who runs it.

    The very same football outsiders who detailed that our o-line gave up the most run stuffs behind the LOS in the entire league. Hmmm 🤔

  18. unbelievable Says:

    Gotta love realist, he’s so full of himself he thinks he’s the only human being who wanted the Bucs to draft a tight end capable of blocking and catching… I can’t image being that self absorbed.

  19. James Walker Says:

    I cannot get over how he ran all over Clemson…twice!

  20. BucTrooper Says:

    The excuses are starting…”silent contributor.” “He does SO MUCH MORE.” “Doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.”

    I was right about passing on Stephen Jackson.
    I was right about Mark Barron.
    I am right about OJ Howard.