Arians Says O.J. Howard Has Potential, Tight Ends “Probably Are Not Catching A Hell Of A Lot Of Balls”

February 25th, 2020

It’s time to realize that O.J. Howard was drafted for a different Buccaneers head coach.

That’s just the cold NFL reality. Dirk Koetter’s obsession in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Draft is now a lesser, maybe-he’ll-get-there piece for Bucco Bruce Arians.

This kind of thing happens every year in the NFL.

“People were trying to put him in a class he has never reached yet,” Arians said of Howard at the NFL Scouting Combine today. “All right, so expectations, sometimes [what] they’re putting on him; he ain’t done that yet. He has that potential. He got better and better as a blocker, which for me is important. He steadily got better catching the ball and holding on to it, you know.

“So can he be a threat? Every week we’re looking for the best matchups. And when you have Chris [Godwin] and Mike [Evans], the tight ends probably [are] not catching a hell of a lot of balls.”

It’s becoming increasingly clear to Joe that barring injuries, the Bucs will roll this season without Cameron Brate, and will give Howard another year to mature and impress in an offense that will feature him sporadically.

Arians just doesn’t value tight end enough to keep the status quo.

Blocking tight end Antony Auclair, a potential free agent, got high praise from Arians today, so an Auclair-Howard combo is probably where the Bucs are headed for 2020. And Joe wouldn’t be surprised to see them draft a receiver in a receiver-deep draft.

28 Responses to “Arians Says O.J. Howard Has Potential, Tight Ends “Probably Are Not Catching A Hell Of A Lot Of Balls””

  1. Craig Says:

    A different QB would have gotten some more passes to the tight ends. They aren’t completely unused in an Arians offense, they are down the progression line.

    Jameis is incapable of getting down to the third or fourth option on a play. If it isn’t the number one option he misses it. If he can see it next year it is because of Lasik and we should be really pissed because he had no intention of playing good ball with the Bucs.

  2. Cgmaster27 Says:

    @craig if you’ve ever watched an arians offense, which clealry you havent before this year. Arians has never featured the te much. Its a fact, and has been spoken by him multiple times this season. Yet youre trollish love affair with jameis bring out your inner stupidity. And saying jameis never had any intention of playing good ball for the bucs ranks very high on the dumbest crap ive ever heard. Yeah he wanted to sabotage his own career. My goodness

  3. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    Probably a public clue to whichever team/teams may have been kicking Brates tires…hopefully a trade, possibly a draft day move up


    Former UT golf coach Rick Christie and his definition of “Potential”

    “Potential means that right now you suck……”

  5. #1 Pick QB 2 Cent Brain Says:

    Sounds like a coach who is inflexible and doesn’t change his scheme to fit the talent

  6. westernbuc Says:

    I’m more and more convinced that Arians is a swindler. Imagine what Andy Reid or Bill Belichick would do with OJ Howard. Bruce is here for his last pay check. What a joke

  7. firethecannons Says:

    Trade Cam Brate but not for David Johnson–No!!!!!!!!!!
    He is toasted and Cards are desperate to pawn him off on the Bucs.

  8. Eric Says:

    What a dumb ass statement! The kid can make a difference we saw it before the “whisperer” came here get your players the ball OJ is nothing but a nightmare and if you don’t want to use him do right by the kid and trade him to someone who will! The “whisperer” my ass!

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Firethecannons … Cam Brate is untradeable. He’s owed $6.0 mil for 2020, $6.5 mil for 2021, $6.8 mil for 2022, and $7.5 mil for 2023. If you were a GM, would YOU pay that for a TE who’s been in the league for 6 years, who’s a marginal blocker, who’s caught only 66.6% of the balls thrown to him, and who’s averaging less than 33 catches a season?

    Reality IMO is that JL re-signed Brate for the amount that he did only because he was one of Winston’s favorite targets. Once that faded Cam became just another overpaid TE … who’s expendable.

    Fact of the matter is that Jason Licht grossly overpaid to retain Cam Brate and now we have only 2 choices: renegotiate his contract or release him outright. No GM will pay almost $27 mil for 4 future years of production like that.

  10. Clean House Says:

    I did not like no tight end football,
    I think this coach is a moron

  11. Clean House Says:

    Agree with Eric
    This guy is a fraud and a fool

  12. Clean House Says:

    And Licht is an incompetent buffoon

  13. Craig Says:

    Cg Master I have watched several Arians offenses over the years. Last year I watched Byron Leftwich attempt to translate that offense to an incompetent Jameis.

    On half of the plays he forced downfield you could see another receiver who was wide-open across the field. Often those were tight ends on outlet routes.

    Jameis never saw them because he was so busy staring down his intended target. That is part of the story about how he ended up with 30 interceptions.

  14. tmaxcon Says:

    brate has a bad contract bad hips and a low ceiling no one is trading anything for a mediocre 1 dimensional te…. being good on a bucs roster the last decade plus basically makes you a water boy for nfl contenders. bucfan always falls for mediocrity.

  15. Wesley Says:

    A good head coach should adjust to his weapons, O.J. can become a great weapon when utilized.

  16. TBUC North Carolina Says:

    Wesley you are correct!! Gruden wouldn’t adjust either!! Imagine how Alstott would have finished his career if a coach would adjust his offense to the teams personnel strength!! Trade OJ to someone who will get him the ball!!

  17. WestChap Says:

    I think he’s juicing the OJ trade market more so than Brate. One of them will definitely not be here next season.

  18. Ship Thief Says:

    The BA offense does not feature TEs… we all get that.
    But there sure is a lot of smoke around here regarding the Bucs going after Brady…
    Brady has always used his TEs a LOT.

    Just sayin’.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    I just don’t understand this.

    If all you want from your tight ends is to have them block and maybe catch a ball once a game, trade OJ while he still has value!!!

    Or you know, just waste a talent like that b/c you can’t adjust your scheme.

    Because as we’ve seen from the last 5 regimes, being incredibly stubborn with your scheme instead of adjusting to the talents of your players always works out so incredibly well.

  20. unbelievable Says:

    wow moderation on strong today.

    Maybe I’m being punished for not visiting as often lol?

  21. Bucsfanman Says:

    Again with the “he doesn’t utilize TEs” chatter. Bullspit!
    Riddle me this: when OJ did get opportunities, how did he fare? “Underachiever” would be the understatement of the century! He dropped passes, fumbled, and was an “ok” blocker. But sure, let’s keep up the narrative that he wasn’t utilized. Gee, I wonder why?!

  22. Bucs Guy Says:

    Hopefully this is a smokescreen to up OJ’s trade value because his performance is definately less than Brates.

  23. JimmyJack Says:

    Y’all talking about wasting talent are kidding youselfs. OJ hadent done squat in three seasons now. Give it up this dude is overrated. Cam Brate put up better numbers the year before OJ got here then OJ ever has. That should tell you all you need to know.

    OJ Howard is a soft player and often was the worst player on the field for both teams. I’m betting Bruce is looking for a trade partner.

  24. BigMacAttack Says:

    Licht is going to screw this whole thing up.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    Bucfanman…….All’s you gotta do bro is check out game One. Right out of the gate OJ was a huge part of the game plan. He responded by being the very worst player on the field that day. For both team. I could easily make a case we win without OJ.

    I don’t blame Bruce one bit at all if he ripped OJ out of the game plan after that.

    Fast forward to when Evans and Godwin go down. Next man up don’t mean backup gotta make big impact……It means guys like OJ step their games up……..Breshard Perriman stepped his up. RoJo stepped up. OJ Howard was awful in them games.

    This dude is so freaking overrated it bothers me in my sleep.

    Folk acting like Bellichick or Ried would work miracles cause what they did for Gronk and Kelce…….Get me a darn break…..Them TEs have no fear and catch balls over the middle. They embrace contact and probably even look for it. OJ runs away from hits. He’s not a TE he’s a slow receiver.

    ***END RANT***

  26. Dapostman Says:

    Craig logged on an thought he was on Joe Biden Fan dot com.

  27. Bucsfanman Says:

    JimmyJack- Nice rant! I am so fed up with people talking about how Leftwich and Arians don’t know how to use their personnel. OJ has nowhere near lived up to his draft position. At best, he’s an average TE right now. Good players simply don’t miss plays or opportunities WHENEVER they get them.
    There were other needs and better players available when we drafted this guy. So far, color me unimpressed!

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need the money for other positions more than we need Brate… him, if possible….or let him go.