O.J. Howard’s Minor Role

December 18th, 2019

Lassoed, says stat nerd.

One follically-challenged spreadsheeter from BSPN believes Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians has it out for tight end O.J. Howard.

Just about anyone who watches football thought in Arians’ offense, Howard would dominate this year. Instead, Howard has been little more than a bit player as Chris Godwin and of late, Breshad Perriman, have risen above him on the target list of Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston.

(Yes, Joe understands Arians has used Howard more as a blocker this year, which has demonstrated Howard isn’t that great of a blocker.)

Billy Barnwell of BSPN is of the mind there is little Howard can do to become a key element of the Bucs’ passing game as Arians has something agaisnt him.

Yeah, Joe is as confused as the next guy why Howard has become almost an afterthought. That should change these next two weeks.

With all the receiver injuries, Jameis has told Howard to get ready for the rock.

If ever there was a time to give Howard a try at the slot receiver position, Joe can’t think of a better one. Joe has a hunch Howard would tear things up at slot.

29 Responses to “O.J. Howard’s Minor Role”

  1. zzbuc Says:

    OJ Howard is not a great blocker, but he is a great player, love to see him on BUcs uniform for a very long term!!!
    He should be a target way much more……

  2. Adam Lakers Carolla Says:

    He stinks as a blocker and BA rewards good blocking….remember that end around when OJ completely whiffed on his block? Perriman might still be running.

  3. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree about moving OJ out wide…at least to the slot.

    We actually have depth at TE and can easily replace his blocking.

  4. doctor_berto Says:

    OJ is the softest tight end in the league

  5. LordCornelius Says:

    It’s weird because he was supposed to be a great blocking in line TE coming out of college. He might just be one of those look like Tarzan plays like Jane kind of guys in the end. Which is weird if blocking was his thing in college.

    I envisioned basically another OT that can run a 4.5 and be one of the biggest mismatches in the NFL. I was wrong but it’s not for ability… he is probably the most talented TE in the league still in terms of size/weight/speed/talent ratios

  6. Cgmaster27 Says:

    Bruce just doesnt like soft players and oj is soft as they come. Dude was supposed to be a good blocker and he isnt. And as adam said above the end around to perriman is a perfect example.

  7. Barbosa Says:

    I hear he loves those late night south tampa hotspots. He is starting to set off my Josh Freeman radar.

  8. ElBajito43 Says:

    I heard that he is actually really good but the Bucs just wanna simp him off to another team for some 3rd round loser draft pick “Trash” Licht will bomb. Bucs are best at allowing other players to become all-pros on their second team, not here.

    But but ……. it’s okay tho because O.J. wasn’t a 1st round lottery pick….. sooo


  9. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Another bad jason licht draft move on selecting another TE after failing already at drafting a TE a few years earlier; but Dirk Koetter would get OJ open all of the time; maybe BA pop some old koetter clips of how he moved OJ around or sent him out on delay wheel routes and got him WIDE open.

  10. Wesley Says:

    Some of you are crazy I see. Do not give up on this guy, he is going to do amazing things on the field.

  11. Clean House Says:

    I seem to remember one seriously amazing highlight play during the Koetter tenure. I’m of the mind that the talent is there and it’s a lack of imagination by current coachng. If you will force Perriman the ball u til he figures it out, why not Howard? They are setting him up for failure

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree with Wesley. No way should they give up on this guy. Talent is immense. Although he was used regularly as a blocking TE in college, keep in mind that he didn’t typically have to block NFL-caliber defensive players. Give him the needed practice this off season and develop schemes that use his speed and ball catching skills in next year’s game plans. Guarantee the man will post incredible numbers if given a decent chance.

  13. pelbuc Says:

    Trade him in the offseason and get some Oline help. OJ is soft, has blocking and fumble issues and Brate is much more reliable. OJ killed us in the season opener against 49ers. He’s all potential but little performance. He’s not a BA type of player. With all our WRs out, let’s see if he shows up on Saturday.

  14. runnerdoc Says:

    Dude is soft.

  15. 74 Bucs fan Says:

    SOFT! OJ seems much softer this year than last. His routes are not very good either, but his blocking has been hot garbage. I watched him closely last game and the dude seems like his is playing scared. What happened?

  16. runnerdoc Says:

    Not only blocking, he catches the ball and basically gives himself up. Very little fight.

  17. Bobby M. Says:

    BA’s offense features Evans and Godwin….the stats back that up pretty well. Doesn’t feature TEs….stats back that up as well. Howard was in an offense that featured him….now he’s not. All these guys have egos, young guys tend to let their emotions run to far. He plays like he’s simply not motivated due to knowing the game plans simply don’t spot light him any longer. There’s a role….but its been reduced to charity receptions vs being a featured weapon. IN his defense….a TE of his caliber as a receiving weapon will fetch a pretty nice extension/2nd contract when the time comes IF he’s producing. If his numbers are depressed and his film is mostly of him blocking…..hard to generate a big payout on the next deal. I think there’s a bit of ego and money playing into Howard’s effort. Similar to Hargreaves, he knows someone will snag him and he can go elsewhere with his talents.

  18. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Arians has his own standards for what he means by accountability.  I see him as a fair person who judges all of his guys by his own football standards. I don’t see him as biased in any kind of unprofessional way.

    He sees all of his roster  differently from the picture we fans might have.  He is the head coach.

    My expectations  of Howard were based mainly on the evaluations of others early on.  He did flash at times under Koetter as well. So I saw some good stuff from him.  Now I am coming around to thoughts similar to what LordCornelius has expressed.

    In BA I trust.
    Go Bucs!!!

  19. AwShbucs Says:

    Honestly think the best thing OJ could do for himself this offseason is drop 20 or so pounds in an effort to boost his otherwise lackluster agility.

    Dude can flat out fly at his current weight, yes. But his change of direction leaves a lot to be desired. I think if he dropped 20 pounds he would gain some much needed wiggle in the open field. That would make him a much deadlier route runner as well.

    Drop 20 pounds OJ. And work the Juggs machine nonstop. Then you’ll be an all-pro tight end next year.

  20. Pugs&Bucs Says:

    Oh I don’t know, how about when you throw him the ball he turns around and literally hands it to the other team?

    Like hands it… like a UPS driver hands you your Amazon package.

    The only thing OJ doesn’t do is ask for a signature.

  21. CalBucsFan Says:

    It’s Leftwich that’s not making the TE’s the primary target more than once or twice a game. Jameis and Brate have been a great combo for years now, and even Brate’s a forgotten man.

    So the real story’s not about Arians and Howard, it’s Leftwich and All TE’s.

  22. AwShbucs Says:

    Hard to argue against Leftwhich’s methodology when it comes to who he targets and focuses ththe game plan on, when we’re the 3rd ranked scoring offense in the league.

  23. Buczilla Says:

    All the pundits that said that the tight ends would suffer in this offense were correct, although as stated on this site, Heath Miller never suffered for targets with Arians in Pittsburgh. I think that it comes down to toughness and maybe Howard isn’t willing to get his hands dirty? Plus, maybe he’s just not that good? Arians, Tom Moore, and Leftwich are not stupid and have a butt load of experience, so If Howard were such a dominant receiver I’m thinking Arians would use him a lot more. We are missing something here.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    He was definitely in the dog house earlier in the year, he’s been seeing more targets as of late. I would like to see him play tougher as well, but he’s a huge incredibly fast target. It’d be foolish not to use him, especially with all our injuries right now.

  25. unbelievable Says:

    “Another bad jason licht draft move on selecting another TE after failing already at drafting a TE a few years earlier;”

    Uh??? So GMs should just never draft a position again if they didn’t have success the first time? You realize there wouldn’t be positions left to draft after Just a few years, right?

  26. Buccfan37 Says:

    Howard can catch the ball when he is wide open. Up to date a first round pick for him is questionable. Now go out Howard and prove me wrong.

  27. pryda...sec 147 Says:

    I hope he turns it around. He has the body type and ability just not sure about the “want-to” from him. Idk maybe next year he does better. Just glad he has played pretty much every game this year hope he makes it to season end healthy.

  28. Bucs Guy Says:

    Like it or not, OJ Howard will be traded (2nd and a 4th rd pick) in the offseason. Mark it down.

  29. Jgar Says:

    Dude is probably one of the most overrated in NFL