Using The Tight Ends

July 28th, 2020

Surprising data

Last year Joe thought Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians would have a field day with his tight ends.

Cam Brate previously had put up numbers worthy of a Pro Bowl, especially in the red zone. And O.J. Howard was drafted in the first round for a reason. For many, his spectacular flashes needed to be more consistent, that’s all.

And when football folks told Joe that Arians doesn’t use tight ends, Joe openly scoffed. Joe remembered perfectly well Arians using Heath Miller when Arians ran the Steelers offense.

Man, Joe should have listened.

Brate had his worst season since he became a full-time player in 2015, only catching four touchdowns. Howard was mostly used as a blocker and the results were, well, inconsistent. Let’s just leave it at that.

What shocked Joe was when both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were out with injuries late in the season. It seemed a perfect time to lean on the Bucs’ tight ends. That didn’t happen.

Still, it shocked Joe reading what noted gambler Warren Sharp dug up on the Bucs tight ends for his Warren Sharp 2020 Football Preview. It seems, per Sharp, the Bucs got dreadful production from their tight ends.

The one area where Tampa Bay was under par [in the passing game] was targeting tight ends. Tampa tight ends ranked 22nd in yards per target (6.3) and 19th in success rate (52%).

Football Outsiders, unaffiliated with Sharp but Sharp uses the same success rate definition, defines “success” as gaining 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent of necessary yardage on second down, and 100 percent of necessary yardage on third and fourth down.

This nearly blew Joe’s mind that the tight ends were rated so low.

Now the Bucs have foot-rubbing tight end Rob Gronkowski. Does that automatically mean Arians will work in the tight ends? Well, that should have happened last year.

So did the Bucs basically waste a draft pick to grab Gronk if Arians isn’t going to use him? Joe will suggest no.

And why would that be? Because the guy now barking signals for the Bucs likely has more influence on Arians than YouKnowWho.

49 Responses to “Using The Tight Ends”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Gronk will not be featured like he was many moons ago with Brady.

    Gronk will just be a red zone target…………..plain & simple.

    If OJ Howard doesn’t live up to his potential this season then the team should just trade him and move on…………..I’m tired of talking about how great OJ Howard’s “potential” is.

    ………..oh and BTW…….Brucco Brucie is not a Tight ends guy and they are non-featured in his offenses.


  2. Wombat Says:

    TE’s need to block and keep Brady safe with a rookie on one side and Smith/replacement on the other side!!!
    Look out for ME13 this year. His last two QB’s were Johnny Football and Jaymiss. Look for him to have Randy Moss like numbers this season. If Mike can have the ball placed where he can catch it more often than not, he will be unstopable. He already has been a beast and I think he will be the biggest “surprise” this year with Brady.

  3. 1buc4u Says:

    Look for 3 tight end sets with 1 of them in the slot. This will help the run game and play action.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Regardless of using them, we don’t need 3 top-tier TEs…….need to trade Brate or Howard.

    As for using Gronk….I don’t think BA or BL can prevent that…..Brady will use him.

  5. Ndog Says:

    Evans catch and run, that’s a good one. Man it’s nice to have jokes to laugh at this early in the morning. Thanks Wombat.

  6. Alan Collingwood Says:

    Trade Brate or Howard? Considering that all 4 TEs have missed time in recent years due due injury, PLUS the likelihood that some players will miss time due to COVID, I say keep ’em all. It’s a very deep position for the bucs, let’s not gut it for what would likely be minimal return in draft capial.

  7. Wombat Says:

    Ndog, he had 7 runs of 40+ yds in 13 games last year, who had more?????

    Go follow New Orleans with your buddy…. Michael Thomas had 1, yes 1 run over 40yds……

  8. Roy T. Buford Says:

    I was going to say in my comment what Joe got to in his last sentence.
    Yup, Brady gets what Brady wants because Brady knows what he needs. Unlike “you know who” who wanted everything and got much but did significant to show for it over five years (that’s right, garbage yards polluted with record turnovers mean nothing).

  9. Roy T. Buford Says:

    ^^^ correction: did NOTHING significant….

  10. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Wombat…agreed…look for YAC to increase this year for both ME13 and the other receivers. Finally a QB with some accuracy.

  11. Kobe Faker Says:

    “LOL the Bucsheep football IQ

    Bring in 3 TEs to block and mass protect to give Brady time

    Have you watched Pat’s offense and the modern offense during the last 10 years

    Brady wants to spread the defense out and AWAY from the LOS

    Put pass catchers in space and away from the LOS

    defences couldn’t blitz Brady because he proved he can get the ball out quickly and consistently and move the offense before the blitz came thru

    Would he be able to with the BA/BL twins?

    Kobe Faker doesnt think so”

    Kobe Faker

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I wasn’t a fan of the Gronk trade…..although I wish him well, I thought the 4th round pick and $10 mil could have been put to better use……
    The only possible huge upside for Gronk is how it affects Brady and that could be very positive.

  13. Ndog Says:

    If the QB was the problem with Evans YAC, why did Godwin finish 6th in the entire NFL in YAC with the same QB?

  14. Roy T. Buford Says:

    NDog…because Godwin probably would have finished much higher then 6th with an accurate passer throwing to him.

  15. BigHog Says:

    ME13 is not Randy Moss!!

  16. Ndog Says:


  17. bucsfan951 Says:

    im just excited npuppy is back…

  18. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Ndog, but Godwin was 7th or worse in YAC, right? No surprise that he’d be beaten out by NO, SD, etc, with guys like Brees, Rivers and the like throwing the ball. As in McCAffery’s and Kittle’s, helps to able to run too (where speed is somethign Godwin does have)…but certainly QB accuracy is a key factor for YAC.

    Two things we’ll never hear stated about JW3 from a sportscast:

    – “His decision making under pressure remarkably solid.”

    – “Yet another throw with pinpoint accuracy by Jameis.”

    It’s okay. Winston fooled all of us for a couple years, and fooled more for five. And now he’s making a cool mil+ by holding a clipboard. Impressive, well-thought way to rake it in.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    While i admire your passion for JW……he’s gone.

    How about lets deal with more pertinent issues like:

    Who won the civil war?
    Who else was involved with the assassination of JFK?
    Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?
    Who’s on first?

  20. Ndog Says:

    Are 3rd downs important decisions?

    BEST QBs at CONVERTING 3rd DOWNS (2015-2019, 700+ such plays):

    1. Jameis Winston
    43.6% on 779 plays

    2. Ryan
    43.0% on 863

    3. Drew Brees
    42.6% on 739

    4. Tom Brady
    40.5% on 810

  21. Ndog Says:

    Are making positive plays good decisions?

    From PFF:

    Highest rate of positively graded plays among QBs since 2006

    1. Jameis Winston
    2. Peyton Manning
    3. Cam Newton
    4. Aaron Rodgers

  22. Ndog Says:

    But the WRs in Tampa made Jameis right?

    Then why over the last 3 years did he have the 4th most incompletions on positively graded throws in the entire NFL?

    From PFF:

    Most incompletions on positively-graded throws 2017-2019

    1. Russell Wilson 48
    1. Tom Brady 48
    3. Aaron Rodgers 47
    3. Philip Rivers 47
    5. Jameis Winston 45
    5. Matthew Stafford 45

  23. SufferingSince76 Says:

    While I think Arians is a good coach, his stubbornness can be maddening. Hopefully, Brady will spread the ball around to the TE’s anyway. To not utilize all positions to win the game is concerning.

  24. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Let us not forget – Gronk is a mismatch nightmare anywhere on the field AND a willing beast of a blocker! Most likely not a waste of a draft pick.

  25. Allbuccedup Says:

    Too many tight ends!

  26. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Man when you are relying on the PFF tribe you are really grasping at straws at that point.

  27. Ndog Says:

    We could go with these stats.

    In 100 years of the NFL only 8 people on the planet have ever thrown for over 5,000 yards in a NFL season and Jameis Winston is one of them.

    And BTW the first one is not PFF, just to set the record straight. Those are called FACTS.

    When you nothing to say against proven FACTS you’re grasping at straws.

  28. Alanbucsfan Says:


    Those FACTS are why Jameis could be a great QB.
    These FACTS are why he is currently a Backup

    Jameis interceptions

    25 with a clean pocket (most in the NFL)
    23 within one possession (most in the NFL)
    22 targeting WRs (most in the NFL)
    19 when trailing (most in the NFL)
    17 against zone defenses (most in the NFL)
    13 against man defenses (most in the NFL)
    13 against a blitz (most in the NFL)
    11 on third down (most in the NFL)
    10 in the fourth quarter (most in the NFL)

  29. Bucsfanman Says:

    In order for the TEs to be effective in the passing game, they have to be thrown to.
    1) TEs were underutilized because they were not targeted, not because they weren’t out there.
    2) 2 WRs with a 1,000 yards a piece were targeted more.
    3) Both Brate, and especially Howard struggled mightily. Howard was AWFUL!

    The TE narrative is false. A QB is supposed to be able to read defenses to identify the open receivers. There were more times than I can count that a TE dragged across the middle wide open and the ball was thrown elsewhere.
    I rate this TE statement “Pants on Fire!”

  30. Alanbucsfan Says:

    ^^. 2019

  31. Ndog Says:

    Alanbucsfan now do Manning’s, Palmer’s, Luck’s and Big Ben’s first year under Arains?

  32. Bucsfanman Says:

    ^^^What’s the point to that conversation? Seriously Ndog. Winston is GONE, bye-bye, adios, playing for the Saints.
    Get over it dude!

  33. Alanbucsfan Says:

    P Manning was a rookie when he threw 28 interceptions
    C Palmer started the year off poorly, but finished strong his 1st year with Arians
    Rothlisberger threw 32 td’s and 11 interceptions his 1st year with Arians OC
    Luck had 23 td’s and 18 interceptions 1st year with Arians OC as a rookie

    Bottom line – if Jameis had finished strong last 2 games, he’d still be Bucs’ QB.

  34. lambchop Says:

    Brady will get the TEs involved. Forget BA and BL. It’s already been said that Tom will be incorporating plays he likes into the playbook. Let’s just hope for a normal season.

  35. Wombat Says:

    Ndog those stats you provide would make it crazy for anyone not to want Jeameis on their team. I can’t make out why the whole league doesn’t get your point of view, damn Covid, everybody crazy with the Covid. Can’t believe Jameis is not even the 2nd highest paid receiver on his team now??? Whole world gone crazy!!!!

    The fact is Jameis isn’t very good…. sorry, thought you would have worked that out by now.

    You may as well go join the Tim Tebow crowd buddy, they will prolly listen to you…..

  36. Roy T. Buford Says:

    Ndog, stepped away…time with a client who was groped while driving an Uber…anyway…while I was away…

    Looks like everyone else made my point quite well. So….^^^What they said.

  37. gp Says:

    I was a supporter of JW when he wore our uniform. He doesn’t anymore so the only time I want to talk about him is when he’s starting the next game against us.
    Regarding the topic…
    TB12 is well known for ‘seeing’ the whole field and will find the open man. Instead of forcing the called play, he will deliver it to the best option, whether that be a wide out, tight end, or running back.
    I foresee this offense really opening up this year. Tom chose us because of the “no risk it-no biscuit” offense as well as the talent.
    Hold on to your seats and get ready for ‘the perfect storm’!

  38. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Arians does not have a great history of using Tight Ends, except as blockers.

  39. Ndog Says:

    Alanbucsfan Carson Palmers 2nd to last game during his first season with Arains he threw 4 INTs.

    So he finished strong but Jameis didn’t?

  40. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    He also threw those INTs against the prime Legion of Boom. 4 interception games were not a common staple through the entire year like Jameis. Where he would pull that against the alleged Texans defense and the tanking panthers.

  41. Ndog Says:

    So Tampabuscsbro the Legion of Boom is good reasoning for Palmer but Jameis not having Evans, Godwin or Miller and playing with a torn meniscus and a broken throwing thumb are just irrelevant right?

  42. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    He was cleared to play so yes that’s irrelevant, everyone gets banged up through the season. Also Ndog you literally were just implying above that the WRs didn’t make him. Now all of a sudden it’s an excuse.

  43. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Cardinals won that game. Winning trumps all stats

  44. Ndog Says:

    I love how you guys keep moving the goal posts for the player you don’t like but for others use everything under the sun as an excuse. Also while not posting for the past few months I have just sat back and watched how on literally every article, no matter what the topic people are blaming Jameis.

    Bad oline #s = Jameis held the ball to long.
    Bad running game = Jameis didn’t adubile.
    Evans poor YAC= Jameis is inaccurate.
    Horrible pass defense = Jameis put them on the field to often.
    Missed kicks = If Jameis scored a TD it wouldn’t matter.
    OJ didn’t produce = Jameis didn’t throw the ball to him.

    Literally EVERY ARTICLE and the excuse can’t be used that a “Jameis lover” brought him up cause I wasnt here but you people still brought him up everytime.

    You people have literally been convinced this was the greatest team ever assembled and Jameis keep us from being the first team to go undefeated and won the Super Bowl.

    It’s hilarious how the guy is gone and he’s still living rent free in some of your minds.

  45. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    Ndog you’re the dude that keeps bringing him up all the time. go back on your burner account clean house at least that account wasn’t as much of an outright troll.

  46. Bucsgotachance..todonothing Says:

    Ndog- real quick response to all that…..Fitzpatrick set HOF records with this offense yes the same journey man no one wanted qbing thier team….
    Set record’s that will forever have him in the hof of football.
    So yeah i think will be ok with the subtracting of Winston the turnover machine for the greatest game manager and most winning qb of all time and hemis favorite target Gronk.

    If we are able to develop a run game and protect brady we can match up with any team in the nfl…arguably the best or top 3 dline in nfl arguably the best linebacker group..arguably best te room..arguably the best 1 2 punch in wide receivers…all we lack in is the secondary mostly safety play and running game. If we can be subpar in those areas we stand a chance to run it up. So let crab legs, W eating, cockroaches having sex on his grandmas porch cheering, eye squinchin, turnover driving, uber driver grabbing, sexual deviant, inaccurate elongated throwing, none defense reading, linebacker best friend winston now clip board holding studys Google how to be a qb finally get laser surgery 1mil dollars going to be brees back ups back up guy go…you are fight a dead fight no one carea about your stats or excuses for him…only stat that matters in football wins and losses and Winston is a true. Now make peace with that and find a new bone to pick woth people.

  47. Ndog Says:

    What you folks fail to realize there are many MANY more people out there that feel exactly the way I do and when this entire experiment fails the Bucs will have lost all of us and all the casuals will go back to not caring like before we brought the old man in. Then they are left with….. nothing. I’m not Clean House or anyone else it’s just many people feel the way I do they just don’t post in this site.

  48. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Ndog, pot calling kettle black?

  49. Bucsfan951 Says:

    I swear I am so happy to have the puppy back. I truly am!

    How do run a successful business when you lose money nearly half the time you do work?

    I mean, isn’t that what throwing a football is? Jw has 33 “jobs” in the green. Making that money!

    And then he had 30 “jobs” in the red. Lost money! Ouch!!!

    How do you run a successful business like that?

    Don’t give me the crap that 5k is the profit. He might’ve been very proficient in yardage but at the end of the day, it doesn’t mean a damn thing if you lose money in half of your jobs!

    But I wouldn’t expect NPUPPY to know this…