O.J. Howard Misused?

August 22nd, 2019

Misguided usage?

Bucs stud tight end O.J. Howard seems on the cusp of breaking out into one of the best players in the NFL. But to hear some, Howard’s career has been slowed not by injuries but by mismanagement.

Warren Sharp, who primarily brings a mathematical approach to NFL analysis that he uses for wagering. wrote in his 2019 Football Report that Howard had been “criminally misused” in his two Bucs seasons.

It appears Ali Bhanpuri of NFL.com agrees. In grading the 2017 NFL Draft two years afterwards, Bhanpuri gave Howard a “C+” — not so much for being hurt or putting up lower than expected numbers but for being misused. Bhanpuri is of the mind that will change under Bucco Bruce Arians.

It’s fair to question whether the mismatch nightmare was mismanaged by the previous Bucs regime, leading to his perplexing career per-game averages (2.5 catches/41.5 yards). You had better believe chunk-yardage king Bruce Arians will figure out a way to maximize a guy who’s 6-foot-6, 251 pounds and runs a 4.51 40.

Man, there are so many people piling on former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter it is starting to make Joe uncomfortable.

No, Koetter didn’t do a great job with the Bucs. He did have one winning season out of three, and he struggled to put together a run game when he wasn’t forced to by inept Lovie Smith. But man, Koetter did have that winning season, which for the Bucs is a helluva job. Tampa Bay has only had two since Chucky was jettisoned over 10 years ago.

Koetter did have the most yards passing in the NFL last season juggling a franchise quarterback who hit rock bottom and a vagabond career backup.

Time will only tell if Arians gets more out of Howard than Koetter did, but sheeze, pretty soon Joe is going to learn Koetter’s own mother thought he stunk up the joint.

27 Responses to “O.J. Howard Misused?”

  1. Magadude Says:

    There is always a scapegoat to some degree. There is always “the guy before” whom people thought did a great job and must be kept…only to see it change overnight sometimes. From presidents to lawn maintenance guys. No one gets a free ride, no matter what kind of job they did. I see it with companies all the time–the previous owner, the last CEO…always gets the blame…often justifiably, but usually there is plenty to go around when people look closer, more objectively. One day it is likely BA will take the same heat too. Many cannot even fathom that now. Yes, even he retires (again) before getting fired. Gruden took hits, and Dungy and McKay did too, and these are clearly the BEST coaches the Bucs have ever had.

  2. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Lets face it, we have a lot of players that can make plays as receivers and only one ball. But there are plenty of opportunities for OJ to excel this year, since we have
    lost both Hump and DJAX.
    Give OJ wide open lanes and watch him run!

  3. Earl Bedford Says:

    Well Joe, the passing yards were mainly because they were playing from behind in most games (except New Orleans and Philadelphia) I believe Barber would have had over 1,000 yards rushing last season. He ended with 871. Example: I remember a 33 yd run against Dallas, which would have put him over 900 yds, that was called back for holding against Donovan Smith! There were also a couple of 10 and 13 yd runs against the Bengals and Ravens that got called back as well. I digress. Anyway, I felt the same way about Howards misuse his first season as it seemed like all Koetter wanted to do was use him for blocking until near the end of the season when he got involved more and suddenly he got hurt. He is definitely a weapon and we look forward to him maximizing his potential this upcoming season!

  4. Todd Says:

    This year OJ will self-identify as a 6’6” 251 lb. monster TE who can run faster than almost all defensive backs. BA has broken the Koetter spell of OJ self-identifying as Ian Beckles.

    All’s good.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Only in Bucsville would anyone celebrate ONE winning 9-7 season out of THREE. And to think, it took Smitty’s defense leading the charge on a 5-game winning streak to pull it off. Yup, Dirk was a genius all-right. Well, except for those OTHER 5-11 finishes.

    Magadude & Bob … Y’all need to stop trying to bring logic to discussions like this. It dampens the impact of the beatings. This morning it was Koetter’s turn to be skewered. Smitty has already been roasted to ‘Well done, burn it up’ so he’s no fun anymore. Let Peter Piper get his kicks walking down his very own memory lane. He’ll find sufficient numbers of willing followers to make it worthwhile.

  6. Sport Says:

    DR- exactly right.

    Joe says ‘uncomfortable’. HAH!!!! No Sir, Uncomfortable is:

    Your Manziel crush
    Your pain in the ass long monikers – see Peter King articles
    America’s quarterback moniker
    Every podcast when you and Ira digress into sexual inuendo

    That Is Uncomfortable!

    Dirk being second guessed is the least uncomfortable thing published on this site. And I liked the guy.

    GO Bucs!

    in BA I Trust!

  7. Clw JB Says:

    Yeah, having Evans, DJax, Hump, Brate, Godwin had nothing to do with OJ’s lower than “expected” numbers

    Exit two of them, only 1 replaced -watch his targets go up…surprise!

  8. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Doubling his catches would only give him 5 per game…..think about that…..I don’t buy that we had so many other targets……2.5 catches per game sounds like he was misused.

  9. Swampbuc Says:

    I read the same analysis and the guy gave him a “B” but said the same things. Makes no difference, what matters is what’s ahead.

  10. 813bucboi Says:

    dirk misused many players….lol…smitty was no different….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  11. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Kobe Faker stated this 3 years ago

    3 years ago, Kobe Faker was verbally percecuted by the decieved Bucsfan mob

    3 years later JBF is finally acknowledging Kobes revelations?

    Kobe Faker is the chosen one”

    Kobe Faker

  12. mark2001 Says:

    MISMANAGEMENT…MISMANAGEMENT? Among the Koetter coaching staff? No…impossible. It reminds me of the movie clip where.Captain Louis Renault is collecting his gambling winnings, and says I’m shocked…shocked to find out that gambling is going on in here. The mismanagement was a common thread on the offensive and defensive sides of he organization. Just do some research..he made a “worst offensive coordinator” list while at Jacksonville. And you think a year long couch coach jumped off the sofa and got a world class O coordinator to jump on his ship?

  13. Pittsshore Says:

    Which team will have more wins this year? Bucs or Raiders?

  14. Pittsshore Says:

    ^^^vegas has them both at 6.5 wins for the 2019 season.

  15. Hodad Says:

    Leading the league in passing yards is so misleading. We lead the league because we were always playing catch up. Garbage passing yards is what they were. Playing against prevent defenses that had such a big lead they didn’t care to stop us till we reached the red zone, then we would settle for, or miss the field goal after they stopped us. Would’ve been better if we lead the league in rushing, and made the playoffs like the Ravens did. What a joke hanging your hat on the leading the league in passing yards, and finishing 5=11.

  16. PUGS&BUCS Says:

    The Bucs didn’t need a TE. They needed a RB and Dalvin Cook was on the board when they picked OJ Howard.

  17. 941bucsfan Says:

    Its only one football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez. Give OJ an average of 5 catches and 80yds and Godwins or evans number will drop. Then we will be saying they are misused.

  18. ben Says:

    Atlanta sure wanted bucs old coach back !

  19. tmaxcon Says:

    settled down on catch totals people your are forgetting this team DOES NOT HAVE A SINGLE NFL Tackle on the roster… te’s will be underused because they have to stay in and block every damn play to compensate for the minor league franchise once again neglecting the offensive line.

  20. Joe Says:

    Leading the league in passing yards is so misleading. We lead the league because we were always playing catch up.

    As Joe also replies to this line of thinking, when do you suggest a team should lay down and quit? Surrender and just run the ball up the middle to burn the clock? When the team is down 10 points, 14 points, 17 points? What’s the cut off so a team/player won’t get blamed for statistics when losing?

    Am confident folks would like to know the cutoff so they can leave the stadium and go home/turn the channel.

  21. Says:

    Avg 2 catches, 40 yards = busted coverages folks. The film don’t lie. On his long catches the man didn’t have a defender within 20 yards. Don’t get me wrong, he made some nice NFL plays in tight coverages, but his statistical outburst in yards has been suspect.

  22. stpetebucsfan Says:

    There is generally talk of “chemistry” when targets are underutilized or do not work out…see DJAX.

    JW does seem to have his favorites…Brate seems more trusted than OJ…but I could be hugely mistaken…it might ALL be the play calling. Personally I think it’s a large combination of factors. Chemistry is probably not high on my list but I do wonder why OJ has never seemed like a JW fave?

  23. Buccaroo Says:

    There’s only so many balls to go around. Had OJ garnered more attention then Evans, Djax, Godwin, Hump, and Brate would have seen less targets. Teams they use their TE’s almost exclusively are teams that lack quality targets in other positions.

  24. Rob Tanner Says:

    I spoke to Koetter’s mother this morning (if you know what I mean – oh la la) and she confirmed joes suspicion, she said he stunk up the Buccaneers last season. She even went ahead and said the prior year too. Koetter’s mother said “Yes my son stunk up the NFC South last year, but he also did the season before that”.

    Per my sources.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    There are only so many balls to go around but force feeding the ball to Djax was a bad strategy that took balls away from OJ and others. Maybe this new offense will draw up plays for those who provide the results. Rather then coddling egos.

    Jackson was a failure cause he didn’t know how to handle being the least effective receiver.

  26. Siege the Bay Says:

    So “inept Lovie Smith” gets a nickname, but Dirk Koetter gets a pass. Lovie’s been to a superbowl. Dirk is easily one of the dumbest head coaches I’ve ever seen, either him or Chip Kelly. Who knows, maybe the new guy in Arizona will take the cake.

  27. tmaxcon Says:

    Siege the Bay

    Inept is a very polite way to describe bad character lovie Smith and the family plans tenure in Tampa…. lovie easily worst coaching hire in franchise history. Lovie is just one of many of the failed coaches from dungy the clowns coachig shrub. Edwards failed twice lovie like his mentor Dungy the clown wasted a great defense built for them and how can we forget rod marinelli glorious 0-16…. everything about Dungy the clowns tenure in Tampa was failure.