“He’s Gotta Prove That He’s Back”

August 21st, 2021

They call O.J. Howard “Juice” around One Buc Palace.

Tonight against the Tennessee Titans, he was more like sour milk.

Howard dropped two passes early from Blaine Gabbert and it had legions of Bucs fans wondering what’s wrong.

Is Howard’s healing Achilles affecting his hands?

Buccaneers legend Rondé Barber told the WFLA-TV audience that Howard’s “gotta prove that he’s back.” And Barber speculated on the air that he doesn’t know how healthy Howard is.

Last week, Barber said on the Bucs’ preseason telecast that Howard was 70 or 75 percent healthy.

Howard played quite a bit tonight despite the Bucs having backup tight ends Tanner Hudson and Greg McElroy available. Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski got the night off.

Howard did get his first catch midway through the second quarter, a short throw followed by good fight for extra yards. And he got a second short target, as well. But he appeared to lack explosion on another throw that was high and on target. That was batted away by a Titans safety.

Joe’s not worried about Howard — because Joe expected Howard to struggle for several weeks as he tries to get into game shape and get his Achilles close to 100 percent.

Breathe easy, Bucs fans. The Bucs won a Super Bowl without Howard.

28 Responses to ““He’s Gotta Prove That He’s Back””

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Is Howard back?
    When the Hell did he arrive?
    Its always disappointment and the excuse about his “potential”
    We won a SuperBowl without him.
    Hard to win one with him.
    For a first round pick, his career numbers are terrible.

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    105 catches for 1600 yards
    In 4 yards
    400+, 500+, 400+, 100+
    Those numbers suck for a 1st round pick.
    Especially for a TE that cant block
    His 4 year career numbers are a one and a half year number for Gronk or Brate.
    Hes a bust

  3. Don_RyJo(e) Says:

    Fair point, Joe(s). I WAS really starting to doubt OJ, but yeah – it took future HoF Gronk about half a season to return to form after a year off. OJ is bound to have rust from being packed in ice since last season.

  4. Wesley Says:

    Dropped 2 balls. One was difficult and one was easy. He’s been solid since.

  5. Medicated Pete Says:

    The Juice is working on his biceps not his hands.

  6. Elita Vita Says:

    I remember Howard catching a baseball in the stands at a Rays game. Catching a football seems to be another story.

  7. Medicated Pete Says:

    Bucco Bruce is seeing red re: dropped balls if u heard his halftime radio interview. I’d sit OJ on a swivel stool in front of a juggs machine monday thru friday till he GETS IT. He’s a guy who still doesn’t “get it” into year 5

  8. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Is it possible Tampa is hoping he looks good in preseason so some team might try to trade for him? Kinda like how they featured LeGarrette Blount in preseason then traded him to New England.

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    Tanner Hudson will be worth more to this team.

    I’m sorry, but Howard is a stiff. It’s just not working out.

  10. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:


  11. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    wish Bucs would trade him. he’s all hype and no performance.

  12. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I feel like OJ Howard is the tight end version of Jameis Winston. All potential but really just disappointing.

  13. Tony1775 Says:

    He looked like a bum.

  14. Oprahsbrowntaco Says:

    Stone hands

  15. Mjc Says:

    OJ has never had hands.

  16. firethecannons Says:

    i do not care what we do with him but get him gone do not waste anymore passes on this guy so many years of no production for one reason or another

  17. dmatt Says:

    OJ is who we thought he is,OJ Coward.He is mediocre n will only do the bare minimal to make or mess up a play. I’m done with him. I watched a E60 episode of former steelers great Rocky Bleir after being shot in Vietnam n he was about 70% but gave his all to play at 100%. No excuse for OJ Howard. He will not give his all. He’s garbage.

  18. HeyItsAdam Says:

    I agree with Capt Tim… in order to be “back,” you have to have “arrived” at some point. OJ Howard never arrived.

    Dalvin Cook was the pick. 1000 times + 1 more… Cook was the pick. Cook’s an MVP candidate. Howard is learning to catch.

    I said the same thing when the Bucs picked Michael Clayton over Stephen Jackson. The Bucs struggled to run for a decade.

  19. unbelievable Says:

    Oh please, Cook has missed more time than Howard.

    FSU fans are the biggest homers ever.

  20. Tbbucs3 Says:

    ^ I would think most rational people would say that Dalvin Cook ended up being a better pick than OJ Howard.

    That’s not really a homer statement

  21. Tbbucs3 Says:


    Cook has played in 43 games compared to OJs 42 so your also factually incorrect……but that’s nothing compared to your bad football opinion of shrugging off one of the leagues most dynamic running backs.

  22. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    looks like tarzan …. plays like jane

  23. 2021 Year of the GOAT Says:

    trade bait …….maybe get a 5th or 6th rounder for him ??

  24. Buc4evr Says:

    Hands of stone. Doubt he makes it through the season, Brady won’t put up with this guy. Can’t make contested catches and will end up getting cut.

  25. Chesapeake Bay Bucco Says:

    Trade bait

  26. Bucs since 76 Says:

    Bucs can only cut OJ no one will pick up his 6 million a year salary. At this point he needs to come up big in the final preseason to make the team.

  27. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Dear “unbelievable”…

    Total Games….

    Dalvin Cook: 43
    OJ Howard: 42

    Next time come heavy, or don’t come at all.

  28. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    “He has to prove that he’s back” lol. Back on ir?