So, Which Is It?

May 8th, 2018

The primates cannot decide.

It seems Bucs tight end O.J. Howard has the well-trained orangutans of the PFF tribe confused.

On one hand, they believe the Bucs would be better off with Curly Howard at tight end. On the other hand, the PFF tribe is of the mind Howard is a budding superstar.

Back in January, comedy ensued that would make even Curly nyuck, nyuck, nyuck his way through a winter afternoon. Mark Chichester, typing for the PFF tribe, claimed no tight end in the NFL had a higher passer rating when targeted than Howard.

Days later, the PFF tribe tried to convince innocent souls that Howard graded out as the absolute worst first round pick of 2017, including Bengals wide receiver John Ross who was as close to a non-factor as any player could be.

Now it seems the PFF tribe has jumped on the other side of the fence and claims Howard was one of the most dangerous tight ends weapons among all rookies.

So which is it? Is Howard a budding superstar or is he is colossal waste?

Joe is of the mind Howard has been beautifully developed by Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. This guy is going to be a stud.

39 Responses to “So, Which Is It?”

  1. Bob in Valrico Says:

    The upside on OJ is Huge! He blocks ,runs like a wide receiver,and creates mismatches.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “Joe is of the mind Howard has been beautifully developed by Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. This guy is going to be a stud.” Disagree with your first ‘bottom line’ Joe, but totally agree with your second. In most games Koetter wasted OJ’s receiving talents. OJ was hurt early in the 14th game of the season (against the Falcons) & didn’t play for the rest of the season. In the 13 games prior he had 595 snaps on offense & was thrown to a grand total of only 38 times (he caught 25 of those BTW for 66% reception rate).

    But he was only ‘featured’ in TWO games: against the Bills (6 targets, 6 receptions) & Lions (6 targets, 4 receptions). Take away those 12 targets in those 2 games from the 13 full games he played in, and he was targeted 26 times in 583 snaps … less than 5% of the time he was on the field. IOW, Koetter used him as a BLOCKER almost exclusively, instead of as a weapon to stretch the field & to keep defenders from sliding up. Yes, OJ will be a stud TE, but not until Koetter figures out how to best use him as a real weapon.

  3. Kalind Says:

    Lol lol worse than Ross. Hahahahahaha. Good way to wake up, Joe. PFF with the jokes.

  4. Phil Says:

    I think it’s really hard to judge draft picks after one season. Sure you would like to see the guys you just drafted to come in and kick @$$ day one but it usually take a couple of years for them to really make an impact. I thought Howard did some really good things in his first year but I believe he can be way better in the years to come. Hopefully Koetter will be able to put him in position to make a larger impact this year.

  5. HowToSpellRhonde Says:

    For a second, I thought I was reading a political column about our often confused and mixed-signal commander in chief. There’s even a picture.

  6. Buc4life Says:

    Howard is going to be one of the best mismatches in the league. The good problem we have is with all our weapons it’s going to be hard for a defense to key on him. There is no reason we should not have a top 3 scoring and yardage offense in the league. We have homerun scoring threats at every specialty position. It’s up to Koetter to put our players in positions to succeed.

  7. Bird Says:

    I’d like to see some pictures of these guys

    I’m sure it’s –

    “Nerd alert “

  8. Buc believer Says:

    @Howtospellrhonde…. you better be careful there are a lot of brothers who will get mad at you and call you racist for referring to Barry O as an orangutan.

  9. Bird Says:

    If ROJO is the guy we hope he will be and catapults run game?

    Good luck picking your poison on which weapon to try and stop. It All comes down to #3 though.

    I think he has most consistent year as a Buc. Just sucks we have 4th toughest schedule that starts out saints , eagles , steelers cause that could either be great for bucs (if they win a few against best competition) or bad if continue losing culture if start 0-3. Think they have enough leaders now to get them by either way.

  10. Grt1 Says:

    I’m tired of hearing about the “tough schedule” you want to be a playoff team, then you have to beat playoff teams. We don’t have the luxury of playing in the AFC south.

  11. RustyRhinos Says:

    Buc4Life, “Koetter putting players in position to succeed” is that being open by 3-5 yards deep and having the ball 3′ above players head, or short into the DB’s hands… Or how about wide open underneath and the play goes into triple coverage not the wide open receiver. This type of player positioning?

  12. Buc4life Says:

    No it’s calling the right plays and not being predictable. Letter should know what our players do best and don’t always put Name is in 5-7 yard drop back or DJAX running deep. Add slant, double move rub patterns to get our WRs moving in space. Don’t throw the blame on Jameis because he is the best we’ve had as a franchise QB.

  13. German Buc Says:

    Rusty, what a beautiful time it mst have been, when you played QB in the NFL. Ahhh, the glory days… *sarcasm off

  14. Wausa Says:

    I have to say that bipolar analysis by PFF makes no sense,

    Regardless, Joe repeatedly says NFL coaches do not pay any attention to PFF. However that is not true. I remember the Bucs current defensive coordinator specifically reference PFF’s high rating of one of his players in a press conference last year and I am confident one of the joe’s must have attended.

    My guess is coaches reference it when is something positive and discount it if its something negative.

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Joe is of the mind Howard has been beautifully developed by Bucs coach Dirk Koetter.”

    I’m a Koetter fan, but to say he has developed OJ Howard is a stretch. He hasn’t had time to do any developing after only 1 year, not to mention he spends what little time has to spare with the QBs.

    If anyone deserves credt, its the tightends coach, who also developed Brate.

  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    By the same token, it’s hard to judge a player to be a bust after one bad year, but that’s the most common thing Bucs fans do. #VHIII

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    @Defense Rules

    About Howard being under utilized last year, you forget he was a rookie. As much as fans like to think rookie can immediately have an impact, they have an acclamation period.

    The best way to get them through that period is to ease them into it during their first year.

    We don’t know the inside story on how quickly he learned the offense or adjusted. You might feel he could have been used more and in better ways, and I think over time you are right, but he was a luxury pick. With Brate around, the Bucs were able to take their time with Howard. Also, with Winston playing injured, they may have dummied things down a bit.

    I think this year you will see more of what you want.

  18. DBAG56 Says:

    Poor OJ. Drafted this guy too high to be a blocking tight end. What team employs a successful offense with great 2 TEs in play? Like NONE. Wasted pick unless they they were going to replace Brate, but they resigned him so OJ just going to be a trick play/blocking TE?

  19. Says:

    Watch the FILM. Half of the guy’s yards and 2 of his touchdowns were on blown coverages. Not coverages where he did a little shake and bake, or where we schemed the defense into a bog – just simple, blown coverages, guys on the wrong page, guys falling down. Watch the film. It may have been more than half his yards on 3 big-gainers with no defensive player within miles.
    He is a good player. Looks like he can be a starting TE in this league for years to come. But aside from 3 busted coverages, the guy was largely inconsequential in an inconsequential season for the Bucs. Probably not what we needed with our first pick.
    Here’s to hoping the kid has continued success. If Fitzy is on the field, we may see the TD totals go up… legitimately this time!
    GO BUCS!!!!

  20. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Would like to see him in the flat / on screens more due to his speed and ability to get upfield. High % success plays that help the QB/everyone else.

    In the red zone get him on a LB and have him running crossing / out routes and that should be easy $ TD. Red zone offense should primarily feature ME/Howard/Brate/Godwin due to their size and mismatch ability. Put Djax in the slot if you really want to run 3 WR sets there.

  21. Not there yet Says:

    He wasn’t developed he was underutilized and the offense was bad in the redzone because of it. He was an accomplished blocker and a good route runner coming out so exactly what did they develop besides his knowledge of the playbook. Fyi coaches don’t make players study film so stop giving coaches credit for a player being talented

  22. mark2001 Says:

    Ahh Buc Believers…. nice way to prove wrong all those that believe Tampa is filled with swamp dweller racist stooge Foooootball fans.

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    And as others alluded to I will be shocked if Howard isn’t targeted 2X as much or more this year. It’s super rare to ever see a rookie TE targeted often no matter how high they’re drafted.

  24. Pickgrin Says:

    Man that was fortunate for the Bucs that OJ Howard fell all the way to #19.

    Koetter damn well better start taking full advantage of having the best TE combo in the league this year.

    I want to see 2 TE sets more than 50% of all offensive plays this year. Our “base” offense so to speak.

    This forces Defenses to frequently play THEIR base vs this alignment and sets our offense up for all manner of mismatches. It also keeps the defense guessing constantly as to whether a run or pass play is upcoming when both TEs are excellent receiving options and can block as well.

  25. Buc believer Says:

    Mark2001 that is the problem with society now. One group can say whatever they want about another but if the offended group responds then they are labeled as racist bigoted homo phobes who have no tolerance. When in reality it is those who are throwing out the accusations that are the real racists.

  26. Joe Says:

    bipolar analysis

    Good one!

  27. BucTrooper Says:

    “Joe is of the mind Howard has been beautifully developed by Bucs coach Dirk Koetter. This guy is going to be a stud.”

    Joe also said Jonathan Banks was on the “cusp of greatness” so there’s that……

  28. unbelievable Says:

    Some it’s a pretty site wide consensus that PFF is garbage, why do we even bother discussing the crap they put out?

    OJ is a straight stud and it was a gift he fell to us. Kid will be tearing up defensive for the next 10 years. Mark it!

  29. unbelievable Says:

    *Since it’s ^

    *tearing up defenses for the next 10 years

    Damn autocorrect lol

  30. Frank Pillow Says:

    Howard is an enormous talent and he certainly flashed last year. His role in the passing game is going to grow as he gets more precise at running routes at the NFL level.

  31. mark2001 Says:

    Believer…you said nothing but moronic gobbledygook…. I didn’t affirm a racist statement. Your response was only a logical defense but in the mind of someone duped into accepting convoluted and pathetic rational for their beliefs. And how can you really know? Simply sent that as a tweet to DB, Warren, ME, Jameis, or most of the current Bucs players with your comment….better still, say it to them face to face…and see how they take it.

  32. mark2001 Says:

    Believer…further…using your reasoning, an average NFL player or fan calling someone a great player must make them a greater player than the person they are speaking about..or at least a great one, as they couldn’t recognize a great player if they weren’t great themselves. And that is ridiculous. Just substitute the word “racist” for “great player” and that is your logical position.

  33. Buccernutter Says:

    More ignorant commentary from this fan base. OJ had a top 5 rookie season (#3 I believe). Yes some of his stats were padded because of busted coverage but so did some of the others listed highly such as gronk.

    He was underutilized? Um ya that’s more than 90% or rookie seasons. There’s an acclimation period. What do u expect? Him to command more targets from djax, evans, brate and he wasn’t even proven?

    Now for the guy that said he’s a wasted pick…..well…. nevermind. You’re an idiot.

  34. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    It’s simple Joe. The PFF tribe thinks that OJ Howard is being misused. The numbers reflect that too. I think we should incorporate a jumbo TE formation for the red zone to get our big targets( Evans,Brate, and Howard) so Jameis will have some extra protection and to keep defenses extremely honest which is the reason we have been ineffective on red zone attempts because we were in sets that tipped our playcaling down there not to mention the running game which I feel was also our killer because D. Martin was the back but when we put Barber in at the red zone he scored TDs. We don’t need D. Jax in the red zone though that’s why I feel we should the size of our TEs,WR, and RB. We don’t need ROJO in the red zone either just Barber with Brate, Evans, Howard, a swing lineman as a TE3( preferably Dotson’s new primary role instead of starting full time at RT) and a full back.

  35. JimmyJack Says:

    Big year for O.J. He probably gets more throws and more snaps.

    Hope he’s working hard, he has a great opportunity in front of him.

  36. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Considering the context of a cursed season, injured QB, 5-11 OJ’s rookie season went as well as can be expected.

    I look for improvement this year but my biggest fear for a lot of these guys is the fact there is only ONE football. How will #3 and Koetter make sure the touches are spread by merit and not friendship? How will they keep everybody happy.

    How many touches does ME13 get? DJAX? OJ? Brate? Godwin? Hump? Ronald?
    Barber? We have a lot of talent to use effectively and to keep happy.

    There is only ONE safe way to keep folks happy. JUST WIN BABY!!!!

  37. unbelievable Says:

    Apparently buc believer doesn’t understand what the word “current” president means…


  38. OneBucPerson Says:

    PFF seem to be bipolar is there analysis of players.

  39. SOEbuc Says:

    PFF is BS. You know that Joe.