The Evolution Of O.J. Howard’s Rookie Blocking

February 23rd, 2018

Who better to talk to about O.J. Howard’s blocking than the guy often blocking alongside him.

That’s just what Joe did this week.

During the Thursday episode of the Ira Kaufman Podcast, special guest Demar Dotson was asked to dive into the blocking evolution and skills of Howard and Cameron Brate.

The Bucs’ right tackle kept it real.

“In the beginning, you know, I don’t think he really wanted to get in and mix it up,” Dotson said of Howard. “But one thing about the young kid, he’s willing to listen. And he’s willing to learn. He’s not like no arrogant young kid. He’s a first-round draft pick but you can go in there and talk to him. And that’s one thing I love about him; he’s so humble. So with that kind of mindset, you know, he’s going to be a good, tremendous football player.

“Because he’s not just like, ‘Don’t tell me nothin’.’ If you tell him something, he tries to do it. So I love talking to the guy and the coaches love talking to him. And he eats it up. He’s going to get tremendously better. As the season went on, he got better and better and better in blocking. In training camp, you know, even know he was trying to do it the way you asked him to do it, it just wasn’t fittin’ yet. Because he was just a guy who, you know, it just probably wasn’t his mojo of blocking. But he had a desire to do it. He had a passion to do it. And as the season went on, he got better.

“Cam Brate he’s not that, you know, thick in the behind. But he will stick is head in there and try to mix it up with you. But he’s a little lightweight.”

Great insight there by Dotson. And it’s great to hear of Howard’s no-diva mentality. That bodes well for him taking a big next step in 2018.

23 Responses to “The Evolution Of O.J. Howard’s Rookie Blocking”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    “Cam Brate he’s not that, you know, think in the behind.

    Dot said THICK.
    Makes more sense that way.

  2. Buc4lyfe79 Says:

    It’s Cam Brate isn’t “thick” in the behind.

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    I remember making fun of the Rams in Jan 2000 the day of the NFC Championship game because in the local paper they a big headline that said “We Ain’t Afraid of No Bucs” – or something very similar in terms of wording. I get when players speak in double negatives without realizing it or thinking about it, people know what they mean, but when a newspaper puts a double negative in 88pt font on their front page, it’s embarrassing, and ultimately why the city didn’t deserve an NFL team.

  4. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    OJ + Cam Brate = NFL’s best TE duo.

    Facts only.

  5. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Per PFF he was apparently terrible. Not what my eyes showed me. F*ck those guys lol

  6. 813bucboi Says:

    hope dirk gets creative with some 2 TE sets… out of them….pass out of them….

    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!….GO BUCS!!!!!

  7. LakeLand Says:


    You have better odds of hitting the powerball than Dirk Koetter getting creative.

  8. Cover Deuce Says:

    Yeah man that OJ got some pulp 😂

  9. Danati74 Says:

    Man, I thought Dirk was creative. I mean at one point he had the 5th rated offense in the league. We can do it again. Just get more OK and a RB.

  10. Danati74 Says:


  11. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    This just makes me shake my head at the draft “experts” who claim he was an NFL ready blocker. Apparently Mr Dotson thought otherwise. I think I believe the guy that has taken thousands of reps next to him.

    Still raw but he is a physical monster who should keep developing into an elite TE.

  12. LakeLand Says:


    He was creative in Atlanta, he was creative in 2015 with the Bucs. But when they made him Head Coach. It seems like he lost the creativity. The Bucs should have average at least 25 points a game this season, O.J Howard should have better numbers, Peyton Barber should have better numbers. Chris Godwin should have better numbers. DJAX should have better numbers, I could go on. There’s nothing creative about a one-dimensional offense. Especially when it’s focus on 3-4 players.

    The Bucs offense averaged 19.2 PPG
    That’s not creative, that’s failure

  13. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I feel like both of our TE’s have the ability to get sneaky open, nothing spectacular just somehow find an open spot. I think Godwin and Hump do a pretty good job of this as well. ME13 is simply going to beat the DB physically and DJAX is going to run by them.

  14. Pit Says:

    Lakeland you need to be creative and stop being a Nancy.

  15. Reach87 Says:

    Lakeland, agree we need to score more especially from the red zone, but think the playcalling the last four games was at least a B plus. We likely score more over those games if we sprinkle in some more possessions via stops or turnovers. If we call and execute to that level on offense to start the season and improve the defensive execution even a bit we’ll be in a good place. I got it…that’s two BIG ifs…Go Bucs!

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    Lakeland you make a great point and I completely agree that Dirks offense is just not the same, or as creative, when he is HC.

    I remember hearing a radio interview(and I’m almost positive Joe covered it) with Dirk in his first offseason as a HC and there was one thing he said that I always remember……. He stated that one thing he that was tough about being an OC was that he had to calls plays that fell in line with the HCs gameplan. He went on to say that it affected how he did his job having a boss to answer to if he deviated from the gameplan.

    This is the difference IMO. It is not playcalling at all. It’s game planning. You go back and look at 2015 and there was a major difference in the way Dirks offense attacked teams. There were a lot of differences between that team and the 2016-17 teams. The 2015 offense was not Dirks. His offense is what we have now……Given the choice I’ll take the 2015 offense and it’s not even close.

    Right now Dirk can hang his hat on a top 5 pass game. Pretty sure 2015 we had a top 5 total offense. Quite easy for me to see how this offense is going in a backwards direction.

  17. BigMacAttack Says:

    I sure wish Dot would learn how to block. He talks a good line though, so there’s that.

  18. LakeLand Says:


    It’s a tough challenge to wear two hats in the NFL. There’s too many distractions when you’re trying to multi-task. When you are glued in on one task, you can master it.

  19. LakeLand Says:

    Demar Dotson is one of the highest graded blockers in the NFL among Right Tackles.

  20. Gerald McRuud Says:

    Demar Dotson has started 74 games over the last 6 years at tackle, and made about $20 million in the process — and at age 32 has fended off all challengers to his starting position.

    But he needs to learn how to block. Ignorance.

  21. JimmyJack Says:

    I know it Lakeland. That’s why Dirks best decision really could be to give up playcalling. I think it’s a big part of the reason why the team looks so unprepared on game days. Short yardage play, redzone plays, one minute drills all look very sloppy to me…….I just don’t understand why these problems persist. It defientaly seems like our HC is overwhelming.

    Another thing that kills this team is clock management. Again, this year it was a complete abomination. While some of what I noticed took a bit of nitpicking we mismanaged the clock in most games. When you are an offensive team you have to maximize possessions, no exceptions. Bellichick is a master at this and every HC in the league should study how he consistently manilupates the clock in every game.

    Also, quit deferring kickoffs idiot. Our defense gives up a lead due to this in most games. It hasn’t worked for two years and and gameplan that doesn’t work needs to be changed. Start playing for the lead moron.

  22. BigMacAttack Says:

    Dotson sucks in pass protection and gets beat constantly. If you think he’s great, by all means keep him and enjoy the same results…..losing.

  23. Owlykat Says:

    Dotson’s forte has always been his pass blocking including 2017. Just check his stats in that department at PFF. Then compare his pass blocking to turnstyle Smith—It is his Achilles heel. That is why he keeps getting called for holding. But Licht and Koetter turn a blind eye to it because Licht does not want to be wrong on another player he picked. Especially after he was wrong on last year’s fifth pick who was too dumb to learn the plays, and Sefarian Jenkins—a wasted second round pick and then a wasted second and fourth pick to move up and take the worst placekicker in the NFL, etc. And his poor judgment on Free Agent signings is legendary. And we all know now how badly he has done on the trenches. He needs to get us a real first pick LT so Smith can move to LG and star for a change.