“He’s Gotta Build A Trust-Factor With Tom”

December 8th, 2021

O.J. Howard’s coach speaks out.

Newspapers and subscription sports websites remind Joe a lot of Bucs tight end O.J. Howard.

They’re all sort of dying on the vine in their respective worlds.

Howard commanded six snaps against the Falcons on Sunday, plus none on special teams. (Hey, Joe thought third-stringers absolutely had to play special teams.) That Atlanta output was less than the nine offensive snaps Howard was given in Indianapolis the week before.

Buccaneers tight ends coach Rick Christophel talked about Howard on the Buccaneers Radio Network yesterday. He acknowledged that Howard is still working back from his Achilles injury, but he also said Howard “is in a good place right now” and just needs to gain more trust from his quarterback.

Chirstophel acknowledged it’s tough for Howard because he’s been a full-time starter and is now stuck behind two guys playing very well: Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate.

Improving “releases and leverage” are a focus for Howard, Christophel said, but it’s also very much about No. 12.

“And it comes back to he’s gotta build a trust factor with Tom, too, and the quarterbacks,” Christophel said of Howard. “And that has a little bit to do with it, too. I think that comes up some, but we got to get him back on the field to do those things.”

And there you have it. There are many factors in Howard’s sinking playing time. And one is the quarterback believing in him, which is interesting considering Tom Brady seemed to have a lot of love for “Juice” in the past.

At this point, Joe’s just wondering who Howard plays for next season.

First-round picks always get healthy second and third chances. There’s always a GM or two that is still in love with a first-rounders talent after scouting him in the draft.

41 Responses to ““He’s Gotta Build A Trust-Factor With Tom””

  1. Robert Says:


  2. ATLBuc Says:

    He will still be here. Gronk will not play forever

  3. Cobraboy Says:

    If Gronk and Brate play for the Bucs in 2022, OJ won’t.

    Too bad. He is a freaky talented physical specimen guy derailed by injuries.

  4. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Bucs, Gronk be gone. You may see more OJ this week if BA does what every team does against Bill’s run the ball. Brady has his binky back and Brate has stepped it up as of late, OJ, dead man walking.

  5. Medicated Pete Says:

    $6,000,000.00 off the payroll next season to sign a new guy or re-sign a current player.

  6. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Probably not happening anytime soon. The other TEs have a ton of reps with Brady. That’s about the size of it for Brady.

  7. Jp09 Says:

    Don’t forget to get you Omicron booster, that’s three more boosters even if your full boosted!! Don’t worry it’s free and no one is making money anywhere from this

  8. SOEbuc Says:

    No Brady trust? So this is an official no resign statement, right?

  9. Marine Buc Says:

    If OJ will play for peanuts he can stay. We really won’t have the cap space to overpay a third string oft injured TE.

    We have about $30 million in cap space and Godwin, Davis and Jenson are going to eat most of that space up then we still need to sign about 20 more free agents plus our draft picks.

    I believe we will say bye-bye to OJ…

  10. Joe Says:

    Don’t forget to get you Omicron booster

    Joe happily (indirectly) paid for his Monday. 🙂

  11. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Should have traded him for a CB with a body that wasn’t made out of Tiffany Crystal.

  12. Bucsfanman Says:

    What a waste! It’s long past time to part ways. His production is EASILY replaced.
    Just speaking the truth!

  13. tampabuscsbro Says:

    I mean………….he sucks he underperforms and will most certainly not be here next year.

  14. Kentucky Buc Says:

    So Jp09 your saying we need to boost our booster’s booster .

  15. Bosch Says:

    Bucs have figured out the best way to keep Howard healthy is to not let him take the field.

  16. D-Rome Says:

    Tight ends with Howard’s production are a dime a dozen. If he was going to be the next great TE then we would have seen it already. Time to move on.

  17. Cobraboy Says:

    The current jabs are totally ineffective against the latest scariant.

  18. PassingThru Says:

    OJ only has to work on “release and leverage”. Not a big deal, that’s only 80% of what a TE is supposed to do on the field.

  19. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @”…So Jp09 your saying we need to boost our booster’s booster …”
    Nah, Pfizer “happy” announced today, that its “booster” works against omicron, BUT in three to four months will have another one developed, that works better🙄
    Moderna too, is working very hard.
    We got the first case of omicron today in Florida, 🤨 A vaccinated person contracted the virus overseas. (Not related to post)

  20. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Addition by subtraction…

  21. Crunchbuc Says:

    Oh so it’s Brady’s fault, of course. Howard is a victim and a bust. Get outta here with that crap. Cut that guy loose. Biggest bust ever.

  22. Lesco_Brandon Says:

    I hope Howard realizes that his window of opportunity is getting smaller and smaller and he needs to really step up, watch tons of films, study techniques, communicate more with Brady, practice like your renewing your contract and play smart and hard. Hoping for the best for OJ. BUCS needs a lot of healthy bodies going to the playoff and SB.

  23. Kentucky Buc Says:

    At this point OJ is insurance . Liability insurance not full coverage.

  24. kyle Says:


  25. PassingThru Says:

    OJ is “Street ‘Surance” if you ever watched The Rainmaker. It’s a policy you keep paying for but the insurer never delivers when you’re in a time of need.

  26. JimBuc2 Says:

    Six million hole in the wallet. Cant believe he played for Nick Saban.
    Girly dude, get gone
    Go Bucs

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Difficult to gain trust when you don’t get a target.

  28. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    He doesn’t catch the ball cleanly, nor does he seem to run routes very well. If you’re not reliable, TB won’t throw you the ball.

  29. Izod Says:

    Agreed Homer!

    Sometimes you get these athletic freak shows like Howard who never develop the mentality and skillset needed to be successful in the NFL. Shame really.

  30. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Gosh, he looks swell in shorts though doesn’t he?

  31. Eddie Marz Says:

    Keep waiting for Howard to come around. He doesn’t look or move the way he did before the injury. He’s not gonna get the ball if he’s not open. He looks heavy and slow to me. GO BUCS!

  32. HC Grover Says:

    Get hi out.

  33. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Built like Tarzan plays like Jane

  34. WalkdaPlank Says:

    Friendly reminder that OJ Howard’s best career catch came at a Rays game in the stands, not a Bucs game on the field.

    Huge bust.

  35. DaBux Says:

    Perhaps if Howard could block, catch, and listen to audibles and not commit stupid penalties, he might see more action. Enjoy Houston O.J.

  36. Pickgrin Says:

    Gronk was out injured for quite a few games and Howard did almost nothing that whole time despite being on the field a good bit….

    Why would there be any expectation OJ will “show up” or even get snaps now?

  37. brooks Says:

    watch him play, catch, and block– cut him!

  38. Go Bucs! Says:

    I forgot this guy was in the team. Still waiting to see Da Juice… Come on O.J!

  39. Buc king Says:

    He’s that sports car with a blown engine

  40. Sunset Kid Says:

    What if TB decides to move on and be a full-time Father
    QB needs to be the focus.
    Grock will retire. Howard slides back into his slot and had a good mentor Grock.

  41. MicheleInStPete Says:

    ON lacks focus when he’s on the field. Leads to bobbled passes and jumping offsides. That’s probably where the lack of trust comes from.