Chopping Wood

May 2nd, 2020

With Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski, the Bucs have three tight ends who play very little special teams.

Will those three guys be on the opening-day roster? Joe suspects Tom Brady will have a say in that after he starts throwing to Brate and Howard in the spring and summer.

But most teams have at least one core special teams player at tight end, a guy who is a fourth-down warrior. For Tampa Bay, that is fourth-year Buccaneer Antony Auclair. He played eight games last year before getting hurt, and he still played more special teams than Brate and Howard combined.

Auclair, who turns 27 this month, is a great story out of the Canadian college ranks. He told the Vancouver Courier newspaper recently that he’s nearly 100 percent healthy and has embarked on a new training regimen back home in lockdown because of The Sickness.

It involves an ax.

“I’m a huge fan of Rocky IV when he trained in the snow and all that so I’m trying to replicate that,” Auclair said. “I’m trying to split wood as much as I can and that’s it.

“On sunny days it’s pretty cool. But (Tuesday) it’s snowing a lot, but I kind of like it. It makes us go outside a lot more. For now, we control what we can control, and we can’t control the virus. For us, it’s just to find ways.”

Joe read about this weeks ago, but didn’t write about it. The Buccaneers, however, just posted a video about various players at home and it shares some of their home workouts. Auclair is shown wielding his ax in a land foreign to most Floridians, which Joe thought was pretty cool. (It’s at the 40-second mark of the video below.) Auclair also is an accomplished juggler, which he says is great for honing hand-eye coordination.

At 6-6 and about 270 pounds, Auclair is a solid blocking tight end and special teamer, but he might have more potential as a pass catcher than is believed. He’ll play this season on a one-year contract for just over $1 million with $800,000 guaranteed.

25 Responses to “Chopping Wood”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    That juggling is impressive. I thought Auclair was a steal when they got him. Don’t know why he hasn’t blossomed. It does look like the Bucs are super deep at TE. Nice – because of injury potential. Deepest position on the team.

  2. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trade Brate for a more needed position. Put Auclair as third tight end he’s never going to blossom sitting on the bench.

  3. ©MadMax Says:

    Awesome! Glad the guys are still finding ways to work out. I walk and run a lot where I can.

    Auclair is why I didnt want us to try drafting a FB. He can play that role.

    Btw, its good to see what OJ Howard hasnt been doing….smh. Auclair over OJ all day please, if it comes down to it!

  4. Gofortheface30 Says:

    “Operation warp speed” will/could have a vaccine in fall. Remdesivir as a temporary treatment option for hospitalized patients is encouraging. The article came out on another site suggesting that there is an “extremely low chance of no football” is neat-o, and not only that a full slate with fans due to the advances with science. I’m sure this burns the left really hard. Grrrrrr, how mad are you lefty’s? Yannow….there’s a few soy milk drinking, vegan, trans men on here that were soooo sure that there would be no football season. I provided my email address for a friendly wager. To no surprise I didn’t hear from him. There will be football.

    As an aside, how bout them dems in California. The very second the beaches open up – 100,000 people go. We’re these the same losers that called out Floridians that went to the beach? This situation is exposing the hypocrites. Just how mad are you nerds in woke society gnna be come November? Hope you enjoyed the first half of 2020, because you are going to rot the next 4 years

  5. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Keep em all. All have injury histories as long as we can afford them keep them.

  6. Fred W Mcneil Says:

    At 6’7 if he can leap … what a target.

  7. mark2001 Says:

    Gofor…the left? You mean the smart people that saw this coming by watching real news and sold their stocks when the market was at 29000? They aren’t all lefties. Just because people are informed and don’t believe the liar in chief doesn’t mean they hate football…or would be unhappy to have a season this year. Would love to see a breakthrough tomorrow, so we can get back to regular life. And thank your children for donating their Social Security and Medicare for those big bailouts and stimulus checks we received. And those big tax breaks. They won’t need that socialist security or Medicare, right?

    Vaccine by fall…would be nice, but January is what the experts are the earliest. And for the average guy, probably six months beyond that. Remdesivir is promising…a drug real scientists are testing..not one being touted by the snake oil salesman to line the pockets of his buddies like hydroxychloroquine.

    And in case you haven’t figured it out, everyone in California isn’t a lefty… Nunes won a seat…remember? Likely the same people gathering on the beach in Cali are just like those gathering on the beach in Florida. Good luck to them…just hope they won’t be shocked when they acquire this virus…or they close down their businesses again if the infection rate spikes.

  8. Cubano Bucanero Says:

    Rocky 4 has the best training montage by far

  9. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    What about his potential as an offensive tackle? If he blocks well and is 6’6″, how about packing 40 more pounds on this guy?

    Just a thought.

  10. El Buco Realisto Says:

    @Cubano Bucareno

    You must mean, (out of the rocky movies) otherwise you would obviously know that it was “Remo Williams”!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!

  11. I Bleed Pewter Says:

    I think it would be a mistake to deal one of the three TE’s considering the fact Brady will use the TE way more in this offense compared to last season. So knowing that it will increase the chances of our TE’s getting injured, and because we are three pass catchers deep at the position and give us some insurance that there shouldn’t be much drop off in production should one or even two go down with injury. The younger guys like Hudson and Auclair at least have PS eligibility if we only carry 3 or 4 TE’s on the roster. As far as special teams go there is no rule that says you must play a TE on special teams. We can make up the vacancy with another position if need be.

  12. Beeej Says:

    Could Brate line up as occasional slot? I’m thinking he’s pretty fast (for a tight end)

  13. Ndog Says:

    Brady historically has liked to use the I formation so I wonder which one of these tight ends they are looking at for that position playing that fullback role? I would think he would be a good candidate for that role but he might be a little tall to get the needed leverage.

  14. Youngbucs Says:

    Is Casey single?????😍😍😍😍

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Got curious Joe how much our TEs have been used since 2015 when Cam Brate came onboard. Not at all what I expected:

    2015 – 4 TEs … 99 targets – 65 Catches – 65.7% … 8 TDs
    2016 – 5 TEs … 116 targets – 78 catches – 67.2% … 11 TDs
    2017 – 5 TEs … 127 targets – 84 catches – 66.1% … 13 TDs
    2018 – 4 TEs … 110 targets – 73 catches – 66.4% … 11 TDs
    2019 – 5 TEs … 117 targets – 74 catches – 63.2% … 5 TDs

    Looks to me that, as a position group, our TEs have been quite consistent in terms of their catch percentage over the years. Both Koetter & Leftwich seemed to target them roughly the same as a group (Koetter averaged 113 targets per year to BL’s 117 targets last year), and yet BL didn’t get nearly the TD production out of them that Koetter did as a group (TEs averaged almost 11 TDs/year under Koetter but only had 5 TDs last year … the Bucs highest scoring year ever).

    So Leftwich used our TEs slightly more than Dirk did, yet got only half the scoring production out of them. Hmmm.

  16. I Bleed Pewter Says:

    Defense Rules

    What I have learned from your graph is intriguing. Great insight. The lack of TD’s in last seasons BL offense can only be attributed to the fact that Winston sought to throw the ball deep on almost every pass, or because we needed to play catchup. He took a lot more risk and because of the heroic efforts of our WR’s we scored a lot of long TD’s outside the red zone keeping our TE’s in check, and lessening their scoring opportunities. I don’t know if you can actually blame it on BL and not Winston. Is it really BL’s fault that Winston wouldn’t try to use his short game. Let’s remember most Winston’s INT’s were of the 20 yards and shorter variety, and I think he was scared to throw short and always opted to throw deep. Brady will bring back the entire arsenal of passing plays from short to intermediate and the occasional bomb, instead of a one dimensional back yard passing game where everyone just goes deep.

  17. Patrickbucs Says:

    NDOG: Dalton signed for $3million signing bonus, chance to earn $7 million. He turned down higher offers as well. Probably not fake ones like your Steelers deal.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    I Bleed Pewter … Or maybe it had to do with the difference in how BL had Jameis go through his progressions? Or possibly play design? It’d be interesting to one day go back & look at each passing TD & analyze them in depth (position on the field, play call, time to release, etc). Or not.

  19. Patrickbucs Says:


  20. Bradybru Says:

    Great interview with the rookies, nice guys.

  21. Phil Says:

    Don’t forget about Tanner Hudson. I think we should trade OJ Howard and Cameron Brate and move Tanner up the depth chart.

  22. TOM Says:

    As far as I’m concerned they could trade Howard & Brate & go with Gronk & Auclair & Hudson in reserve.

  23. SOEbuc Says:

    Drop em all and start Hudson to beat out Gronk’s record’s 🙂

  24. unbelievable Says:

    We have so much talent at the right end position.

    Maybe this season we can actually use them?

  25. unbelievable Says:

    Ugh, *tight end* position. ^

    Damn autocorrect…