Invisible Tight Ends

October 7th, 2019

UPDATED 12:46 p.m. – Three targets for Buccaneers tight ends yesterday in a game that saw Mike Evans get completely shut down (3 targets, 0 catches).

Chew on that sour apple for a minute.

O.J. Howard has 11 catches this season for 141 yards and zero touchdowns. Joe’s going to stop short of declaring Howard in Bucco Bruce Arians’ doghouse. But that might just be the reason.

And the Bucs are throwing passes to Dare Ogunbowale in the red zone. Joe would love to see Howard in the role of third-down running back at this point.

Howard quickly went from elite weapon to afterthought.

Cameron Brate? The healthy, big-money tight end has 72 yards receiving on 10 catches this season after an 11-yard grab yesterday. Joe supposes that’s not bad for playing just 14 snaps. Brate used to display elite-level chemistry with Jameis Winston regularly, in addition to solid hands.

Joe’s got no answers to the tight end mystery. But if the Bucs aren’t going to use both of these guys, then they certainly should shop one to see what the market bears.

Arians was asked today at his news conference about Howard’s lack of targets. He said it’s is a matter of “opportunities.” … …”It’s just whether or not he’s getting open.”

51 Responses to “Invisible Tight Ends”

  1. danr Says:

    This is important.

    Down your ‘third wr’ who?

    and your incumbent star being shut down- You have TWO stud tight ends, and instead you are throwing to scotty somebody or dare somebody.

    The saints are good on defense but not ALLSTARS you cannot convince me they are neutralizing mike evans, covering Godwin well, blitzing like crazy AND out-manning OJ and BRATE?!

    ALL AT THE SAME TIME!? no. I refuse to believe that.

  2. D-Rome Says:

    In BA we trust?

  3. danr Says:

    at the very least OJ or BRate should have been on the field more just to help out at right tackle.

  4. miken Says:

    Where are the tight ends and has anyone seen our #1 draft pick?

  5. Bucamania Says:

    Why the heck are Scotty Miller and Dare getting more looks?! Just nuts.

  6. Barbosa Says:

    Leftwich must do a better job of using his talent. Still gave up way too many points on defense.

  7. Nick2 Says:

    Lets take the genius tag off of Leftwich. Either he didnt gameplan how to get OJ involved or OJ isnt athletic enough to get open. I side with a lack of gameplan.

  8. Tnew Says:

    Bad part about this is that dating back for 7 seasons Winston loves to go to the TE. This is an offensive philosophy.

  9. Nick2 Says:

    Calling OJ Howard this is a distress signal for OJ Howard are you out there???????

  10. SappAttack Says:

    Too much wasted salary with our TE’s. We need Brate OR OJ in this offense. Having the other is a waste with some many other needs.

  11. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Just shows how the coaching is still inept and not improved

  12. Nick2 Says:

    If anyone wants to get further depressed the combined salaries of Brate and Howard for 2019 is $10 million. So dividing out their 21 catches between them and we are paying them almost a half million dollars for each reception. WOW

  13. Pugs&Bucs Says:

    FYI, another yard rushing day for Dalvin Cook on Sunday.

  14. Rayjay1122 Says:

    What an offensive Juggernaut the Bucs are! Lol. Offense, defense and special teams suck! I always say it, the common denominator in the team failing all of these years is the Glazer kids. I will return all in as a die hard Bucs fan after they are no longer the owners. Until then I am a casual observer. I attended the game yesterday and did not even wear Bucs gear. I wore a black Nola shirt but it did not say Saints on it. I was glad that I remained incognito because the Bucs are an embarrassment.

    One thing I notice though is how fun Saints fans are. They are all so friendly and the dome experience is so much better than being baked under the intense Tampa sun. Why are none of the the NFL teams in Florida intelligent enough to have built dome stadiums which are much more comfortable for fans and louder for the home team to benefit from. Something is seriously off kilter in Florida sports.

    Here is to Nola and Atlanta for being fan friendly and intelligent. Hey Glazers and TSA…..get a clue!

  15. Nick2 Says:

    Im betting Jimmy Graham could have been had for just $300,000 per reception.

  16. Colonel Angus Says:

    If you’re not going to use the TE’s for pass catching, then put an extra tackle out there to block. Let OJ lineup as a WR

  17. NPRSageBoy Says:

    It’s way too early to panic about the BA offense and Leftwich’s play calling. It took a better QB than JayMiss 8 games to get comfortable in it. I’m confident that this is a work in progress and even a below average QB like JayMiss can make it work.

  18. Son of Kobe Faker Says:

    “2024 Be patient

    that will be when we have another GM

    just wait. Be Patient

    My Dads hands are clean. Kobe Faker did his best to get him out of here but Jason Gump won. Gump is stuffing himself with cake and playing playstation while my Dad is walking the streets of OBT

    Life is not fair

    2024 Be Patient”

    Son of Kobe Faker

  19. unbelievable Says:

    TWO STUD TIGHT ENDS and we’re average 2 passes per game to each of them


    If you’re not gonna use these guys, trade them for positions of need like RT, RG, CB…

    Or better yet, use the fkn talent we have on the team!! These guys (especially OJ) are huge mismatches. Did BA and BL not watch the film of OJ flying past defenders last year? JFC

  20. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Maybe pop in some old NE Pats game film when they put Gronk in the slot or out wide and threw it to him. So BA and Lefty put #44 out wide? WTF…oh and dalvin cook is destroying the NFL and the bucs cannot figure out how to get a 6-6 pass catching TE one on one with Eli Apple? Ya 50 coaches and the gameplan is still 5-11

  21. 813bucboi Says:

    OJ just wasnt open……

    saints actually have 2 safeties that can cover not only TE’s but WRs as well….

    oline was getting pressured so a TE or back had to stay in and block….

    saints are just a better team right now….doesnt mean we cant get to their level by the end of the season….

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  22. pick6 Says:

    saints have strong CBs, and their D line is pretty darn good too. the LBs are clearly the 3rd best unit on their D. not exploiting them with our TEs is pretty inexcusable.

  23. pick6 Says:

    and yes i realize safeties also cover TEs, but if Evans only had 3 targets i have to assume at least one of them was doubling Mike, leaving a max of one safety vs a max of 2 TEs. in 8 situations out of 10 i would imagine the bucs are better served having Brate out there as a second TE rather than the current WR3 options of Justin Evans or Scotty Miller

  24. Waterboy Says:

    That’s BS, there’s no reason Scotty Miller should be getting as many targets as OJ. That’s bad game planning.

  25. ElBajito43 Says:

    Sign Aaron Hernandez and FIRE 🔥 LICHT

    then have Bill Belichick’s wife as TE coach

    Bring back Raheem Morris to coach the DBs and have Jerry Jones buy the Bucs tell Glazers to stay in London permanently after next weeks game.

  26. tmaxcon Says:

    maybe brate and oj and not the talent that low standard bucfan thinks they are…

  27. SkBucsfan Says:

    The announcers said it best yesterday …”You would expect more productivity out a number 1 pick” when discussing OJ Howard’s productivity.
    I don’t blame OJ, I blame Licht. Drafting a TE in the first round when Brate came off his second productive season. I could be wrong but I believe the Bucs had bigger needs. OL/DL maybe?

    Just another example how bad Licht is at putting a team together.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Has anyone else noticed that something doesn’t pass the smell test here? According to BA … “it’s is a matter of “opportunities”. It’s just whether or not he’s getting open.”

    Really? I smell a smoke screen. So IF our 1st Rnd draft pick TE was better at getting open, our 1st Rnd draft pick QB would throw him the ball? Ya okay, we’ll go with that.

    It surely has nothing to do with the fact that OJ has been used more as an OLineman than as a TE. And of course nothing to do with Jameis running for his life much of the day. And it certainly to do with the game plans, play designs & play-calling.

    Looking at game plans BTW, Bucs rushed on 37% of their plays in the first 5 games last year. This year they’re rushing on 46% of their plays thus far. IMO that’s a pretty significant difference, because that’s meant considerably fewer passing attempts in these first 5 games (166 passing attempts this year versus 190 last year). Who’s been left out in the process? Not too hard to do the math, is it OJ. Is it Cam.

  29. pelbuc Says:

    Is it the coaching or the players that’s the problem? Well now we know it’s both.

  30. Coburn Says:

    Correct me of I’m wrong but aren’t the best most talented pass catchers on this team mike evans, Chris Godwin, on Howard, and cam brate? Why aren’t those 4 on the field at thr same time? Why should perriman, Watson, bobo, miller ever see the field? As an added bonus we can use Howard to help block some plays. Can’t just blame lefty. . If arians wants to include TEs more it would happen. Seems those who said arians didn’t use toght ends much were spot on

  31. Coburn Says:

    BTW. .. even wi th Atlanta having their issues I’m starting to wonder if we were wrong about Koetter. At least when it came to play calling.. or possibly should have just kept Monken. Both had offense humming a lot better when calling the plays. . You could argue Godwin doing better but feel he would be regardless eith desean and Hump gone and his natural progession

  32. unbelievable Says:

    Good stats right there DR!

    I don’t have a problem with them running more (in fact I like it). And I’m glad that OJ is getting better at blocking (he’s been a big part of our improved run game).

    But all that just means it should be even easier to get him out in space! He is a mismatch against any LB, and even most DBs… get the man out in the open field and throw him the damn ball!

    Brate’s snap count is also wayyyyyy down. Far too little for how much we’re paying him.

  33. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Now I know why BA said Godwin would catch 100 balls, the rest of the WR/TE wouldn’t be involved. Dean Smith was the only person to keep Jordon under 20ppg, Byron Leftwich is the only person to keep Mike Evans under 1000 yards.

  34. Hodad Says:

    The game has passed BA by, and Leftwich isn’t the next LeFuer. This hire of Arains was all about saving Licht’s arse, not getting the best man for the job. He was hired to save Licht’s number one pick Winston. Miss on drafting a QB as a GM with the #1 pick, is certain firing. Yet Licht stands with a new contract.

  35. Big_Buc$ Says:

    I would like to see at least one line up out wide or in the slot going forward since you dont have a 3rd wide out. Doing this you can get you best receivers out on the field but since the entire right side of the offensive line will be missing I doubt it. They will be staying in to block all game on that side.

  36. Pewter power Says:

    I’m tired of seeing this three back rotation especially when the guy being hyped all offseason Dare Ogunbowale get trucked by trying to pick up a blitz every week.

    I’m frustrated with BA not the losses because guys are not performing and he keeps putting them out there and they wont make changes. Just like koetter even though they have a losing record they wont get guys with more potential playing experience. Stop it already BA and licht you can at least take 2nd in the division, show some balls and let the fanbase know you wanna win now and go out and make some trades already.

    You have a high payroll and have been losers what’s the problem with spending money to get some top tier vets in here. Rookies ain’t taking you to the superbowl damn so dumb

  37. Hoops Says:

    I think at this point OJ n Brate might be happier somewhere else where they would be used to catch passes and get tds. If you’re not going to use them then lose them and trade them for players you will use and need.

  38. Bucsfanman Says:

    At some point, if they’re not open, SCHEME them open. It’s easy to say in hindsight but, come on. Get the ball out of the QB’s hands quicker if the pass-rush is that relentless.
    I have to hope that we’re just going through some growing pains on both sides of the ball right now.

  39. asdf Says:

    It really is insane to have both Brate and OJ if you aren’t going to actively try and get them the ball. Either get them involved or trade them (dumb idea IMO).

    God this bucs team is almost unbearable to watch. What is the plan here? We supposedly have some of the best offensive weapons in the game and yet we can’t roll out a consistently solid offense.


  40. unbelievable Says:



    Every other team figures out how to get their tight ends open, meanwhile we have a complete freak of nature in size and speed in OJ Howard but the Bucs can’t scheme him open more than once a game?

    Not too mention Brate has always had a knack for getting open, but now barely sees the field or any targets. I just don’t get it. They’re both such better weapons (and better blockers) than any of our WR#3s….

  41. tmaxcon Says:

    they are just not as good as you people think they are. neither can block and both are predicable in passing game. remember no one confuses mediocrity with greatness like the delusional optimist bucfan.

  42. Capt. Tim Says:

    I knew Godwin had a lot of Hype, coming into this season.
    I had no Idea, that he was so good, that he would be the only target of our offense.
    Guess Evans, Brate, and Howard can just relax- and watch the man work.

  43. pick6 Says:

    OJ’s biggest moments have come on plays where he basically sneaks out into a route and someone forgets to cover him. he’s been decent on reeling in contested catches but has also lost balls to turnovers in traffic. the jury is still very much out on whether this is a system\scheme thing or an OJ howard thing. He ought to be capable of a Greg Olsen type of career (which also started slow) but i fear that he’s headed in more of a Marcedes Lewis direction of a physically gifted guy who inexplicably could never be a key part of a passing game

  44. ElioT Says:

    The talent is there, the weapons are healthy and proven.

    It comes down to three questions that only few can answer:

    1.) Is the scheme/play calling not getting these guys involved?

    2.) Is the O-Line that bad not to give Winston enough time to check through his reads?

    3.) Is Winston not able to check through his reads quick enough to turn a busted big play into a decent “move the chains” type?

    Your guess is as good as mine.

    No idea why Bobo Wilson or Obungwhatever even checks into a game on offense.

    Not to mention the horrific defensive play that is obviously boom or bust.

    They’ve got some work to do.

  45. #1bucsfan Says:

    Just seems a little odd not getting those guys the ball obvious ME13 was covered but only 14 snaps for Brate an 3 targets to Howard get these guys the ball

  46. HernandoBuc Says:

    Joe do us fans a solid and ask some hard questions to BA from the fan base. You mean to tell all of Bucs Nation that Bobo, Scotty, and Dare are having more opportunities because they’re getting open more than OJ and Brate? Or rather it’s because they’re put on the field to be in position more? This is insane!!! Evans, Godwin, OJ and Brate shouldn’t be leaving the field unless it’s to get a breather. Would this be happening in NE or any other city? Nope. It’s a travesty that they can’t even figure out how to use our best weapons.

  47. lambchop Says:

    Dirk Koetter used his TEs better than BL and BA. Let’s be clear, we knew BA doesn’t use TEs as a focal point in his offense and BL is a product of the same system.

    You would think, it’s not about getting opportunities but creating opportunities with a big tall fast Juice against slow LBs. I kept waiting for them to disguise a block-pass with Brate or Juice.

    We don’t always get everything we want at a garage sale (coaching staff).

  48. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Isn’t it obvious… This regime uses TE’s to BLOCK… Hence why preseason mvp stud Tanner Hudson has been INACTIVE all year!

  49. Anonymous Says:

    To @Danr you’re right they are not..the nfl wanted the saints to win

  50. bucnole Says:

    If this is just because BA thinks OJ needs to be a better blocker then screw that. Keep a back in and put OJ in the pattern. This unbelievable to not have these guys be a big part of your passing O. IMO I would use OJ like KC uses Kelcy – he CAN be that GOOD. SMDH

  51. Cannon Says:

    One would figure if a Defense decides to blanket Mike Evans, then it should free up the short/intermediate area for either one of our TE’s.

    On the very first series against the Saints, Brate caught a pass for a first down. I immediately though “yessss… somebody came prepared with a good gamplan”.

    Then, the rest of the game went by, and the TE’s stayed in to block while we sent Godwin, Evans and a handful of practice players all out on vertical routes.