Bruce Arians Not Concerned With O.J. Howard

August 22nd, 2021

Uneven night.

It was easy for Joe to understand why folks on social media last night wasted little time in venting about Bucs tight end O.J. Howard.

The former first-round pick is in the final year of his contract and Howard’s reputation has far exceeded his production.

Then last night Howard had two drops that should have been caught earl in the first quarter. And fans began to vent their frustration.

Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians isn’t one of the frustrated. He believes Howard’s problem last night was wearing the wrong gloves. Once he changed gloves and began to catch balls, Arians said the situation was “not concerning.”

“Yeah, it’s not concerning because he came back and caught the ball on some grimier [passes],” Arians said. “But those [drops] were easy ones. He’s made those in practice.

“There is a time where you have to switch gloves when they get too wet. I think the one [pass] it slipped right through his hands. But after that he caught everything. So, it’s not concerning.”

Joe didn’t want to pile on because Howard has only been on a football field practicing for maybe three weeks. He began training camp either on floppy hat patrol or working out separately on a side field with Bucs trainers.

Remember that Howard suffered a blown Achilles last year. While medical advances have made the injury less catastrophic, it’s still a major injury. Remember that is the same injury that ended Earnest Graham’s career.

It could be that Howard may not be close to normal until later in the year, maybe not until next year.

Who knows who he will be playing for then?

What Joe found weird is that Howard was out there playing with future architects, short-order cooks, stockbrokers and high school history teachers. It sort of had the same feel of when Noah Spence was playing in the fourth quarter of the fourth preseason game.

31 Responses to “Bruce Arians Not Concerned With O.J. Howard”

  1. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I think they were just trying to get him some reps to work him back into game shape and probably to see how his body and leg respond this coming week.

  2. Bobby M. Says:

    I dont anticipate him to hit his stride until week 6….maybe week 8. I thought the pass from Gabbert was on the money and should have been caught, that’s probably just rust, hopefully he gets his game polished up.

  3. Yup Says:

    Neither are NFL defenses around the league

  4. Wild Bill Says:

    This guy is far from being a rookie. He was playing in this game because the coaches needed to see what he still has. It wasn’t pretty. Dropping wide open perfectly placed throws was not expected. And had nothing to do with his injury. He moved well, got open and dropped easy throws. He made a much more difficult catch later but may be relegated to blocking TE and number three receiver after Gronk and Brate. Hope he finds his game early in the regular season.

  5. Bird Says:

    Floppy hand patrol?

    Its time to nut up or shut up
    Injuries have hurt the kid for sure.
    But when you get your shot…you have got to be better

    And i think someone said last night to trade him. Not sure he has any value. I know he was drafted in first round but he has missed so many games and the games he has played have been up and down . And coming off achilles tear

    Think bucs would be lucky to get 6th round pick for him at this point
    Hope he figures it out quickly cause his size and speed are freakish

  6. The Red Mirage Says:

    Gronk and Cam a ballers, OJ is on a football team. For now.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I understand the focus on OJ because he was a 1st round pick….he hasn’t lived up to that an perhaps won’t……I think our TE group is very strong..especially if Brate is healthy. Tanner Hudson impresses but is a mixed bag….I think Brady likes him so he will probably make it….I certainly can see us keeping 4 TEs.

  8. Hodad Says:

    Joe, if he doesn’t get it together this year, I doubt the Bucs bring him back next year. Five years is enough to know we might look for a TE in the draft next year.

  9. Kev@Inverness Says:

    I just wish his body language said something besides “I don’t really wanna play football”.

  10. Medicated Pete Says:

    I wonder if he drops his baby

  11. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    They should try to trade OJ. Wasted pick.

  12. Miller5252 Says:

    Most likely he’ll go down as a big bust for Licht, but with all his mother good pics it won’t matter. Sad thing is OJ was supposed to be this super athlete and great TE, doubt it will ever happen. I like Brate, but his blocking isn’t very good. I think the Bucs have found a place they are weak at after Gronk. Go see what you can find to help Brate and Gronk.

  13. kgh4life Says:

    I don’t want to panic yet, however, the narrative throughout training camp was that the receivers, especially the back-ups were dropping to many passes, and we see that in the first two games. Too many “butter fingers”, BA has to address this before it carry over into the season.

  14. Buxszntkt Says:

    How does a fifth year nfl player not recognize that his gloves are wet, lol ! I think this is a Brady Story (90% b.s.).
    He’s playing late in the 4 th quarter to see if he can beat our guys that will be working at Amazon warehouse.
    Hope he can suddenly change in year 5 of course.

  15. allbuccedup Says:

    Bigger bust than Winston for sure.

  16. allbuccedup Says:

    BA not concerned because he will be on the PUP list in a couple of weeks.

  17. dmatt Says:

    2021 Excuses for poor performance- wet gloves, rust, cobweb, lack of practice, not in game shape, ball thrown too high, ball thrown too low, I’m not 100%.

    2017-19 Excuses for poor performance- Rookie, not familiar with plays, ball too high, ball too low, I’m 100%, not in game shape. As u can see, he hasn’t done anything remotely close to live up to his high draft pick expectations. R we waiting on him to catch…my bad, fetch everyone a glass of orange juice.

    OJ is a replica of Charles Sims, Noah Spence, Jacques Green, Maurice Stovall, Da’Quan Bowers, n the list goes on n on.

    Beef Tyler Johnson up n make him our future tightend.

  18. Flyin Dutchman Says:

    I root for him but seriously let’s not draft a TE 1st round ever again. No matter the upside. This was Koetter’s mistake but had we drafted Dalvin we may still be in the mud with Winston. The Lord moves in mysterious ways. I say OJ will make some key plays this season.

  19. SufferingSince76 Says:

    A pretty underwhelming performance overall. Looked uninspired.

  20. HeyItsAdam Says:

    I’m going to laugh when Cameron Brate is STILL on the roster and they cut this clown. They thought they could replace him with Howard and Brate’s gonna play out his contract and see Howard come and go.

    What a complete dis of a team player who gave his soul to a lot of losses.

  21. dmatthews Says:

    I can’t “Brate” to see OJ traded or booted off this team.

  22. Buczilla Says:

    Vinny was color blind, Eric Curry was lazy, Charles McRae was weak, Winston needed lasik, and now it’s Howard’s gloves fault. Lol, a bust, is a bust, is a bust.

  23. Izod Says:

    The guy is still every bit the freaky athlete as Kyle Pitts who was the 4th overall pick. The mistake on Howard was not necessarily drafting him, but cashing out his value after his 2nd year via a trade. It should’ve been clear to the coaches that Howard doesn’t have the mentality of an elite player, nor does he have the kind of physical build needed to withstand a full season.

    The Bucs will have some major problems after the departure of Brady, Gronk, Fournette, and a few others within another season.

  24. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    The team is hoping he looks good in preseason to try and raise his trade value.

  25. JimmyJack Says:

    What bothers me more then the drops is doing absolutely nothing on the screen play to Scotty Miller. He doesnt do his job and its completely unacceptable.

    Im willing to chalk it up to preseason and continue hoping this guy prooves me wrong when the games are real. But for right now i see no reason to be confident.

  26. T REX Says:


  27. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    I don’t know the guy at all, but his body language and interviews tell me he thinks “I’m a badass. I’ve arrived” instead of “I’m gonna work my ass off every day to get better”. He’s had butterfingers his whole career. Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane. Not worth a first round pick.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    When I think of OJ I can’t help but think of Jameis. We kept hoping for JW to turn the corner and live up to the number one draft status and we were consistently disappointed. The difference with JW is he did put up serious numbers and OJ hasn’t. He has the physique but is stiff with mediocre hands. He is taking up a roster spot and that is a problem. Unfortunately like others have said he has no trade value as the other GM’s know he will probably be released. I say that but I don’t know the nuances of his contract.

  29. Crunch Buc Says:

    Catching the ball is still catching the ball. He has never done it consistently here. Do not resign this 🤡

  30. delson Says:

    Everybody drops a ball or two unless ur name is Larry Fitzgerald. The most frustrating thing about him is the unforeseen season ending injuries hes has had. The only ones still beating the trade cut disappointment jameis Winston comparisons are the we should have drafted dalvin cook crowd. I can’t say if he does last a full season if he qould deserve a lengthy contract.

  31. SamBucsFan Says:

    Should have drafted Dalvin Cook in ‘17 draft not this mammoth with no hands!