Using O.J. Howard

June 30th, 2019

Prediction from

Back when Joe was a true football junkie in high school and college and Joe couldn’t read about and watch enough football, Joe used to rail to the heavens that Kellen Winslow (the good one) was not a true Chargers tight end but often a slot receiver the way Don Coryell lined him up.

Well, fast forward from the 1980’s and Adam Rank of seems to think Bucco Bruce Arians just may use tight end O.J. Howard the same way. It’s all in Rank’s Bucs preview of the 2019 season.

2019 breakout star: O.J. Howard, tight end. Coach Arians has said in the past that his tight ends are primarily used to block, and his receivers will catch the ball. Which is great, until you have a tight end like Howard, and then your attitude is certainly going to change. It’s like how you think fanny packs look ridiculous. And then you use one, and you’re like, “This might be the greatest invention of my generation. Why did I besmirch these things for so long?” And remember, Larry Fitzgerald had his greatest success with Arians when he was kicked into the slot. Howard has a lot of similarities, and if Howard is used in the slot, he could be on the verge of a breakout. So keep an eye on this development as we head into training camp during the summer.

First, Joe agrees with Rank that Arians’ history with tight ends doesn’t mean he is locked in stone to ignore them. Joe remembers Arians using Heath Miller in Pittsburgh quite often and Miller was good.

Now this is fascinating to Joe that Rank thinks Howard could be used in the slot. It sort of adds up with Cam Brate already on the roster. Arians has stated he will start Chris Godwin at slot and seemed to indicate he would target Godwin often.

So Joe isn’t sure how often Howard can or will be used as a slot receiver but Joe’s going to guess that would be a frightening mismatch for a linebacker or a safety.

16 Responses to “Using O.J. Howard”

  1. Cobraboy Says:

    It doesn’t matter where Howard lines up: he is a beastly mis-match.

    I can see Howard in the slot in 4-wide packages.

  2. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    If he can simply stay healthy, he’s going to dominate.

  3. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Whatever it takes to get this guy the ball I am in favor of.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Agree…..either get him the ball or make the opposing defenses think he’s getting the ball….
    “Omaha, Omaha…..OJ’s getting the ball, Hut one, Hut two…..”

  5. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    We have had excellent WRs and TEs the whole time Jameis has been in town

  6. SOEbuc Says:

    God could only hope he gets put in the slot on some plays. Godwin is a good downfield blocker and OJ is our #2 RT.

  7. Magadude Says:

    OJ’s historically pretty good in downfield blocking, but notsomuch with pass protection…so if they plan on holding him back to protect Winston, hope he’s getting coaches up. He is good at causing mismatches so it would be great to see him used more often down field–just hope he stays healthy, and hope they hang on to Brate too.

  8. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Maga, agree and with the bucs OL looking so bad im guessing OJ will be asked to block more this year on the edge because Arians wants to run the ball & help jameis and the defense out

  9. ModHairKen Says:

    Howard is no fanny pack.

  10. Bucnjim Says:

    If you can get all 4 on the field that’s quite a offensive lineup. Evens & Godwin WR’s OJ Howard 3rd Wr slot Brate TE. Single back or empty backfield. This is a fantastic red zone formation.

  11. BigHog Says:

    All of the above looks great and sounds good …but if this O/Line don’t get its ack together, it’s all for not!! Go Bucs Go Shuy!

  12. JP_09 Says:

    If BA can’t find a way to utilize O.J. then he is not the coach most of us believe he is. I don’t see this being a problem, O.J. will have 750+ yards and 8+ TD’s

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I hope Adam Rank is right, OJ is special and needs to be used properly.

    I gotta say I’ve been enjoying the stuff he’s been writing lately too.
    Very insightful and entertaining reading.

  14. Jean Lafitte Says:

    He’s in the slot in 2 TE sets. I can see Arians using Brate and Howard together. Especially when inside the redzone and short yardage plays.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bucnjim: How about Evans & Perriman wide, and Godwin & Howard in the slots?

    I’m not sold with Perrimen, but DC’s have to respect his speed.

  16. lowercaseg Says:

    OJ is our fanny pack