Beckles: O.J. Howard Is “Soft”

October 15th, 2019

This play is under Ian Beckles’ skin

If you ask former Buccaneers guard Ian Beckles about O.J. Howard, he will point to Howard’s big play in Sunday’s game against Carolina and say it’s evidence Howard is “soft.”

As seen in the All-22 film shot above, Howard is running at the tail end of what was his 30-yard catch and run screen play. Beckles was in disbelief by the finish. Howard was shoved out of bounds at the 5 yard line.

“Big ass O.J. Howard catches a screen pass and how did it end up? He ran out of bounds,” Beckles said on his In The Trenches podcast. Bro, you are too big to run out of bounds. Once you get the ball 20 yards down field it ain’t nothing but DBs now. You are 6-6, 260 pounds, rock hard and chiseled. Go put your hand in somebody’s face and run over the son of a bitch. And make a name for yourself. Don’t run out of bounds. That’s soft to me.”

Beckles had more darts for Howard, saying he only “looks fantastic in his uniform” while Panthers tight end Greg Olson is busting his ass all over the field.

Yes, Beckles called Howard a “bust,” and while he likes fellow tight end Cameron Brate, Beckles thinks he’s highly overpaid. On Howard, Beckles was unsure whether he should assign some of the blame to Byron Leftwich and Jameis Winston, in addition to general manager Jason Licht.

For clarification, it was defensive lineman Mario Addison (No. 97) chasing down Howard and knocked him out of bounds. Still, Joe understands what Beckles was saying about the play above. Howard didn’t attack the goal line at the end of the play and appeared to want no part of No. 33, Panthers safety Tre Boston.

80 Responses to “Beckles: O.J. Howard Is “Soft””

  1. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Thank God Licht is our GM selecting these guys.

  2. lowercaseg Says:

    Trade him while the OJ is still ripe

  3. Larry Says:

    He is definitely NOT LIVING UP TO THE HYPE FROM LAST YEAR!!! Cameron brate much better option at this point.

  4. JoeFromWisco Says:

    Honestly, what bothers me more is the way he’s carrying the ball. To me that shows poor coaching as well. It’s in the right hand (closest to the sideline) but if someone came up from behind and tackled him that thing is out. It’s tough living in Packers country cheering for the Bucs. It’s like they take one step forward and two steps back. You beat the Rams in LA then crap the bed against the Saints and Panthers. I just don’t get it. Give me something to brag about for once!

  5. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Good thing our GM will not trade him to a team willing to give up quite a bit of capital for him. it’s not like we have a bunch of glaring holes that need to be filled. god isn’t it great being a fan of this team.

  6. jaboooooo Says:

    who else does ian beckles NOT like?

  7. 813bucboi Says:


    JW is a bust(2015)….
    VHG is a bust…(2016)
    OJ is a bust…(2017)


    GO BUCS!!!!!

  8. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Call a little B S on ole Canadian bacon, you do not make it through a nick saban practice by being soft. Perhaps being in Tampa and hopefully its not true but south tampa eats young people up quickly; see a few from the past 3-5 years. I will state that leftwich is an inexperienced OC and has ZERO clue or was not told that there are different spots for the TE to line up rather than next to the OT. He had 44 and barber out wide against sherman when you could line up a 6-6 pass catching freak……and also the bucs should have drafted dalvin cook….but there is always jason licht

  9. Cgmaster27 Says:

    I also dont like how hes holding that ball out there like a loaf of bread. Theres a lot not to like about oj right now unfortunately. The dude doesnt seem like he has the fire for the game. He should’ve bull dozed those dudes at the 5 yard line.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hard for me to believe any player from Alabama is soft……you could make arguments that ME13 is soft because he seems to head for the sidelines quite often….
    OJ was injured on plays like this two years running……I can’t really blame him for going out of bounds on that play.

  11. BA Redzone Says:

    Still dreaming about impact Dalvin Cook could have made in this offense vs. OJ Howard. GM Licht knows best though (sarcasm).

  12. dmatt Says:

    I absolutely agree with Beckles 100%. Howard is soft as tissue. He cares more about his physique than performance. I’ve notice previously that he’s soft at blocking and does not play true grit football with a will to make a play. I’ve watch Greg Olsen n the man will take a bullet for his team. Even NYG tightend Evan Engram plays hard on each play. Please activate Tanner Hudson because the likes of Howard will not go all out for this team. He had the chance to score on that play.

  13. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I can’t figure out the offense. Last year in Koetter offense, he was a beast and now he’s invisible. I think we should go back to keeping the backs into block. If Bowles can figure out the defense and Jameis can stop turning the ball over we can get back in this.

  14. H8JWLVEBUCS Says:


  15. Buccernutter Says:

    The issue with this analysis is that yes he has struggled this year. But OJ has been average or great the other years.

    I think we all know the TEs aren’t great in this scheme. It’s a shame and i hope we can get it fixed.

    If we trade OJ he will be a top 3 te by the end of the season. Leftwich is underperforming. So it bowles.

    SMH I just don’t get how everything is always a let down with this team. Oh well still a bucs fan and will back them til i die.

  16. Lamarcus Says:

    That was OJ Howard’s biggest draft concern…… TIMID. It’s why he fumbles and gets alligator arms when catching near defenders and he will drop it. Overrated

  17. Cgmaster27 Says:

    @H8 yeah mike looked real pissed when he dropped a 70 yard td. And just because you capitalized your words, doesnt mean you know any more than my dog sitting next to me. Torll elsewhere

  18. D-Rome Says:

    I won’t call OJ Howard soft, but I agree with Beckles for that particular play. That was a weak effort on Howard’s part. Mike Glennon-esque. For starters, why is he holding on to the ball like that? Secondly, he had an opportunity to score a TD there but runs out of bounds.

  19. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    So looking back on the 2017 NFL Draft.

    Are we now saying that TE Evan Engram is a better prospect then TE O.J. Howard?


  20. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I think I’d run a 2 tight end set all game. Send Howard and Brate out with Godwin and Evans. That’s 4 great receivers. I don’t know how any defense can cover that.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    LOL at calling him a bust for that play. VH3 and Jameis on the other hand? That’s a different story.

    BTW, @813 – here’s those stats you asked about yesterday for VH3 compared to Carlton Davis (who has only 1 year of experience, and was drafted at the end of the 2nd round vs. #11 overall):

    Receptions allowed:
    VH3 – 5.6/g (28 total) vs. 4.2/g (21 total) for CD
    So only 33% more receptions allowed from our 1st rounder

    Yards allowed:
    VH3 – 86.4/g (432 total) vs. 49/g (245 total) for CD
    So he’s only averaging giving up 75% more yards per game compared to Davis

    Yards allowed per reception:
    VH3 – 15.4 (ranked 64th in the league) vs. 11.7 for CD (ranked 11th)
    So he’s only averaging giving up 30% more yards per reception compared to Davis

    TDs allowed:
    VH3 – 3 TDs (ranked #65) vs. 0 TDs for Davis (tied for #1)

    But yeah, they both only have 2 passes defended this season, so they’re totally the same caliber of player.

    Looks like another 5 years of rebuilding for this team! Maybe 10 if Licht is still at the helm.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    I don’t understand why so many can’t see that there’s something drastically wrong here. It’s NOT just OJ … it’s EVERYONE except Chris Godwin.

    o Mike Evans: catch percentage is now down to 49.1% & he’s on-track to get 72 catches this season. He finished last year at 62.3% & 86 catches.
    o Chris Godwin: catch percentage is now up to 78.2% & he’s on-track to get 115 catches this season. He finished last year at 62.1% & 59 catches.
    o OJ Howard: catch percentage is now at 72.2% & he’s on-track to get 35 catches this season. He finished last year at 70.8% & 34 catches.
    o Cam Brate: catch percentage is now up to 85.7% & he’s on-track to get 32 catches this season. He finished last year at 61.2% & 30 catches.

    In other words, OJ & Cam are pretty much on-track to do almost exactly the same this year as they did last year. Chris Godwin’s WAY AHEAD of his last year’s pace, while ME13 is well behind. And yet TOGETHER they’re on-pace with last year.

    The problem is what the rest of the receivers AREN’T PROVIDING. Humphries & DJax together caught 117 passes last year. This year, their ‘replacements’ (Miller & Perriman & Bobo) have only caught 9 passes thus far AMONG ALL 3 OF THEM, and they’re on-track to catch 24 by the end of the season. That’s close to 100 catches LESS than just Humphries & DJax had last year.

    Worse yet, Miller, Perriman & Wilson have been targeted 33 times (many of those deep), but have only caught NINE of those. That’s a COMBINED CATCH PERCENTAGE of 27%. And the grand TOTAL of yards all 3 have gained is 90. Yup, 10 yards per catch average. None of the 3 of them deserve to be on the Bucs IMO.

    So let’s stop fingering OJ & Cam and start focusing on the REAL problem: 3 wasted slots in our receiving corps. I’d dump all 3 right now personally and replace them with someone; anyone. Start using OJ & Cam more in as receivers in various formations. Wouldn’t hesitate to use Tanner Hudson either; and yes, Anthony Auclair (he caught 7-out-of-8 last year but hasn’t even been targeted this year.

    And oh ya, I’d definitely be holding our Wide Receivers coach, Kevin Garver, and our Tight Ends coach, Rick Christophel, a LOT more ACCOUNTABLE than they have been if I were BA. I’d also be mentoring the he11 out of our baby OC, Byron Leftwich … or replacing him.

  23. ManzielMadness Says:

    Not sure what’s worse, the lack of talent on the team or the fragile mentality of this team…

  24. unbelievable Says:

    @DR – I’ve been saying all week how all those targets for Miller, Perriman and Wilson have been a complete WASTE.

    Seems like Leftwich / BA are stuck in the mindset that TEs only block and only receivers go out for catches (well they did send our RBs out on some routes in week 1, but that didn’t go so well)…

    Agreed completely on the TE/WR coaches… Godwin is the only one who has taken a step forward. The rest seem to be running worse routes and are struggling to catch balls, even when they hit them right in the hands.

  25. unbelievable Says:

    Also Brate was injured last year which I believe was a big part why he had way less targets.

    This year he’s just barely on the field, even though he’s healthy and being paid good money.

    Howard, Brate, Auclar and Hudson > Wilson, Miller, Perriman
    and it’s not even close imo.

  26. Coburn Says:

    Yeah the end of that play bothered me as well. Was expecting at least he’d leave his feet and stretch for end zone or something or as mentioned lower the shoulder.. something… and Yeah never understand how professionals can hold the ball like that. I grew up in a small towm in Canada where much to my chagrin there was no football team. However, even th rowing together games at lunch, myself and others knew to tuck thr ball in tight after catching it to run upfield.. it’s a very natural thing even for people who hve received no coaching…

  27. ManzielMadness Says:

    What I’m curious about is… will BA stay on to develop a rookie QB (or sign a vet) if we don’t resign JW or will we clean house and gut the team??? Id love to see Licht go but I’m not ready to look for a new HC for a second straight year.

  28. Snook Says:

    I’ve already said it not that long ago. Howard is the new McCoy. Soft. He even took up the ice cream handing out duties at training camp.

    Should’ve drafted Dalvin.

  29. nick Says:

    I agree. Jimmie Giles, Mike Ditka among others would laugh at that

  30. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    ou should write an article on the few Bucs players who ARENT soft.

  31. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I think that’s the thing with those numbers on targets. Both OJ and Brate were hurt or out a lot last season, so those numbers would be a lot higher for the TE involvement.

  32. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    but your point about bobo and miller compared to humphrey and djax are right on.

  33. The Coroner Says:

    An insider at One Buc Place told me that OJ Howard might be on the trading block for a DB- Patrick Peterson or Jalen Ramsey during this bye week.
    I am personally good with That. Trade JPP for a pick and use his money to pay which ever DB you got.

  34. D-Rome Says:

    An insider at One Buc Place told me

    Uh huh…

  35. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    man FSU homers you right. If we just drafted all FSU players your boy jameis winston would be a first team all pro every year. guys like Ndog and DB55 would be proven right. if we do nothing but trade specifically for FSU players this team would have won 2 super bowls minimum.

  36. fernando diaz Says:

    Ian Beckles was sooo hardcore !!!! LMAO stop bad game for everyone get over it still work to do.

  37. SB Says:

    I just wish his hands were soft.

  38. NPRSageBoy Says:

    This is a team of busts: VH3, JayMiss, Howard, MJ Stewart, White; all #1 busts by Licht.

    Team is a dumpster fire raging out of control.

    Let it burn!

  39. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    >Devin White has only played 2 full games
    >Rookie coming off an MCL injury is a bust

    man this fanbase I swear

  40. Thisisouryear!!! Says:

    I thought White looked crazy fast on a couple of plays last week. I was pretty excited about him. At least one of the drops by Howard Jameis threw 90mph for a 5 yard pass and it was high. I still think there is a lot of talent on this team.

  41. zzbuc Says:

    Why don´t you shut up Beckles, the only thing that comes out of your mouth is negativity……You are nothing but moronic…
    How can you even say that?
    He played great last year, and this one hes is constantly blocking, with very few targets, and the few he had he delivered.
    You can´t say his soft….the only thing soft in here Beckles is your brain, if you have one…

  42. Bucamania Says:

    OJ has been an enigma this year. His lack of targets might be lowering his testosterone.

  43. 813bucboi Says:


    i didnt call him a bust for that play…..

    i just listed 3 1st round pick that folks seem/know that are bust….

    everyone thinks VHG is a bust…..
    everyone except for fsu fans know JW is a bust….
    some including beckles think OJ is a bust…..

    go watch CHEERS and leave the football talk to the BIG BOYS!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  44. Frank Pillow Says:

    I had to chose to throw to ball to OJ or Cam -right here, right now-and asked one of them to make a play, who do you think would come down with the football? To me, Brate is a better all around receiving option than OJ at this point. Neither are great at the point of attack. Both are devalued in this system. But Brate has never been soft. Never-ever. Sure, he’s not as athletic, but he’s very savvy and 100% performed his way into an extension, earned it.

    OJ looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane and is a guy who, seemingly, doesn’t LOOOOOOVE football.

  45. Bucfan33 Says:

    Bo bo got cut

  46. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I usually don’t disparage other posters or call names because everyone is entitled to their opinion….but.

    To call Devin White a bust at this point is beyond moronic.

  47. unbelievable Says:

    Brate might have better hands, but OJ still has far more upside (faster, taller, can actually block). No doubt it my mind that a modern offensive coach would be wreaking havoc on the league with the schemes they would draw up for those 2.

    And Devin White has played almost 2 games.

    lol at these “fans” calling either of these guys busts at this point. (And FTR I did not want us to draft White, but it’s been 2 games. Ridiculous to try to judge him!)

    meanwhile poor 813 still can’t accept that VH3 is garbage, despite every statistical number showing he is (plus ya know, just using your eyeballs and watching him attempt to play cornerback).

    “everyone thinks VHG is a bust”… no, everyone KNOWS he’s a bust (except you).

  48. Allbuccedup Says:

    Howard is overrated hes big thats it hes got average hands and speed.

  49. JGhoti86 Says:

    He’s had issues catching the ball cleanly since his Alabama days. Not a good sign when you’re still struggling with that aspect of your game still after a couple years in the NFL already, and playing the majority of that time.

    Maybe we should have Todd McNair diagnose and coach him up with his catching and technique. He seems to have cured RoJo’s similar issues in just one offseason, never mind the couple of full years (and offseason) experience that OJ has already had. The dude is so super gifted and talented, but if you can’t catch as a receiver, it’s not gonna go well.

    Rootin’ for him to turn this awful play around (and yes the coaches and OC are deserving of blame as well), but it’s not looking good as of right now, with the type of issues he’s having.

  50. Bucnjim Says:

    Maybe a little off topic but fans really need to know the difference between bad play calling and bad execution. When two of your three WRs are running wide open and you choose the one double covered that’s bad execution. When you have the perfect play called and your lineman is off sides AGAIN that’s bad execution. (See Ronald Jones twice the same game) when your TE is open down the middle but the throw is too hard when it should have been a touch pass over the trailing defender that’s bad execution. If you remember this started in the preseason when several guys are WIDE open on our first team offense and the ball was drastically overthrown.

  51. ChanEpic Says:

    a BUST?!?! That’s a ridiculous thing to say at this point of his career.

  52. SCBucsFan Says:

    Feel sorry for Beckles. Makes his living by saying how bad his former team is. Too bad they give him so much material.

  53. NO FEAR... Says:


  54. Bucnjim Says:

    What I’d really like to know is the starting field position for each team. Easier to get your TE involved as you get close to the red zone or on your opponents side of the field. Also when your team is -5 in the turnover battle you have a 1.333% chance of winning the game so good luck using anything but the toilet.

  55. Ben real Says:

    Meanwhile ravens trade for Marcus peters… we have a dumb front office

  56. soggy Says:

    bobo and bond cut

  57. Lamarcus Says:

    Good for Bobo and that damn Bond. Finally Bond needed to go. Vh3 is next

  58. JimmyJack Says:

    I’m with Beckles. O.J. Howard don’t really impressed me.

    Gets talked up a ton from draft status 40 time and bench press. That’s about it.

    He’s had a few memorable plays but if he has every taken over a game like we seen great TEs do somebody please remind me. Not saying he hasn’t took over a game. I could easily have just forgot it.

  59. Wesley Says:

    But he didn’t run out of bounds, he was knocked out of bounds.

  60. Jean Lafitte Says:

    a little similar to Austin Seferian-Jenkins territory

  61. Bucnjim Says:

    Article: This stat proves why Winston should never start again for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wait what? It was written in October 2018! Same story different year I guess we are the only ones not seeing it.

  62. buc15 Says:

    And why in the F is a TE carrying the ball like that?

  63. Buchead407 Says:

    Dalvin cook was the pick

  64. DaBux Says:

    I’m just glad our AC/DC rock and roll loving didn’t draft a “bust” like Dalvin Cook. /sarcoff

  65. JimmyJack Says:

    Buc15 nice observation……Our pass catchers we’re targeted last year for stops and it got exploited and we coughed up too many fumbles from it. Hope we don’t see a repeat.

    Another observation(didn’t read all the comments) is look at my boy Jensen all the way downfield trying to get his man into the endzone.

    When your OL makes a play like that and your big boy TE won’t dig his cleats down and try and manhandle his way into the endzone it’s freaking deflating. Joe already had said after one of the Jamie’s fumbles Jensen was seen being visably discourage right after…….This is what bother me most of all that bad mistakes and lacks of efforts rubs off on teammates and kills any confidence we can possibly build on. This is why many of our prior seasons have probably gone down the toilet.

    Really hope this team has more fire and can pick themselfs back up and try to make a run of this. This bye week comes at a horrible time for us fans but might be good timing for the players if they got any fight in em. The Tennessee game coming off the bye will tell me a lot about this squad……….Yet either way we are all gonna have to hold our breathe when they hit Seattle.

  66. Mike Johnson Says:

    It always just..Cracks me up when Beckles of all people..calls somebody soft. I can remember a ..plethera of games where Mr. Beckles got beat like a drum when he was out there on the football field. Notice..I did not say playing on the field.

  67. LordCornelius Says:

    The one difference between VHIII and Jameis for me, is VHIII has never had elite level games that would be the equivalent of what Jameis did; or even a stretch of really solid play at any point in his career.

    I don’t even know if VHIII has one signature game where he was on the other team’s #1 and held them to a bad game the way we’ve seen Marshon Lattimore or Denzel ward or Chris Harris Jr or etc/etc/etc/etc hold #1 elite WR’s to bad games.

    Winston on the other hand at least has flashed top performances /ability in single games and in stretches. Hell he was the #8 QB per ESPN’s rating system last year, and finished the year playing solid ball, and played solid ball in 4 of 6 games this year.

    Before the london game the entire Bucs media and national media seemed sold he was turning the corner lol. That’s what a really bad game in the NFL can do though; especially when its your reputation to melt down like that too often.

    VHIII has been a liability in like 95% of his games at this point. He just doesn’t have it to be a #1. Maybe a solid nickle. But it just is what it is.

  68. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Beckles says “Aint nothing but DB’s” as the picture shows Mario Addison, Efe Obada, Luke Kuechly, and Shaq Thompson close by. Beckles has never let facts get in the way of his opinions.

  69. Defense Rules Says:

    Lord C … It’s awfully hard to defend either Jameis or VHIII right now. Doesn’t look to me like the Bucs can build their team around either one of them. Neither is a consistent play-maker it seems.

    JimmyJack … I was impressed with Jensen too. I HOPE that he’s starting to take a more aggressive LEADERSHIP role on the OLine & in our offense. When teammates make consistent dumb mistakes …or appear to not be giving their all … it really can get frustrating and kill any budding confidence.

    It’s gonna be interesting to see if this team can get their act together after the bye. Several more games like the Panthers game could start a really bad tailspin. We’ve got a number of good, solid players who NEED some good things to start happening. And it’ll start with this coaching staff getting its collective act together to give us a better chance at a decent winning streak in this second half.

  70. gp Says:

    Jenson was frustrated?!
    I wonder how frustrated Winston was when he couldn’t take two steps before a defensive lineman was in his face?
    Strip sacks occur when your quarterback gets blindsided as a result of poor offensive line play
    Jenson, and all of the offensive line should be embarrassed at how badly Winston got beat up
    Something else I noticed, not once did we see Winston on the bench hiding under a towel… just sayin

  71. Says:

    Just saying… Been saying it since off-season. This dude’s numbers have been massively inflated by busted coverages. He has the look of the 3rd best TE taken in the first round of that draft. And the position was not a top need. Still has time to bust out…. but GM questionable.

  72. JimmyJack Says:

    Actually gp that’s not how either of them 2 strips occurred.

    Joe had a really good picture and description of the first one and the second was patented Winston running around like a rodeo bull for 12 seconds.

    I’m still on the Winston bandwagon and I’m going down with the ship but I will not be like the nugglers and make excuses for Winston. Them 2 fumbles were a freaking joke of so called professional QBing………And they were the turning point of the game. It was the first part of the game where the offense finally started to click and got into the red zone. The whole team gets a lift if we get points there……and being down by ten it was absolutely necessary for your QB to cherish them points and not blown it……….Winston was freaking embarrassing. As much as the nugglers try they know deep down nothing excuses that type of play……That is if they care about winning.

  73. lambchop Says:

    The bigger problem with that play was how Howard was holding the ball like a purse while rumbling towards the end of that play. If this was in the middle of the field, that would have been a strip fumble.


  74. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    And OJ is carrying the football like Jameis Winston. That’s what bothered me the most about that play.

  75. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Everything from here on out is about coaching

    This massive staff needs to deliver. If that means taking players that may not be the greatest and getting some sort of meaningful results..well that’s what you get paid for, coaching football.

    If there are some that are horrible bench em.. Take the play calling from my left foot.

    The time for this great experiment is done. Bruce Arians, be the head coach. We’ve Already been through Koetter- the no coach, coach.


  76. gp Says:

    Ima thinkin you missed my point by just a little bit
    NOBODY played particularly well except Godwin and maybe 1 or 2 others(at times)

  77. EA Says:

    So bucs had other needs at other positions in the 2017 draft but this super talented player OJ Howard tight end was still on the board so the bucs ignored other needs like DE and did what great teams do, go with the best available player, best player available according to who ? Mel Kiper ????
    This organization needs to beef up the scouting department not the coaching staff.

  78. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Ian Beckles is a dimwit.

    OJ will be fine. And when he proves it, Ian Beckles will buddy up to him as though he always believed in him. Just like he does with everyone else.

  79. John Says:

    Guys, relax. Oj is a walking mismatch and nobody can cover him. That’s why he’s always open.😬

  80. Joe in Michigan Says:

    After a Jameis interception, Luke Kuechly ran out of bounds, just as OJ did. Is he soft too?
    What I’ll always remember Beckles for…Bucs were playing the Bears, Bucs throw an interception, Beckles is frustrated and starts pushing Mark Carrier, one of the SMALLEST players on the Bears defense. When one of the bigger players from the Bears shows up and starts pushing Beckles for being a jerk, he didn’t want any part of that.