Bucs’ Tight Ends Are Their Tight Ends

September 28th, 2023

Talkin’ tight ends.

Joe often references a saying from former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter because it is so spot on.

When someone would question him about a player or more who might be struggling or underperforming, Koetter would often say, “Our guys are our guys.”

What Koetter meant is it is often difficult to find quality players to add in the middle of the season.

Oh, once in a while a guy holding out for more cash could bring something to the table. But other than that or a trade, your roster is your roster. Have to make do.

And teams jammed by the salary cap have even less flexibility.

(Yes, Joe knows the Bucs once brought in Antonio Brown in midseason. A guy that talented walking the streets rarely happens.)

Bowles yesterday was asked if he is content with the production of his tight ends. Bowles admitted he’s not yet content with any position group. But he seemed to have confidence the tight ends will improve.

“Week 3, you’re not going to be satisfied with anything,” Bowles said. “It’s a work in progress right now.

“I trust those guys – those guys, for the most part, played in games last year obviously other than [David] Wells. Those guys do a good job with what they do.

“As the season unfolds, their productivity will go up.”

Joe hopes one thing that improves with the tight ends is Cade Otton’s hands. He looks like a better tight end than he was as a rookie last season. He’s bulked up and he gets downfield quicker.

Somehow, someway in the offseason, Otton developed the dropsies.

During training camp — Joe saw every practice — outside of currently unemployed receiver Kaylon Geiger, no one put the ball on the ground more than Otton. Some days it was painful.

If Otton can overcome the dropsies, he might be a nice receiving tight end, but Joe isn’t seeing a future Pro Bowl player.

27 Responses to “Bucs’ Tight Ends Are Their Tight Ends”

  1. Hodad Says:

    He dropped that easy TE screen that looked like it had a chance to score. Got to make the plays that are there, it’s that simple.

  2. Beej Says:

    That first (only?) catch he made was Gronk-worthy. Interestingly, the guy STOPPED wearing gloves in hopes of grabbing the ball more easily

  3. adam from ny Says:

    we are short one TE right now…

    one more solid TE is needed…or brang dat rook up from ps now…

    i’m not so sure about the guy with -10 yards receiving for his career

  4. adam from ny Says:

    i swear, if the bucs came flying out the gate 4-0 gronk might have started getting itchy

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We don’t seem to design many plays for our TEs……..very few targets…..a lot less to the backs this year also…..
    I think Otton is very capable and needs to be used moore.

  6. D-Rok Says:

    Are dropsies the same as the Yips?

  7. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Cade otten is an average TE nothing more nothing less.

    The lack of a #2 TE like this team is really missing especially with how Canales likes to use 12 personnel cause Ko Kieft (outside of being good on the jugs machine) has shown he’s not a capable pass catcher in games.

  8. rrsrq Says:

    There is a guy on the streets, sort of, Jonathan Tylor

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    The TE room this year has been quite bizarre. Otton is actually doing quite well I think (9-for-11 for 76 yds with 1 TD) compared to the other 3 TEs. And that’s a big problem IMO.

    Ko Kieft is now 0-for-3 and has been on the field for about 1/3 of our snaps. Payne Durham hasn’t gotten a single snap this year, and I’m not even sure he’s been active for any games. Given the competition in the TE room, that’s not a good sign.

    David Wells has me shaking my head. He’s 2-for-2 for (ready for this?) MINUS 10 yards. How do you even do that? Actually he caught 1 short pass over the middle for 1 yard in the Chicago game, then on the same series caught a 2nd short pass over the middle, fumbled, and it was recovered by Mayfield 11 yards back. Hopefully he gets more chances this season, because ending a year with 100% catch percentage but MINUS yardage would almost surely get you in the record books.

    Bottom line though is that our TE position group is mired in a hard-fought contest with our RB position group for lack of productivity. Hopefully both groups learn how to block extremely well so that Baker can get the ball to our wide receivers.

  10. 1#bucsfan Says:

    While yes we need more production out of not just TEs but every group. I will say so far out of 3 games Otton has only dropped 1 pass maybe 2 ? That screen play he deff turn to start running before he had the ball in his hands.

  11. JimBobBuc Says:

    Otton seems to drop about 1 ball per game, and considering his few targets, that’s really bad. I thought Wells did great in camp, but he’s struggled in games. I still like him better than Otton. Canales called up some plays for Kieft in the Minnesota game but Baker was off in the first half. Seattle’s offense targets the TE’s frequently in 12 personnel, but I think Canales isn’t calling it because of our TE quality.

  12. jugheadfla Says:

    I know Durham had a rough training camp and pre-season, but the guy is just a gamer. I watched him while he was at Purdue and the guy is a reliable grinder during game time and more of Gronk (tough to tackle) type of TE than Otton. At this point it couldn’t be much worse.

  13. Boss Says:

    our TE’s are fine. Otton will be great. the OC needs to learn how to use them better

  14. Ed Says:

    Showing clips of the Rams-Cincy game, Tanner Hudson really stood out as a reliable target. I really believe that offensive coaching on this team is standing still.

  15. My Momma Says:

    My Momma wonders if with all the weight lifting Otten did during the off-season, if his hands are more muscle bound, making it more difficult to catch? Hey, it’s a thought.

  16. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Otton is cheap and Bucs can afford him. There were some sure handed quality TE’s available in the market during the off season , Mike Gesicki would be one that Bucs could have signed for 4.5 mil, quite a deal for a sure handed route runner.

  17. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    Kieft should be lining up at FB to help with the pressure that consistently comes up the middle. He’s known for his blocking ability, so let him take the first contact away from White or help delay inside defenders from getting to Baker.

  18. pmarcello Says:

    Baker had great success throwing to Rams 2nd string TE Skoronski. Canales ought to dial up some medium to long throws to each of the young TEs. If they catch ithe ball it will only serve to excite and motivate them to want more and elevate their play.Throwing deep is less dangerous shot becauwe a missed deep ball i sometimes as good as a punt.

  19. Steven007 Says:

    Momma, being muscle-bound is a myth that was dispelled about 40 years ago. Shannon Sharpe did okay catching the ball with muscles. Ditto Vernon Davis. It’s about the hands, not the physique.

  20. BigBoiBuc Says:

    Not sure what we are waiting on with Durham. Had 3 catchable targets in the preseason, caught them all and 1 was a TD. Only had 8 drops and 126 catches in college. Blocks as good as Wells and Otton.

  21. ModHairKen Says:

    Time for improvement. If they can’t, they should be cut loose at the end of the year. Ditto Hainsey. Mauch deserves one more year to get stronger.

  22. unbelievable Says:

    Agree 100% on Otton – he looks faster but his hands have become even less reliable.

    What about the rookie we drafted – Durham? Did he even make the team?

    And can any of our tight ends actually block anyone?

  23. Joe Says:

    Not sure what we are waiting on with Durham.

    Joe would flip this question. “Why are we waiting on Durham to show he’s worthy of being on the roster?”

    He looked every bit the low draft pick he was in training camp. Slow. Dropped a lot of passes this summer (not as many as Cade Otton). Fully unimpressed with the guy.

    If the Bucs thought he was better than David Wells, he’d be out there by now.

  24. Bucs13 Says:

    This new NFL is soft! The new age QBs need to be more demanding and want perfection. If Otton had those drops, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t look his way again, and they would kick him out of the huddle until his routes became more crisps and he stopped dropping the ball. It’s time to get to get tough with Otton. Who cares about hurting his feelings. Unfortunately, Baker doesn’t have the cache like Rodgers or Manning to get on players.

  25. Esteban85 Says:

    Otton needs to wear some of those sticky gloves. Why he goes with the taped fingers is beyond me. With those gloves even an average player can catch the ball with one hand. I would like to see a change.

    I would hate to waste a high pick on a TE but we need more talent at TE and RB next year. This year? It is what it is but for next year I expect a first or second round RB and a 3 round TE. As we have seen with Gronk, a first class TE can help in all aspects of rounding out a decent offense.

  26. Esteban85 Says:

    I was hoping to get Laporta in the draft but we had so many pressing needs and Detroit always seems to snatch up the players I want the Bucs to pick.

  27. Lakeland Steve Says:

    Sure glad we wasted a draft pick on that Purdue tight end.