Byron Leftwich Loves Cade Otton And Ko Kieft

October 14th, 2022

Big fan of a pair of rookies.

It didn’t take long for a pair of Bucs rookie tight ends to make an impact.

For bruising sixth-round pick Ko Kieft, it came in the season opener at Dallas. Playing at fullback, dude was just mauling Dallas linebacker Leighton Vander Esch on the second level.

Cade Otton is slowly and seemingly surely working his way up the depth chart. Joe predicted in training camp that Otton, a fourth-round pick, would be your Bucs starting tight end in 2023, and could start before the end of the year.

What’s been a bit surprising is that rookie tight ends rarely do much. Sure, your superior tight ends will, but that is more exception than rule.

For the Bucs to have two tight ends helping the Bucs win games has Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich impressed.

“Ko [Kieft] and Cade [Otton] – man, that’s a tough position – tight end,” Leftwich began. “Rookies, I don’t care where they [were] drafted or what round, they normally don’t come in and play as much as these two [are] playing.

“But you can trust [them] – you can trust them early in the year. I trust those guys that they’re going to go out there and do the right thing.

“That says more than anything from a production standpoint, from that standpoint. I trust that they can be in the huddle and do the right thing.”

Joe loves how Kieft — super nice guy off the field — is downright ornery on the field and seems to always be looking for a scrap. That type of tough mentality rubs off on teammates.

Otton is showing signs of being the versatile player he was advertised before the draft.

Joe is eager to see what a full offseason in an NFL weight room does for these guys.

23 Responses to “Byron Leftwich Loves Cade Otton And Ko Kieft”

  1. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Otton = Gronk light? lol

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    It would be cool if we had an offensive coordinator who could actually design a few plays specifically for these guys and their skill sets.

    Unfortunately we don’t have an OC who can do that.

  3. teacherman777 Says:

    Otton looks like Tom Brady.

    Kieft looks like a Viking.

  4. Buc1987 Says:

    Go Ko Go!!!

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    It’s not just Ko & Cade from our rookie class who’ve made a significant contribution Joe. ll our rookies together contributed 325 total snaps (offense, defense & STs) in last Sunday’s victory. I’d love to know if any other NFL team’s rookie class even came close to THAT.

  6. Redeemer Says:

    They are playing so much because Rudolph is finished. Don’t think that was the plan going into the season. I hope they continue to improve, because they actually need them both. I’d love to see Otton run that little pick and pop in the Red zone.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    This is a great draft class……..Hall, Goedeke, White, Otten, Camarda, Kieft, Zion all contributing & growing……

  8. Buccos Says:

    Sure seems like Otton caught a few balls on Sunday. It seemed as if the OC designed a few plays for him. Moron

  9. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Goedeke hasn’t shown anything yet to justify his draft position. We traded up for him.

  10. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    TBBF, Fact check: True. Very good class. If any of them become stars then I would call it excellent.

  11. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Can we get some seam passes to our TEs??! Brady feasted on those throws with Gronk and Watson. That’s a big thing missing from this offense

  12. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Future is bright with these rookies. Honestly, Rudolph and Jones are looking like mistakes. We should have signed guys who can play and old men who have trouble getting out of bed.

  13. Biff Barker Says:

    Good observation TBfan,

    Good, solid draft class. For all us expert fans with personal draft expertise and scathing criticism of our draft people, a banquet of crow is waiting.

    Good job Licht and his FO! Gotta love the Ko and Godeke killer attitude. Gotta love Rashad White’s confidence. Want to see Logan Hall break loose.

    Camarda, Cade and Zion shoud produce three starters.

  14. Miller5252 Says:

    When all you gotta do is beat out useless and broken down Rudolph and a guy coming to the end in Brate, can’t be too hard to look impressive. But I really agree with Joe Otton, he’ll be the starter next year, but by the playoffs he could be starting and really producing for the Bucs. Hope the kid turns out to be a stud! Everything I heard before the draft was he worked his butt off and very smart and coachable. Good luck to the kid!

  15. orlbucfan Says:

    This will be a great test for these rookies. The O is slowly getting well. Big question is Brady. Between Gisele, his bad hand and shoulder, and his age…question mark and weakness.

  16. Bucsfan13 Says:

    orlbucfan. No, the big question is the OL. Brady is accounting for like 90% of the offense right now. The run game is non existent. That’s on the OL. Gisele? I’d like to think that a 23 year veteran would be able to block out any outside noise. Noting his age is such a lame excuse. He still looks pretty good. Have you seen Rodgers, Wilson and Matt Ryan? I like our QB situation better than those teams.

  17. MadMax Says:

    Wheres our acquisition of brian BURNS?

  18. Goatfarmer Says:

    Did anyone see the beautiful, athletic, graceful catch Kieft made on the sideline against the Chiefs? ‘‘Twas a thing of beauty. Nothing would get the home fans more fired up than getting him a ball that enables him to Alstott some port DB. Use the man more in the passing game, Bymron. Of course that might require some creativity in scheme and play design and such.

    Never mind.

  19. sasquatch Says:

    Big fan of Lil Ko Kieft.

  20. Jack dos Santos Says:

    Seam routes are option routes and I’m not convinced that Tight ends have the knowledge in place to be on the same page with Brady. That is probably why they are not running Seam routes

  21. Kody Says:

    AGREE. Love Cade and Ko. Think Cade was 5-for-6 on receptions last week. That’s awesome. And yeah, KO’s grab in the KC game was a thing of beauty.

    We keep targeting these two (and R.White) and racking up yards, it’s going to worry our opponents going forward and force them to spread their focus allowing our WRs to get open much easier.

    I’ll be cheering extra loud whenever Cade or Ko snag a pass. Love it. Gives back a little of the Gronk-ness we all miss so much.

  22. m Says:

    we need a bowling ball like alstott to set the tone for the offense. if those guys could be 50% as good as the a train was, different position but someone to knock guys over

  23. Brandon Says:

    Bucsfan13 Says:
    October 14th, 2022 at 2:02 pm
    Goedeke hasn’t shown anything yet to justify his draft position. We traded up for him.


    Oh. You didn’t hear. The dude has started five games for a Super Bowl contender and done okay. Up and down but not bad for a rookie and even better for a 2nd rounder….

    I’m not sure you know how the draft and player development works.