Brate Offers Hint To Leftwich

March 27th, 2020

Stoked with Bucs new QB.

Bucs tight end Cam Brate is one of the best guys you will ever meet.

If you didn’t know any better, he’s like any dude you would run into at a SoHo watering hole scoping for chicks. Difference is, he’s an NFL player and a damn good one.

Brate is very much a diplomat but also a straight-shooter. In other words, he’s not a con artist when he speaks with you.

In an interview Brate did with Sports Illustrated, Brate dropped a not-so-subtle hint to Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich (or perhaps it was to Bucco Bruce Arians?):

Find a way to get your tight ends involved in the passing game.

Brate, as you may have heard, went to college in the Boston area. So he watched new Bucs quarterback Tom Brady in his prime how he worked with tight ends and always dreamed of somehow finding his way onto the same team as Brady and catching passes from him.

Now, Brate plays with Brady and Brate wants to make sure that unlike last year, it’s time for the Bucs to use their tight ends as passing weapons, not just (bad) blockers, so Brate told Nick Selbe.

“Back when I was in college was, when they had [Rob Gronkowski] and [Aaron] Hernandez working together as the two tight ends, I got to kind of watch that firsthand,” Brate said. “Hopefully with (Brady) at quarterback for us, we’ll get the tight ends a little more involved this year, and me and O.J. are definitely fired up to be part of it.”

Last year late in the season both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, the Bucs’ Pro Bowl receivers, went down with season-ending hamstring injuries. Joe remembers talking to Brate midweek prior to one of the two final games and Brate, while bummed for his teammates, expected he and fellow tight end O.J. Howard would be involved more.

That didn’t happen and both games were losses.

If Brate and Howard were more involved in the passing game than Justin Watson or immortals such as Cyril Grayson and Ishmael Hyman, would the Bucs have won one or both games? Who knows, but Joe sure would have preferred the Bucs chances had Brate and Howard been used more as passing targets.

33 Responses to “Brate Offers Hint To Leftwich”

  1. 2020 Year of the GOAT Says:

    , expected he and fellow tight end O.J. Howard would be involved more in the passing game.
    That didn’t happen and both games were losses………….
    Thats just mind numbing when you think about that………

  2. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    I suspect that there will be a lot more involvement for Brate and Howard with this QB.

  3. adam from ny Says:

    humphries is prolly kicking himself right now…

    he’s the receiver the bucs need right now…

    pry him away from the titans for some secondary guys you wanna dump like mj stewart etc…

  4. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I think BA and Leftwich are clueless on how to use TE for a passing attack. Brady should change this. We should be a more complete offensive this year.

    As Joe’s article stated, when ME and Godwin went down, Leftwich still did not use his TEs as pass catchers. This was plan ignorant.

  5. adam from ny Says:

    leftwich is just a pawn in the game…

    he’s gonna get great ratings here the next season or so as an oc, then go on to be an upstart hc somewhere and go 3-13…

    actually at that point 3-14 (17 games by then)

  6. Pa Privateer Says:

    Perhaps it wasn’t Leftwich that didn’t involve Brate and Howard……..

    Could it be that Winston didn’t throw to the TEs even when play was called?

    Perhaps Winston wanted to throw the ball down the field so much that he overlooked the TEs just to get the big chinks of yards……..

  7. adam from ny Says:

    we want bobby fenton…

    we want bobby fenton…

    bring on the bobbycast !

  8. TOM Says:

    Whether it was Leftwitch or not he’, still a poor excuse for a OC. Would like to see the Bucs land Edelman.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It should be quite easy for Brady to add plays that feature the TEs……and, I think BA & BL will welcome the addition.

    I’m excited at how good our offense will be…..add the oline piece & a RB……involve the backs & TEs……Evans & Godwin…..and who’s concerned about WR #3? Unless there’s an unfortunate injury…..

  10. Jack Karako Says:

    What I like about this coaching staff is that they put players in a position to succeed, as opposed to force-feeding a system to players that won’t fit the mold. I believe we will see an offensive system more similar to what the Patriots have run historically than what we saw with Winston last year. Having said tht Bucs need two more RB – a powerful stud up the middle, and a pass-catching fast running back that can take a short screen for 20 or more yeards.

  11. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    They did include him and he dropped a critical pass!! They tried to involve oj too early in the season but the big doofus dropped too many passes!!

  12. WestChap Says:

    The lack of TE production was a mystery last year. Team clearly decided to keep them both when they could have gotten something in return but then appeared not to use at all. Odd. Don’t expect that again given Brady’s affection for TEs.

  13. Sport Says:

    SorryJack – yep. I thought Oj got exposed last year. If you look at the tape, he looked stiff and didn’t squeeze the ball. IMO his trade value would have been low (especially for a first round pick). I liked getting him in that draft, but he has to climb out of the hole he dug. If he doesn’t do it this year, he’s toast.

    I’m not worried about a Brate, he has solid tape, but he did miss a big one coming down the stretch. He will have a great year.

    In BA I Trust!

  14. Pete Mitchell Says:

    Well… there was that one pass to Brate in the overtime period of the falcons game.

    It was a touchdown, right?!?!

  15. jjbucfan Says:

    PA- are you serious? Brate said “don’t keep us in as blockers.” The year before Arians JW threw to the TEs all the time. We really have the worst fans EVER! Brady will make them change because he is smarter than both of them. I believe Leftwich ran Arians offense because his boss told him to. I blame Arians for last year, he never made any adjustments on Offense. Bowles made those adjustments and our Defense improved throughout the year.

  16. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Pa Privateer Says:
    “Could it be that Winston didn’t throw to the TEs even when play was called?”


    I have to be honest… I feel what you are saying here. There were ALOT of times last year, when I was wanting JW to get OJ involved, and I would see OJ pretty well open right over the middle of the field…. and JW would sling it downfield. — Now to be honest, there were a lot of those times that it was completed, so no harm, no foul.

    But sometimes there is a value in getting a guy GOING, too. — I thought, man just ONE of these games, if JW could just keep feeding it to OJ for like 8 or 9 catches… it could have really gotten him going for the rest of the year. It just never happened.

  17. rrsrq Says:


    Why would Hump be kicking himself, got paid by the Titans which he chose over the Patriots. Went to the playoffs and I believe was one game away from the championship. I’m sure Hump is happy for his ex-teammates, but I’m sure he is not complaining.

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    Pa Privateer Says:
    March 27th, 2020 at 8:24 am
    Perhaps it wasn’t Leftwich that didn’t involve Brate and Howard……..

    Could it be that Winston didn’t throw to the TEs even when play was called?

    Perhaps Winston wanted to throw the ball down the field so much that he overlooked the TEs just to get the big chinks of yards……..


    how many times have we seen JW ignore a wide open TE /WR/RB in the flat or on a shallow crossing only to throw the ball deep down field into double coverage…..

    BL guided a top5 offense….get your facts str8!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  19. Bucs Guy Says:

    I don’t want to get OJ involved — rrade him while you can still get something goe him.
    If the Buxs don’t trade him, they will be releasing him next spring.

  20. Joe Says:

    You guys are mental. Jameis loved throwing to tight ends. How do you think a scrub like Cam Brate blew up? (Yes, he was a scrub that bounced off two teams’ practice squad rosters.)

    Koetter and Licht often talked about this.

    Please do carry on, though. They are entertaining. 🙂

  21. JJTIX Says:

    How could you not want to play with a Hyman!!!!!!!!!!! lol

  22. RustyRhinos Says:

    What’s up with your Justin Watson hate? He is a fourth WR on a team that lost both of their Pro Bowl WR’s. Is it not next man up in Joe’s NFL? Perriman, Watson and Miller have had to step up and they looked like they did a good job. Were they and are they Pro Bowl WR’s no not yet, but if you never get your chance to play WR 1-2-3? How can you know what you have?

    Leftwhich needs to figure out he has TE’s and several good ones, leftover from the previous OC’s tenure.

  23. Joe Says:

    What’s up with your Justin Watson hate?

    Again, Joe does not “hate” a particular Bucs player (unless it was Swaggy Baker).

    What Joe does hate is lack of production. Watson, literally and figuratively, dropped the ball (often) last year.

    Joe hates that for Watson and his chances to stick with the team as well.

  24. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    You people really short term memory and some selective amnesia ti fit your agenda in denigrating Winston as much as you can! It W said before he came here that Arians DOES NOT use tight ends much in his offense. Like it was said earlier, before Arians Winston lived to throw to his tightends especial form the seams. Why do you think Brate was tied one year for the league lead in tds by tightends? I believe it was 8. Blame Ariabs on this one. He kept them in for blocking but still had the worst run game and got the qb sacked 47 times. People and their agendas are so ridiculous

  25. CardinalsAreLaughingatyou Says:

    Leftwhich was Cheeks as a Quarterback. He never threw to tight ends in his career. And as a result rifled many, many picks. No matter the Bucs have a history of sucking nuts anyway. They aren’t winning mire than 7 games. Lol

  26. BucEmUp Says:

    Leftwhich torpedoed the career of Jameis and lucky for Bruce Arians, Leftwich and his crappy playcalling will be trumped by TB12. I wanted Jameis to stay but its water under the bridge. I would be beyond stupid to not use Howard and Brate out the gate from day 1. This really is rhe best roster of receiving talent Brady has ever had.It will be interesting to see who the rb is. I wish Blount would come out of retirement but hes probably a slug by now

  27. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    CardinalsAreLaughingatyou Says:
    “No matter the Bucs have a history of sucking nuts anyway.”


    That’s hilarious, coming from a Cardinals fan.

    We have a Super Bowl title to our name BEFORE Brady.
    What have you got?

  28. Kansas95Buc Says:

    Some of you guys need to watch games before commenting here. Winston didn’t like to throw to TE…….and somebody backed him….man every day I think Sapp was right about majority of Bucs fans

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    Well Brate was involved in the last two games.

    In the Houston game, down by 3, with 3 minutes left, on 4th and 2, at the Texans 30 or so, he dropped what was probably the easiest pass of his career. That pass would have, at worst, allowed the team to tie the game up. This game killing drop was after OJ couldn’t catch a deep ball on the previous series that would have given the ball to the Bucs deep in the Texans terrority.

    Then in the final game, on the final play, the pass was going to Brate who just stood there as the LB stepped in front of him. He wasn’t coming back to the ball, he was just standing there waiting for the ball. Not sure that is on Brate, that could have been by design, but had he been breaking back to the ball it’s likely not intercepted.

    In other words the last person I’d want to hear from right now is Brate. He cost the team big time in that Houston game, big big time — and might have cost them in the Atlanta game as well (or not, as I said perhaps he was just supposed to stand there by design).

  30. unbelievable Says:

    While OJ had some terrible moments last year (and Brate had a few back breakers too), the overall lack of TE usage has to be put squarely on the shoulders of Arians and Leftwich.

  31. lambchop Says:


    A guy is allowed to drop passes once in a while, apart from CG, all our receivers have dropped passes. But, what is overlooked is reps and continuity which leads to a mentality. Juice and Brate knew they were an after thought. That has to affect how mentally engaged and ready you are for that one or two cameo appearances on offense where the ball is actually thrown your way.

    I am expecting more production from Brate and Juice. Every Sunday, someone different will get a chance to shine. Wait till Brady sees Juice’s speed. The only thing OJ needs to work on is being more physical and having an attack style mentality to get more YAC.

    He reminds me of our finesse Lightning offense in the playoffs. Finesse gets you no where in crunch time.

  32. lambchop Says:

    I think OJ has mentally accepted that he has to get out of bounds and live for another day than risk ending up on IR.

  33. westernbuc Says:

    Those final two games were and absolute disgrace. The fact that Arians couldn’t use two of his most talented weapons is a complete shame. Jameis would still be here if Arians utilized his tight ends all year.

    Hey, I’m excited about Brady. But he can overcome mediocre coaching. Jameis never had a chance with the quarterback whisperer