“No Need” For Howard At Slot

December 19th, 2019

Staying at tight end.

Joe has written a few times in recent days with the rash of injuries to perhaps the best set of wide receivers in the NFL, the Bucs should give a super-talented player a spin at a new position.

Joe looks at the skill set of tight end O.J. Howard and has always seen Kellen Winslow, Sr. Joe remembers seeing Winslow play for the Chargers and always remembers how often Don Coryell would line up Winslow in the slot; not at tight end.

Joe has fantasized how much damage Howard could do as a slot receiver. Imagine some poor corner having to guard him?

So Joe went to Howard in the Bucs locker room yesterday and dropped this idea on him. In so many words, Howard doesn’t expect that to happen. At least this week, barring crazy things happening.

“There is no need for me to go out there and play that,” Howard said, though flattered with the Winslow comparison. “It is not like we are in the middle of a game and I’m the only guy active so, ‘Go out there.’ That’s a different story.”

Howard didn’t deny he could play slot. But Howard did say the Bucs have signed and promoted receivers this week to fill the voids left by Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller. And, Howard noted, those receivers have time to hone their skills.

“We’ve got receivers, guys that we can trust,” Howard said. “We’ve got nothing to lose. Put young guys out there. Guys that [the Bucs’ football staff] have seen develop on the practice squad. Get them out there and give them opportunities to play. They know what to do.”

And Howard explained a week is plenty of time to prepare.

“We’ve got talented guys and have time for them to practice all week at their spot,” Howard noted.

Still, Howard playing at slot fascinates Joe. Of course, Joe didn’t expect Howard to spill a state secret if he was practicing to play some at slot. So who knows?

But man, can’t a guy like Joe dream?

21 Responses to ““No Need” For Howard At Slot”

  1. DayOnePaul Says:

    It’s time for Cam Brate to earn his contract. And it’s time for OJ Howard to play up to his talent level. And it’s time for Bruce Arians to learn how to throw to his Tight Ends. Along with Tanner Hudson, these are all good pass receivers, and all lousy blockers. Throw them the damn ball !!!

    Jeezuz. It couldn’t be any more plain. Even the simpleton Dirk Koetter could see it.

  2. Lunchbox Says:

    Brate is gone after this year. He’ll never live up to his contract in this offense. Despite the fact that we’ll have some salary cap room in the off season, Licht will have some expensive contracts to get done that will eat up a lot of that cap space. Brate isn’t enough of a factor in this offense to justify his salary, and there are many other teams out there that could use a man of his talents. Besides, as you said, we have Tanner Hudson who is younger, and not dealing with previous serious injuries like Brate is. I like what he’s meant to the Bucs, but there’s almost no one else I’m as sure of leaving in the off season.

  3. Pete Says:

    Surprised they Forgot to use Brate after he caught 2 td passes (called back – holding 69) in the 49ers game.

  4. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I’m thinking Brate takes a pay cut and returns next year. He’s good, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to get rid of him.

  5. adam from ny Says:

    brate will be a patriot if brady returns,,,they need a te

  6. adam from ny Says:

    and we might get sony michel…or so i heard 🙂

  7. PragueBucsFan Says:

    Cyril Greyson, Spencer Shnel, Hyman, JWat and Perriman are our 5 WR this week. These are the guys OJ was referring to. We really need to run the ball well this Saturday.

  8. PragueBucsFan Says:

    I love Brate for what he meant in Dirks offense but I agree he is currently over valued

  9. Rod Munch Says:

    Don’t put him in the slot – line him up outside. Let him use that better than Evans speed and size and see what happens.

    The team doesn’t do dick with the TEs, so I don’t know why they wouldn’t at least give it a look.

  10. Gofortheface30 Says:

    “We need to run the ball well this weekend” – lol. Hasn’t happened all year, won’t start now.

  11. dmatt Says:

    Howard does not wanna play slot. It takes the likes of Adam Humphries n Godwin to line up in that position (toughness n heart),something Howard does not possess. Howard is nothing remotely close to a Kellin Winslow Sr, or Jr for that matter. Sr was a true combat warrior. Howard is still in Cub Scout mode. Please watch Howard’s tapes. He’s timid, very passive, plays scared/unsure, n struggles holding on to the ball. He doesn’t like contact, which he didn’t have much of at Alabama. One would think with his size, height, n speed he would step up n play lights out ball as a game changer but the true game changer n steal of the 2017 draft is CGodwin, who often plays head’s up n lights out ball. I’ll take my chances with Tanner Hudson n Brate, even the player Leggett from Clemson, let’s see what he can do. I dare Joe compare Howard to a Hall of Famer who played true grit take one on the chin for the team football. That ain’t happening with Howard.

  12. I Just Got To Get Better Says:

    When out of the playoffs is time to see the status of our backups.

    No need to reveal more of our playbook to the now shaken NFL.

    We are coming!!!!! 2020 Baby!!!!!!

    Go Bucs!!!

    Where is The Buccanero Realiistico?!?!?!?!?!?!!??

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No need to move players around that aren’t familiar with the position….it will be confusing enough.
    I would expect Perriman & Watson on the outside with Schnell occasionally in the slot…..and a lot of 2 TE sets.
    Look for many screens and dumps to RBs…..

    Not feeling good at all about our running game…..wonder why?

    As for Brate……he is one of the most tradeable players on the team…..

  14. Brandon Says:

    Joe, you should have asked him to imagine the Buca sending 12 or 13 personnel out on the field. The defense would adjust to 12 by leaving their base defense out there, Howard lines up wide right with two WRs on the left. Who goes out to cover him? In zone it is an overmatched CB, in man it is either a safety or a LB. Either should be a huge mismatch in terms of either size or speed. In 13 personnel the defense will sometimes counter by pulling a safety and using an extra LB. Then you’re either getting the safety to cover him in man with no safety help over top, or a LB. Either way, the Pats used to run 12 and 13 all day and get Gronk matchups they liked all the time. Why would the Bucs want to use him out there? I dunno. A competitive advantage maybe?

    As for dudes saying Howard doesn’t have the heart to play the slot… you do realize he plays TE and that he has to run all the dirty routes inside that a slot receiver runs AND block DEs, DTs, and LBs, right? Slot receivers may be tough and gritty but they’re still not TE tough and gritty. Slot receivers are generally tough for WRs… except Godwin. Godwin is tough for any type of football player. He’s also blocking DEs and LBs.

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    @Lunchbox … “Despite the fact that we’ll have some salary cap room in the off season.”

    That’s a true statement Lunchbox, but folks need to look much deeper IMO. People go to sites like Spotrac & see that Bucs have about $90.7 mil Cap space for 2020 (3rd most in the NFL as of right now) and go ‘Wow, we’re rich. We’ve got it made. We can sign everyone’. Not so fast … like you also said “Licht will have some expensive contracts to get done that will eat up a lot of that cap space.”

    Spotrac projects the 2020 salary Cap to be $199.0 mil, and the Bucs can carry-over $9.7 mil from this year, giving us $208.7 mil to work with. We now have 40 players under contract for 2020 eating up a total of $118.0 mil (including dead money, which is minimal), leaving us with $90.7 mil to work with.

    Looking at the list of who’s under contract though, I’d guess that 30 of those 40 COULD make the team in 2020. But at least 10 of those 40 under contract very likely WON’T be on the team next year. Examples: Kendell Beckwith? Justin Evans? How about Dare Ogunbowale? (I’m guessing we might draft a RB & upgrade). Salaries for those 10 (after subtracting dead Cap) total $7.0 mil, meaning that we’d then have $111.0 mil committed for 30 players. Wow, now we’d have $97.7 mil to work with for 2020. And all we’d have to do is sign 23 players with that amount to make our 53-man roster.

    That may seem like a lot, but wait, there’s even more good news. Included in those 23 players yet to be signed will probably be 6 relatively inexpensive draft picks (that’s all we have in 2020), thus leaving us with ONLY 17 more holes to fill. Our 6 draft picks cost us $9.3 mil in 2019, so if you subtract that we’d be left with $88.4 mil to pay for the remaining 17 players.

    But THAT’s where things get sticky. Included in those 17 players are some BIG TICKET ITEMS. Wait, make that some VERY BIG ticket items. Here’s my list of who should be re-signed and for how much to stay within that $88.4 mil projection (Hint: it won’t happen; most would be making next year what they’re making this year) …

    o Jameis: $27.0 mil (franchise tag)
    o Barrett: $16.0 mil
    o JPP: $11.0 mil
    o Suh: $9.2 mil
    o Nassib: $7.0 mil
    o Perriman: $5.0 mil ($1.0 mil bump)
    o Barber: $2.1 mil
    o Minter: $0.9 mil
    o Ryan Smith: $1.7 mil
    o Nunez-Roches: $0.9 mil
    o Watford: $0.9 mil
    o Wells: $0.8 mil
    o Adams: $0.7 mil
    o Auclair: $0.7 mil
    o Liedtke: $0.7 mil
    o Bailey: $0.7 mil
    o Veteran Safety: $3.0 mil

    Total for those 17 players (or their replacements): $88.3 mil. But since we had $88.4 mil to work with, then Yes, it is doable. Heck, we’d even have $0.1 mil left over to play with (whoopee). All that’d be required is that (1) we draft EXCEPTIONALLY WELL to fill holes that we’ve presently got; and (2) we only sign ONE FA (a veteran Safety) who’s not already on our squad. But ya, we’re in great salary Cap shape for next year. Easier said than done. I don’t envy BA or JL trying to make this thing work.

  16. Jgar Says:

    Totally agree with dmatt. Please give me a break, OJ Howard plays to only half his potential. Started wondering why he slid in 2017 draft. Maybe others saw it too. I agree that he doesn’t like contact and I don’t see the speed everyone talks about.

  17. orlbucfan Says:

    It’s not just the TEs who can catch the football. All 3 RBs can, too. Let’s see what BA dreams up. This team is jelling and the Texans know it. I sure wish I could be there Saturday. Go Bucs!!

  18. Thailand Bucs Fc Says:

    Our OC use them as blockers most of the time. Our Ols nedd help.

  19. Thailand Bucs Fc Says:


  20. down in the dirt doug Says:

    Love me some Brate,but he is great trade bait for a runner or defensive back–sorry–he has to go!!!!!!

  21. Billy_45 Says:

    Dang @ Defense that took some time.

    I’m not sure Barber or Perriman come back.
    I’d rather shed their salary and mix it with your Safety 3mill to get Scherff from the Redskins on our O Line.

    He excels at run blocking.
    We need to draft a OT like Wirfs from Wisconsin.

    I like where your head’s at for sure and hopefully we can get JPP and Suh for cheaper than that.

    Either way the draft needs to be damn near perfect.

    Draft Hog Mollies from up North and Speed from down South.

    Getting Scherff as a FA would allow us to get Swift Round 1

    Really close though overall I think to being super competitive.