It Will Only Get Better With Brate

January 26th, 2018


Joe doesn’t get too wrapped up into the Pro Bowl, which is being played in Orlando Sunday.

Part of that is, like most all-star games in sports leagues, it is more of a popularity contest. Joe could argue that both last year and this year, two Bucs should have been in that game that were not.

One would be cornerback Brent Grimes, the other would be tight end Cam Brate.

In fact, in their ranking of the top 1000 players in the NFL, Bleacher Report, per the fingers of NFL analyst Doug Farrar, believes Brate is the No. 8 tight end in the NFL and he may just be getting started.

Over the last two seasons, only Jimmy Graham and Kyle Rudolph have more touchdown receptions among tight ends than Brate does. The fourth-year man from Harvard is a red-zone specialist because he understands defender placement and can get open quickly on designed routes. He presents easy openings in tight spaces for his quarterbacks, and that’s why he’ll continue to get targets when it counts most.

Yeah, Brate sure is a red zone match-up problem for defenses, though other than the Green Bay game, Brate wasn’t much of a red zone factor this past season. Maybe that is why the Bucs were terrible in the red zone?

17 Responses to “It Will Only Get Better With Brate”

  1. GMC hater Says:

    He was more than a specialist, he was Winston’s likeliest target in the red zone! Defenses realized this and adapted by covering him more!! What we need to do is get guys like OJ and Godwin more involved in these redzone plays!!!

  2. mike10 Says:

    Jameis’ favorite Red Zone play was the slant to Brate… which is why I picked him up in fantasy.
    However, as a Buc fan, Koetter has got to get Winston more comfortable with additional plays in the RZ. It was clear that teams we’re scheming against it and was what spoke to our RZ struggles as compared to last year.

  3. JAB83 Says:

    The reason Brate sucks is becaue 8 minus 4 is really 3 if you consider 4 is almost 3. And 8 plus 4 is like 9 if you look at the 4 cross eyed.

    Thats 39!!! Which any Buc fan should know 39 is really….

    Wait for it…..

    Which is really 93….

    Boom thats our problem

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Brate was injured, Winston was injured and the Bucs were trying to work OJ into the mix. Brate is a very good receiving TE and was helped tremendously from the Bucs getting D-Jax and OJ. Last year when he was the #2 receiver on the team his stats were good since the ball was being thrown to him so much, but on field he didn’t look that great. This year I think, when healthy, he looked better and more effective, but because the ball was moved around more his stats were less. Use Brate and OJ in 2 TE sets with a good RB and an O-line that plays better, and have Evans plus D-Jax/Godwin, and man, that’s a scary good offense. Just fix the line. Also sign L Bell and front load his deal, the Bucs have cap space and there aren’t any defensive fixes on the D-line in FA, so just say F it, we’re going to out score everyone. Brate should be part of that.

  5. NFLNut Says:

    Jameis + Evans/Godwin/OJ/Brate/Hump for 5-10 healthy years could be an ALL-TIME GREAT group …

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    @Rod … “Bucs have cap space and there aren’t any defensive fixes on the D-line in FA, so just say F it, we’re going to out score everyone.” Licht essentially said that this past year Rod, and just about all of us bought into it. Need I remind you how that worked out for us?

    Saints & Falcons bought into that for years (focus on offense to the detriment of the defense). BOTH finally realized that approach doesn’t work. Panthers bought into the opposite for years (focus on defense to the detriment of the offense). That approach didn’t really work much better. All three teams have now become much more balanced, and it’s paying off … all three made the playoffs this year. Bucs have no choice IF we expect to be competitive in the NFC South: we MUST fix the defense.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, this is somewhat off subject, but have been noticing that lots of guys are getting ‘love’ this time of year, but Clinton McDonald doesn’t seem to be one of them. Folks seem to be overlooking the fact that he’s a free agent right now, and a very desirable one at that. Clinton (5 sacks) & GMC (6 sacks) together got HALF of our team sacks (22). He also got 10 QB hits on the year (tied with Atlanta’s Poe & Minnesota’s Johnson for most QB hits among FA DTs). Dude’s a stud DT & also an excellent leader IMO. Fatty Baker made almost twice as much as McDonald did, and didn’t contribute but a small fraction of what he did to the team.

    Bucs need to re-sign Clinton … and fast … to a 2 year deal before other teams looking for a DT grab him. And if it were my decision, I’d also sign a big DT (like Dontari Poe, who I wanted last year instead of Baker) to shore up the middle of our DLine, as well as draft a beastly DT this year (like Vea or Payne) to add some youth to the mix. That’d give us a very solid DLine interior that could stop the run AND bring pressure up the middle. Should also help our DEs quite a bit.

  8. USFBUC Says:

    @NFLNUT – they just need to keep that group together somehow and rotate through RBs and build a deep stable of OLinemen

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    Mr Reliable took a step backwards in reliability last year. Brate dropped quite a few passes in 2017 and seemed to do so at some of the worst times.

    He was only officially charged with 3 drops but it was closer to triple that # going just by memory.

    That sounds like a harsh criticism perhaps because we all like Cam and can clearly see that he is a good player – especially for a UDFA. But up until this last year – If that ball was in range for Brate to get his hands on it – he was hanging on to that catch damn near every single time. Not so much though in 2017.

    Surely I can’t be the only one who noticed that Cam had quite a few drops at key moments last year.

  10. USFBUC Says:

    @Defense Rules – I love McDonald, he is our most effective Dlineman based on his stats, pay, and snap count.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Brate had 6 TDs…..Howard had 6…….Brate would have likely had 9 or 10 if Stocker were still there…..the addition of Godwin also had some impact.

    Too many running plays early in the count in the Red Zone put pressure on the third down passes….

    Now…..Brate has certainly made up for the ASJ bust…..

    ASJ…..3 (for all those whining about “good” players leaving the Bucs.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    GMCHater said it best. Jameis looks for Brate on most 3rd down/redzone plays. It’s what made our offense too predictable. Good DCs worth their salt saw this and ADJUSTED (I’m looking at you Mike Smith!!!).
    @Pickgrin- Brate did have some drops and I think that, because they were in crucial situations, it magnified them. I also think that because JW is looking for him his passes tend to hang him out to dry sometimes.

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    Yea Bucsfanman – those drops were likely to seem significant since Cam is usually targeted on 3rd down and in the red zone.

    I can remember at least 2 TD drops though – passes that Winston put right on the money.

  14. DislocatedBucsFan Says:


    Everybody drops passes occasionally.


    Godwin replaces Hump this year in the slot. That dudes an animal.

  15. BucEmUp Says:

    I love how bright left djax out….AGREED!

  16. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    NFL coaches typically do not trust young players unless forced to do so. They feel more comfortable with a proven experienced talent.

    2018 should be different. Koetter has video that shows OJ and Chris Godwin can play when the bright lights come on.

    If we improved our OL just a bit…can you say Nelson…and Jameis gets just another second to go through his progressions….how they gonna stop ME…Godwin..OJ…Brate…DJAX….that’s a lot of targets.

  17. Says:

    little known factoid – Tim Murphy, head coach at Harvard, and winningest head coach in program history, is also the full time tight ends coach for Harvard. He takes special care in teaching his TE’s.
    Cam Brate
    Kyle Juszczyk
    Tyler Ott
    Matt Farbatko

    See, I can contribute constructively here too… although we’d still be better taking a Pats coach.

    GO BUCS!!!!!