“Real Close”

October 15th, 2021

The Buccaneers’ No. 2 tight end will be scrutinized by the data crowd soon at One Buc Palace.

They’re going to help Bucco Bruce Arians determine how healthy Howard is following Achilles surgery a year ago.

That was the word from the greatest head coach in Bucs history this afternoon. Howard is “real close” to 100 percent, Arians said, but he wants to hear from the folks monitoring the tracking devices.

He said Howard got up to “about 18 miles per hour” in practice recently and Arians wants to see the speed data from last night. He hopes to have it soon.

Howard has played more than Cameron Brate in each of the past three games.

Joe’s not thinking about Howard’s future today or his cash value. That’s almost meaningless in mid-October. Joe’s interested whether Howard can be a key contributor. He’s certainly trending in that direction as Rob Gronkowski nurses his ailing ribs.

21 Responses to ““Real Close””

  1. Lets Roll Says:

    Gronk: The Juice is Back Baby.

  2. NaplesBucsFan Says:

    Man Joe, he was moving really damn well for a guy who had Achilles surgery just a week ago!

  3. NaplesBucsFan Says:

    Said it last night…OJ is still rounding in to full recovery from that surgery, so people gotta lay off his “lack” of production until he’s fully recovered…last night was a great step in the right direction

  4. NaplesBucsFan Says:

    Let’s Roll:
    I can hear that statement in Gronks voice

  5. Zzbuc Says:

    He can be great, if his blocking improving he should stay…….
    If his body resists, he will stay….. at the right price…..

  6. Miller5252 Says:

    Let’s hope OJ heard Ira on the podcast earlier this week saying he won’t be back next year. Maybe lite a fire under his behind. I was with Ira, OJ has been a huge disappointment for being such a high draft pick. For a dude that big and supposed to be a stud he just hasn’t done anything except for the year Dirk featured him. His blocking has been horrible and I was hoping Grimm would help him in that area, but sure doesn’t look like it. I hope he succeeds this year but I’m not holding my breath. A retired Gronk still produced more then OJ.

  7. dmatt Says:

    I agree miller5252,
    A 70% Gronk is better than a 100% OJ. He doesn’t possess that desire to get a first down mentality. He anticipates contact with a flinch to go to the ground forget the need to stretch out or beast mode fir a first down against a defender you outweigh by 30 lbs. Yes he caught an “easy td”, that’s how he made his reputation at bama. We have three players that I have doubt about against elite teams during crunch time. JDean, OJ Howard, Mike Evans, yes I said ME, for some reason he to goes to the ground prematurely the minute he feels contact. I’m sorry regardless of his int, Dean act as if he’s new in the league and plays with a deer in the headlight look. I wanna see how the aforementioned players fair against the upcoming Bills in December.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    We have three solid Tight Ends….money will determine if O J stays…..I say if he continues to get better physically and can become a little better at the blocking aspect of his game then we offer up a 3-year deal, make it very team friendly or bye-bye but we must draft another one next draft !!

  9. Duane Says:

    Howard does not use his size well when blocking. When, or likely if he figures that out, he will be a rich man. Would love to see him break a big gain open to get his confidence going. Channel one of his big Alabama games just once.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    News Flash—- OJ is an amazing athlete and has the physical measurables. Achilles or no Achilles he just does not have the gritty football instincts. Not a slight on him as we can see he is giving the effort. I am hoping this season is his season but there is no way he will be a Buc next season.

  11. DaBux Says:

    He’s still in “prove it” mode to me until February 2022.

  12. orlbucfan Says:

    Gronk who? Brady better get on board with Howard and Brate. His boyfriend won’t be back for a while with busted ribs.

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    If Howard can get back into rhythm and stay healthy, it will be good down the stretch as he is a weapon.
    Right when he would start coming around in the past he would get nicked up.

  14. B-Bro Says:

    So you didn’t post my words because you were going to use them

  15. BuucccNASTY he p Says:

    It’s hard to say what Howard is based on what he has done. Part of me sees a dude with all the potential in the world that just hasn’t lived up to it, and part of me sees a very talented pass catcher with good blocking that is buried under an embarrassment of talent at the receiver position across our roster

  16. BuucccNASTY he p Says:

    If he was Hockensons shoes on Detroit he may be looked at differently.

  17. firethecannons Says:

    Make OJ great again!

  18. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    This will be the last year for Howard on the Bucs roster. He is below average as a blocker and just average a pass catcher. Speed as a TE is his only upside but nothing else really stands out.

  19. BillyBucOff Says:

    One thing I noticed about OJ and Fournette for that matter always go down easily when a tackle is at their legs.

    Drives me nuts. Neither are “Licht on their feet”.
    Helps Lenny with the burst forward trucking people over, but you don’t even see THAT with OJ.

    I literally see nothing that another regular JOE can’t do at TE.
    Gronk’s blocking and receiving helped us win a SB.

    What can OJ do?

  20. WalkdaPlank Says:

    OJ’s best catch of his career came in foul territory at a Rays game.

    Keep in mind Licht wasted a 1st rounder on him…..years ago.

  21. cmurda Says:

    Yeah but that catch at the Trop by OJ was fiiiiillllthy. He earned his contract on that catch