Bruce Arians: O.J. Howard Not In Doghouse

September 13th, 2021

Bucs TE O.J. Howard.

The official snap counts for the Bucs’ win over the Cowboys are expected to be out midweek. The unofficial snap count was released Thursday night.

Per the NFL’s official gamebook, tight end Cam Brate had three times as many offensive snaps as fellow tight end O.J. Howard.

Unofficially, Brate had 18 to Howard’s 6, and neither played on special teams or caught a pass. Now we know Brate cannot block and wasn’t in the game to block. So what is going on here?

Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians said last week that someone trying to conclude that Howard is planted on the bench based on snap counts is way overanalyzing things.

“Cam has got a role and it’s all in the passing game, predominantly,” Arians said. “O.J. played really well those snaps he played.”

Maybe it is just Joe, but Howard didn’t seem to have that same burst he used to have during the preseason games. That wouldn’t be a shock as Howard is coming back from a major Achilles injury.

Remember, when training camp started, Howard wasn’t even far along enough in his recovery to practice. He instead worked out on a side practice field.

So it very well could be Howard isn’t fully recovered and the Bucs bringing him along in a measured process.

19 Responses to “Bruce Arians: O.J. Howard Not In Doghouse”

  1. Wild Bill Says:

    I wondered why he was not featured in the passing game at least some of the time. Huge target for Brady and a good blocker vs Brate. Could be the injury limits his game time longer than expected.

  2. Jonny Says:

    The game was too close to feature anyone on offense, especially someone not proven to be reliable yet. Evans, Godwin, AB and Gronk will be and should be the major focus on passing downs for Brady when the game is not comfortably won yet.

  3. Hodad Says:

    The way Gronk was playing no need for either Brate, or Howard. One will be traded. This offense would rather throw to the wideouts that’s why O.J. isn’t used as a pass catcher. If you didn’t notice, Gronk played like the HOFer he is catching everything thrown his way.

  4. Bucs Win Says:

    Maybe they are just trying to keep OJ healthy until the trade deadline.

  5. UncleHemorroid Says:

    Trade him for a corner.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Obviously BA’s in the ‘win now’ posture & he’s putting his best players on the field as much as he can. Duh. What HC wouldn’t do the same.

    When you have superstar receivers named Evans, Godwin, Brown & Gronk, all of whom love to be on the field, the rest are gonna get table scraps. Godwin was on the field for 98% of the offensive snaps, Evans for 94%, Gronk for 88% and Brown for 65%. Not much but table scraps left over for Brate, Miller, OJ & Johnson.

  7. zzbuc Says:

    I think he improved a lot on his blocking…..I don´t think he is 100% ready yet and they will go slowly, he will get more reps as the seasons goes……But I agree OJ or Brate should be traded for a CB, that is the main concern on this roster….That position doen´t have quality and doesn´t have depth!!!!

  8. Mcruzer Says:

    OJ would bring no more than a 6th rounder, much less than a starting CB.

  9. Eddie Marz Says:

    They won without OJ, just wait till he’s all the way back. I think he’s going to be a difference maker for them. GO BUCS!

  10. Mike Says:

    The Bucs are playing the long game, easing him in at the beginning of the season. They want him ready to go toward the end of the season in the playoffs. No need to rush things.

  11. HeyItsAdam Says:

    “BuT Oj’S Po-TEN-tchul!”

  12. M. Steelman Says:

    That’s a very serious injury to try and come back from. He may never have the drive or the burst he once had on his cuts. They bring him back to soon and it could ruin him. Hard to get around a 2yr rehab with a ruptured achilles!

  13. PassingThru Says:

    I said it before, I’ll say it again: An Achilles tear is one of the more severe injuries in football, more so than an ACL tear. The full rehab (“full” meaning a return to best post tear state) is about a year. I’d give it a few more weeks. It will alter his explosiveness.

  14. David Says:

    It’s all about depth. They have Gronk and Brate right now and can bring OJ back slow. If someone gets hurt, time for OJ to step up

  15. Jb kickback Says:

    It’s a great problem to have that much depth in a 17 game season

  16. Flyin Dutchman Says:

    nothing to see here

  17. BeeZee808 Says:

    3rd TE gets the fewest snaps. Duh.
    TE who does not block, and is not as good at pass catching as #1 TE who blocks and catches, getg fewest snaps. Duh.

    Does the 3rd TE play well on special teams?

    Do like the idea of trading someone on O to add to CB/DB skill/depth.

  18. Nah Says:

    Because OJ is behind Gronk and Brate ☝️

  19. Crunch Buc Says:

    Because that’s why we spent our 1st round pick on him…to block! 🙄