“First Offseason I’ve Been Healthy In Like Six Years”

April 26th, 2022

Last summer, the Bucs’ young veteran tight ends kicked off training camp wearing shorts and visors.

O.J. Howard, now with the Buffalo Bills, was struggling to recover from a torn Achilles suffered 9 1/2 months earlier. Cameron Brate was inactive with an unnamed injury.

Lingering issues have cost Brate summer practice time over the years. But there are no official injury reports until games begin, so teams are not required to disclose a guy’s true health status. And last summer, Bucco Bruce Arians was very tight-lipped about injuries for no apparent reason.

This month, Brate reported to voluntary spring practice at One Buc Palace, and yesterday at the Arians Family Foundation golf tournament, Brate said he’s been working on his sad golf game in part because “this is the first offseason I’ve been healthy in like six years.”

The comment came via a TampaBay.com video, and Joe was damn glad to hear it.

Brate, who turns 31 in July, has lost a step or two over the last four seasons. But perhaps lingering injuries have been the cause rather than Father Time. Joe sure hopes so!

It’s interesting that Brate hasn’t missed a game since 2016 but says he’s been banged up through six consecutive offseaons.

What a gift it would be if a finally-healthy Brate can recapture the Pro Bowl form he had back in 2016 and 2017,

26 Responses to ““First Offseason I’ve Been Healthy In Like Six Years””

  1. bob Says:

    good news

  2. firethecannons Says:

    Brate is worth a roster spot even when subpar–he is still a red zone target that excels

  3. MadMax Says:

    Dont draft a TE yet…do it next year…Gronk will be back with us as long as no major injury occurs.

  4. GOB Says:

    That’s the one thing I loved about BA. Screw the injury report. No need to tell the other team where you’re hurting. I’d personally love it if the NFL adopted the NHL rules regarding injury. Upper body, lower body, and head.
    As for Brate, I was expecting much more from him last year, maybe he just can’t stay healthy. Whatever the case, it’s good news, cuz he is TE1 as it stands right now

  5. steele Says:

    Not a good bet to be lulled to sleep expecting Gronk to come back. Can’t rely on him.

  6. Bobby M. Says:

    He’s not the meatiest dude….tall and athletic but easy to see how the position could bang him up.

  7. Rod Munch Says:

    He looked pretty last season, in particular early, and he dropped a lot passes you expect him to catch. The good news is that as the season went along, he seemed to get a bit better, and at the end, while not great or anything, was at least serviceable and making catches. Hopefully he can regain a half-step by being healthy. If he can just get a hair open, Brady will get him the ball, so a half-step gained would go a long way to making him more productive. In any case the Bucs need a blocking TE to help spell Gronk and keep him healthy – and Lord knows you don’t want Brate blocking.

  8. Buccos Says:

    Good luck with that!

  9. philip brate Says:

    Hate the way bucs fans diss Brate. He has played through torn labrums, cracked ribs, and broken bones in his back for 8 seasons now. He shows up every week and though given limited playing time these past couple years has 33 touchdowns in his career. Nothing but a class example of what a pro athlete should be. He’s also taken cuts in pay to help the team when he could have gotten more money elsewhere. The bucs are lucky to have him. Thank you Mr. Brate for being a buc.

  10. That Ain't Right! Says:

    You know I love cam he’s great. Good gteam locker room guy. He values winning more than his self winning and I promote people like this. Career gain vs self pride. Hes not bad at all either. Can make the plays consistently when healthy. So I mean as long as he can do that were in great shape. Still want brink back though. And maybe even draft a TE also in rd 2 idk maybe who knows. Weapons for Brady is good. TE in rd 2 maybe cook rd 3. Like that helps. Resign suh and gronk. I mean were gonna be okay at pass rusher this season and LB if we are constantly careful with rep splitting. Get some of the guys involved a little more. Nelson & Tryon specifically. Also like cam gill. Would like too see him at ILB more in whites spot as well as white at both OLB spots. Hes best as a pass rusher. Tj watt style sack artist. Would destroy RTs. Also gets more guys involved and defense is super important with practice reps. Consistency together the same 11 in many different packages.

  11. westernbuc Says:

    Future GM Cam Brate*

  12. TampabayDJ82 Says:

    Philip brate – Well said !! He’s been a solid player for the Bucs since he signed with us . I think a lot of people have short term memory . Before we got Gronk , Brate was one of the best pass catching Tight End in the NFL ! And his blocking is not bad at all , not great but better than OJ by far .. There’s just SOOO many weapons on offense now that Brate doesn’t get as many targets as he used to. Go Bucs

  13. FrankPillow Says:

    Simple math
    Brate > OJ + ASJ

  14. SPARKY Says:

    Hope he catches another Super bowl trophy.

  15. Esteban85 Says:

    Future Bucs ring of honor recipient. Brate, IMO, is the epitome of a Buccaneer. Plus he caught the Lombardi on the greatest pass ever thrown from a boat.

  16. Stanglassman Says:

    Philip brate. I don’t know how much Cam’s gonna appreciate his dad defending him on JBF commit section.

  17. Joe Says:

    Philip brate. I don’t know how much Cam’s gonna appreciate his dad defending him on JBF commit section.

    You will be surprised how many Bucs’ dads read this site. 🙂 DeSean Jackson’s mom used to. LOL Joe hears from the players.

  18. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If Cam Brate has not been healthy, that explains some things. Before injured he was very good. Maybe now he will return to splendor.

  19. Coburn Says:

    He had some kind of hip surgery 2 or 3 yeara ago if I recall… Remember at the time thinking that’s. Pretty substantial thing to need surgery on and seemed he slowed down after. If he’s truly feeling good hopefully he has a good year. Dude has always been Mr. Reliable for the most part

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Cam Brate had a great 2020 (MUCH better than his career averages), but a horrible 2021 (MUCH worse than his career averages). Question is … WHY?

    o Games: 2020 – 16 … 2021 – 17
    o Targets: 2020 – 34 … 2021 – 57
    o Catches: 2020 – 28 … 2021 – 30
    o Percentage: 2020 – 82.4% … 2021 – 52.6%
    o Total Yards: 2020 – 282 … 2021 – 245
    o Yds/Target: 2020 – 8.3 … 2021 – 4.3
    o Yds/Catch: 2020 – 10.1 … 2021 – 8.2
    o Average Depth of Target (ADOT): 2020 – 8.6 … 2021 – 7.6
    o Touchdowns: 2020 – 2 … 2021 – 4
    o 1st Downs: 2020 – 17 … 2021 – 15
    o Drops: 2020 – 0 … 2021 – 3
    o Snaps: 2020 – 318 … 2021 – 469

    Obviously Cam’s catch percentage dropped a bunch from 2020 to 2021 (82.4% down to 52.6%). But so did his yards/target (8.3 way down to 4.3, by far the lowest of his career), even though his ADOT was roughly the same (8.6 vs 7.6). His 1st downs were lower than in 2020 (15 vs 17), and his drops were higher (3 vs 0). Yet he was targeted more (57 targets in 2021 vs only 34 in 2020) and was on the field more (27.6 snaps/game in 2021 vs 19.9 snaps/game in 2020).

    So what changed? Not the QB (Brady was his QB both years). Cam played the full slate of games both years, and didn’t show up on the team’s injury report but once (Questionable for the Vikings game due to illness back in 2020). As I recall, Bucs weren’t using Brate during the early part of 2020, but more towards the end. Maybe good old-fashioned motivation kicked in & helps explain why Cam did so much better catching the ball in 2020. IF that’s so, Cam needs to find that same motivation this year and kick-ass. We need him.

  21. Bruce Blahak Says:

    I never thought Brate was much of a blocker but last years tape proves otherwise.

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    Defense Rules – In 2020, early on, OJ was playing pretty great until he got hurt. Plus the Bucs had not transitioned to the Brady version of the offense yet. People talk about OJ like he’s a bust, but Arians offense doesn’t use the TE for much – Brady made that change as the season went along.

    I’m not sure usage in 2021 was an issue since he was playing a lot better later in the year than early on when he was horrible. If he was indeed injured and still healing up, that might be why he got better. Still, he wasn’t all that good at any point, and it’s asking a lot for a guy who was never much of an athlete to get better at 31. But as long as he can catch the ball, Brady will keep throwing it to him.

  23. tampabayallday Says:

    He’s earned his spot on the roster even if he was injured. A huge safety net for tb12. Cam always makes plays, yea he’s ad some drop issues but he’s usually dependable.

  24. PassingThru Says:

    Brate definitely looked quite a bit slower last season from the previous season, like he was running on sand. Excellent hands and good route runner, but my level of expectations are low. If he isn’t injured now, then I think he wasn’t really seriously injured during last season.

  25. Dman Says:

    Brate is 31, not 40. Not old and not slowing down. We kept Cam and launched that over hyped always about potential OJH.

  26. BucFanforLife Says:

    We need Gronk. It’s nice to have a TE insurance policy, but Brate is no Gronk. No one is a true Gronk replacement at least as far as having Brady at QB is concerned. Gronk is a freak of nature, and I mean that in a good way. But it’s good to hear that Brate is healthy, and we’ll need him to be if Gronk stays retired.