A New O.J. Howard

September 12th, 2020

Gets major props.

Though the Bucs won’t say it publicly, an underlying factor in the team going shopping for stud players in the offseason was the hope star power would rub off on others.

When the Bucs obtained park-violating, home-invading, NFLPA-ignoring quarterback Tom Brady and foot-rubbing tight end Rob Gronkowski (hi Paul, thanks for reading!), the Bucs were hoped some of that winning attitude and crazy work ethic would be contagious in the locker room.

And it seems that is the case with the former first-round pick, tight end O.J. Howard.

The Alabama product, from what Joe saw in training camp practice, was easily having his best summer since the Bucs picked him up in 2017. Speaking with co-hosts Bill Lekas and Bill Polian on “Late Hits,” heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Arians said the Brady/Gronk magic has certainly left its mark on Howard.

Bill Polian: How has Gronk fit in with that tight end room, which is really a magnificent group of in terms of people that can make plays?

Bucco Bruce Arians: It’s been a great addition. The one thing about Gronk is, people don’t really know, he loves to block. I mean he takes a lot of pride in blocking. Everybody thinks of him as a receiver and all of the touchdowns in the red zone and spiking the ball. But the guy loves to block and it’s been great for O.J. to see that infectious attitude about blocking. O.J. is playing as good as I have ever seen him play. So yeah, that tight end room is kind of special, Bill.

Polian: Is this the year that O.J. breaks out?

Arians: Oh, I don’t think there is any doubt.

One reason Arians said the reason for the sudden emergence of Howard is his confidence is so high. Joe doesn’t know if that is from working with Brady or not but it sure as heck can’t hurt.

Perhaps Howard didn’t trust YouKnowWho and as a result, he wasn’t as locked in mentally as he should have been. He may have actually tuned out YouKnowWho.

Just a hunch if anyone tuned out Brady, the team’s shot-callers would tune out that player as well. As it shut off the guy’s access card to One Buc Palace.

22 Responses to “A New O.J. Howard”

  1. Mikadeemas Says:

    Love the Paul reference Joe!! GO BUCS!!!

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    Let’s all hope OJ can finally have his breakout year. Having a true starting QB for once might help…

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    No doubt OJ has looked fabulous this summer with maybe the GOAT TE with the same large size and athleticism practicing with him.

  4. Sport Says:

    It would have nice if he had figured out how to play and excel early on. He was trending washout first round draft pick status. One thing that is abundantly clear on BA’s Team, you are given coaching and opportunity, if it doesn’t take, you will be jettisoned.

    Let’s see all that talent and athletic ability translate to first downs, touch downs and Wins!!!

    Go Bucs!

    In BA I Trust!

  5. BigHog Says:

    Allow the Hog to put a stop this conspiracy theory that some how stars of the game can make those around them better, now one can come in and players can jell better with others and so we play better together but here this you did left anybody up, and with these young guys, it takes a third and forth year for them to reach up and turn the light on, though most don’t get that long…it’s football some take longer than others…no I don’t think Gronk made any body better, maybe a little motivation…but Howard has to put in the work…there is no majic moment!!! When Gronk was brought in, Howard just looked at the situation and said time to do like the lady told Al Green “PUT IT ON PAPER” HENNY AND HOG..get yo-self some!!

  6. Miketb19 Says:

    Since Mike Evans may not play this week. I would expect Gronk and OJ are going to be heavily involved in this game it would not shock me at all if both guys caught Touchdowns. OJ probably had the best training camp of anyone on the team with Winfield Jr coming in a close second. Hopefully this year OJ puts it all together the tools have always been there.

  7. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    So…if OJ is goes off this year, I would consider that the same as getting a free draft pick. A dude that didn’t really do anything last year suddenly starts to move the chains and score TD’s…hmmm. Bonus!

    Off topic: But for the “D@mn Sickness” I would have pulled on my vintage Steve Spurrier or Steve Young home creamsicle jersey, hooped a plane from Richmond VA and joined all of you at BigStorm for the festivites! D@mn Sickness!!

  8. Paul Says:

    Appreciate the Shoutout! You do care!! Much like well over 50% of your readers I am from a different city and have adopted the BUCS as my team over 30 years ago. I have been an avid reader of your site since I can remember. True Football fans have an insatiable appetite for news and updates on their team. Your site is GREAT for that and has always been. This year is arguably the most anticipated year ever for Buc fans for one reason-Tom Brady. That is a fact. Why you insist on using your Moniker for him-well over 50% of the time-is quite honestly CLASSLESS and CHILDISH to me as a pumped up Bucs fan still pinching myself that we have TB under center now instead of that other QB that you praised. The only ones that do not agree with that give you a free pass on the Peter King OMG PUKE too. It is an obvious attempt at humor-just not a good one. Again- Love the site tired of the DISRESPECT to BRADY. That is my only point. WHY HATING ON THE GOAT? Go BUCS!!

  9. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    Now I’m getting excited about OJ. BA was the one that said Godwin was going to have a breakout year last year and sure enough he did.

  10. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Hey Paula let it go..

    Jaboo isn’t America’s QB, and TB12 isn’t a”violator”.

    Joe’s attempting to make a funny…and he definitely “got your goat” 🐐

  11. Steven007 Says:

    I actually agree 100% with Paul. I’ve been calling out the silly monikers since day one at the site. The best / worst one was the one for Dirk. Ozark watching, yam eating… Wtf?! My point is once or twice, sure. We’re in on the joke. Every time? It’s silly and redundant. He had here I am. Love the site, just not the middle school crap.

  12. Steven007 Says:

    *yet here I am

  13. Leighroy Says:

    I love Gronk and his infectious personality and all, but I’d rather OJ have a breakout year and extend him.

    This will be fun while it lasts, so let’s make sure every little bit of this attitude wears off on everyone, and let the young bucs carry the torch forward from there!

    Agree with mike too btw, OJ stepping his game up will provide great depth cover for #hammygate2020

    Here’s a question: why are so many professional athletes still pulling hanmies? Your profession requires warm-ups and hydration this is 2020, you’re supposed to be professionals. Stretch dang it!

  14. moose Says:


  15. Eric Says:

    So it’s Jameis fault OJ tried that Magic Johnson behind the back that interception too?

  16. Anonymous Says:

    With all the investment made on these athletes and their dedicated strength and conditioning coaches they should not be having recurring problems with hamstrings. This wiped out their receiving corps last year. Did they make any changes to try to prevent this from reoccurring?

  17. D1 Says:

    “Here’s a question: why are so many professional athletes still pulling hanmies? Your profession requires warm-ups and hydration this is 2020, you’re supposed to be professionals. Stretch dang it!”


    If the answer was as simple as you seem to suggest, then there would be no hamstring injuries.

    Sometimes it’s how an athlete is built ie; a Structural weakness/strength . This is why some players continously have problems with a specific injury.

    Stretching a hamstring is necessary to a point, but the reality is that over stretching can be a problem, as it leaves the muscles in a poor state to handle the demands that the position requires.

    There’s a lot of factors to consider.

    Point is, it’s not easy to eliminate these injuries, certainly not as easy as many fans are suggesting.

    Again, if it is an “easy” fix, then there would be no problem.

    The mere fact that there is, should prompt you to “think” a little bit more, and consider it is slightly more complicated than you previously thought.

  18. admin Says:

    Did they make any changes to try to prevent this from reoccurring?


    Joe wrote about it yesterday in a story about Evans. Bucs have an idea what went wrong last year. Arians talked about it. Evan’s current issue is not the same kind of hamstring injury.

  19. Leighroy Says:

    Exactly. In fact joe, your quote was “ the team worked out the players too hard early in the season as well as late in the season.” Professionals take care of their bodies given these circumstances, like Ronde Barber and Derrick Brooks we’re notorious for.

    D1, if someone is predisposed to hammy injuries, then a real thinking man would probably account for that in his routine and go above and beyond! Maybe, you know uh, not work out too hard so often too?

    I’m not saying it’s easy, it requires commitment to do what’s right. THIS is what TB12 needs to run off on everyone.

  20. Leighroy Says:

    Plus, if the whole dang injury report is hammy injuries then it doesn’t take a thinking man to recognize you need to do something other than say “golly gee, some guys just always get ‘em and we happen to have 3 of them at the same time. What are the odds!?!” 🤷‍♂️

  21. #1bucfan Says:

    I hope he can stay healthy. With his abilities I think he can be better than Travis kelcie. Just saying

  22. teacherman777 Says:


    Because Joe loves the Chiefs. Hes not a Bucs fan.

    He is just a transplant here.

    He doesnt know about The Bucs from 1996-2002. And ehat made this team and our fans so magical.

    Joe doesnt actually love the Bucs. Or Brady.

    Hence, the disrespectful and corny nicknames.