Slow Down On Howard At WR

July 30th, 2019

More on Howard at WR.

There have been subtle hints in recent months that the Bucs could use freakish tight end O.J. Howard as a wide receiver.

Even Howard suggested he was working out some at wide receiver yesterday morning.

After practice Monday, Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians seemed to throw cold water on that idea (or at least make other teams think he’s putting the kibosh on it) when he was asked about Howard playing wideout.

Arians seemed to rule out Howard there but did admit Howard is working some in the slot, though Howard is in the infancy of learning slot routes.

“OJ at wide receiver? No, he’s a tight end,” Arians said. “He splits out. He ran an average route one time and it got broken up, but he’s learning. He’s learning what we’re looking for out there.”

Joe just thinks Howard as a slot receiver or a split is a mismatch so bad it would terrorize a linebacker or a nickel corner.

But it seems that’s down the road. Unless Arians is throwing up a smokescreen.

11 Responses to “Slow Down On Howard At WR”

  1. Didier Says:

    As long as he finishes the season.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Still trying to wrap my head around big guys like OJ, ME13 or Godwin playing slot. Folks forget that Humphries took a literal BEATING as a slot receiver. But Adam was kinda like a Timex watch … ‘Took a lickin and kept on tickin’ as they used to say. Yes he caught a lot of balls, but he paid a price for it too. Have a suspicion that the bigger guys (like OJ & ME13 especially?) would pay an even bigger price. And IF one cheap shot while they’re vulnerable after a quick catch costs them the rest of the season then it wouldn’t have been worth it IMO.

  3. Stanglassman Says:

    This was just a misunderstanding of terminology and a joke by Devin. White was clearly joking that O.J. runs more like a WR than a typical TE. The terminology in BAs system of ‘splitting out’ is common and not much different than a 3 Wr set with one in the slot. The Bucs were never considering moving OJ to WR.

  4. Bob in Valrico Says:

    He is mismatch where ever he is lined up . Plenty of extra chances to make plays with Hump and Djax gone.

  5. Magadude Says:

    Of course we’d expect a mismatch with OJ playing in the slot, but he hasn’t really seemed to have trouble getting open playing as a straight TE.

  6. Bob in Valrico Says:

    One advantage of the typical slot receiver is their ability to get to a window for a well thrown ball preferably between the waist and shoulders and out in front of them. This at least gives them a chance to protect themselves and make a play
    and limits tipped balls into the hands of defenders.

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    Let’s not canonize Howard just yet. He has not even played a full season, and as Coach Arians said, “[h]e ran an average route one time and it got broken up . . ..”

    It is only a matter of time before somebody comes up with a cute hybrid name for what Howard does, which I guarantee will be nauseating, hardly accurate and overused. Regular readers, what happens to you when you read the words “America’s Quarterback?” Do you smile and think, “yeah, that’s right!” or do you think, “Dear Lord, can’t this man just accept that he stakehorsed the wrong guy for the moniker?”

    No one should get overly enthused about one player. Fitz did admirably for 3 games last year when Jameis was on the pine. Somebody put those fake beards on the market, and the next thing you know, the stadium was as full of beards as it was bags in the 2-14 era of Leeman Bennett.

    Howard is only as good as his health, the time Jameis has to throw (and his accuracy), the diversion caused by other receivers, and the plays called by the OC. Even then, does it matter if he leads the league and the Bucs go 6-10?

    For years, people have talked about Kwon, Lavonte and McCoy as if this was a great defense. so, someone made a lot of tackles or a Pro Bowl after the first five guys at that positions said “Nah, I’d rather sit in my house than fly to Hawaii or God-forbid, Orlando.”

    As long as this team is mired in less-than-mediocrity, there should be no sacred cows. To hear Jameis still referred to as “America’s Quarterback” is bad enough. Let’s not turn Howard into a punchline, too.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Bob … I hope you’re right because if Jameis ‘stretches him out’ like he’s been known to do in some instances then OJ will get killed. Defenses will be looking for opportunities to play head-hunter in OJ’s case IMO, only they’ll be going for the legs. OJ’s the type of TE who NEEDS to be hit in stride so he can use his size & speed to take it to the house. Tackling him when he’s got up a full head of steam must be a nightmare for CBs & even Safeties.

  9. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Never intended to suggest OJ should be in the slot. I am in favor a quicker
    more elusive slot receiver. You might find one over 6 foot. But I personally like the smaller quicker ones if we can find one. One concern I have Jameis sometimes
    pushes the limits and will throw a higher pass to taller receivers. Like you , I don’t want to see our receivers left open to injury or have tipped balls that fall in defenders hands.

    As an example, one of the best catches I ever saw Evans make was a pass over the middle that Evans had to reach up and snare at full speed over his head.
    His arms were fully extended so that pass was at least 8 and half foot in the air. Not only is this dangerous to the receiver but high passes are the vulnerable to INT’s.
    to interceptions.

  10. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Why not try Bobo in the slot, he’s having a good camp . This could be a very good way to get him on field and take advantage of the chemistry between
    Jameis and his pal Bobo.
    INT’s must have been on my brain, since I managed to say it two ways in my previous post.

  11. BucDan Says:

    BA tells it like it is. OJ runs crappy routes. Can’t have every touch be on slip-routes from misdirection. Last year he had the slip-route, the seam, and the post/corner.

    We already know the guy is strong as hell and can block. Somebody needs to have the Vita Vea convo with him and have him realize the he has the potential and current physicality to dominate in the league.