Cameron Brate could hold onto Tampa Bay starting job

Reports out of Tampa Bay indicate Brate could hold off 2017 first-rounder O.J. Howard for the team's starting gig.

| 3 weeks ago
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Cameron Brate could hold onto Tampa Bay starting job


  • A recent article by Pewter Report has suggested that Tampa Bay Buccaneers fourth-year tight end Cameron Brate could retain his starting role to start the 2017 season, beating out 19th overall pick O.J. Howard. The report said that Brate and quarterback Jameis Winston’s “chemistry is going to be tough to dethrone,” and “it might be more difficult than we thought to see (Howard) as a solidified first-team player.”
  • Brate has spent three seasons in the league, and saw a breakout year in 2016, in which his overall grade of 82.8 ranked him seventh of 63 tight ends. He found the end zone eight times, tying him for the most among tight ends with Chargers TE Hunter Henry.
  • Howard was taken with the 19th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, and had the highest grade among tight ends in the 2016 college season (82.9), including the top run-blocking grade (81.5).
  • Brate and Winston’s chemistry certainly showed itself during the 2016 season. Winston had a well-above-average passer rating when throwing to Brate on eight of the nine different routes he ran. Overall, Winston had a passer rating of 132.4 when throwing to Brate, the fourth-highest mark among tight ends with at least 15 targets. He accumulated 377 yards when lined up in the slot, ranking him seventh of 32 tight ends. He dropped just two of 59 catchable passes, giving him the fifth-best drop rate of 3.39.

Cameron Brate

  • Mike J.

    It’s likely that both Howard & Brate will see playing time. Koetter likes that ”12” formation with two tight ends & two wideouts.

    • Andre Taylor

      I agree Mike, the Bucs are going to be a tough offense to stop this year. Whether the Bucs go with 2TE sets, or I-formation, or 4 WR sets, as a former D1 college football player id be up late at night if i had to face that offense. Tampa is 4 deep at WR, 3 deep at TE, and 4 deep at RB, just Mike Evans and Deshawn Jackson would be enough to scare the hell out of any defense. But with Evans, Jackson, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Adam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin, although RB Doug Martin has to serve a 3 game suspension. Tampa drafted RB Jeremy McNichols who is a little faster than Martin with just as much wiggle, add in 3rd down back Charles Sims. What defense can match up with the Bucs offense?

      • Mike J.

        Yep. The ”12” personnel puts a D in a real quandary as they don’t know whether to form up to defend the pass or the run.
        I have been a Bucs fan since 1976, & they have never had skill people even approaching what is there now in Tampa.

        • Andre Taylor

          Thats cool Mike, im a diehard Baltimore Raven fan. However my parents bought a winter home in Florida some years back, so i root for the Bucs as long as they don’t play my Ravens! Lol, i didn’t think that former HC Lovie Smith got a fair shot, however it would seem that HC Dirk Koetter is a good up -and-coming coach. To have gotten TE O.J. Howard at 19 is crazy, at one time he was being mocked in the top 5. To have 2 complete TE’s, while Brate isn’t the blocker that Howard is. He is more than adequate, together DC on the Bucs schedule will have alot of sleepless nights. I felt that the Bucs had a top 5 off-season all together, to get Jackson was an excellent pick up. One of the least talked about moves that i think will pay off big time was Licht being smart enough to know while Jackson is a big play WR. He gets digged up a few games a year, to come back and get Chris Godwin was a smart move. Aside from JuJu Smith-Schuster, Godwin was my favorite WR in the draft. At 6ft 1, 205, with 4.40 speed, Godwin has speed but is also a physical receiver. Then to get insurance in case in RB Jeremy McNichols in case they have to part ways with Doug Martin was another good move. Aside from both RB coming out if Boise State, McNichols and Martin are similar RB’s, McNichols has a bit more speed. GM Jason Licht didn’t just improve the offense, he added talent to every level of the defense as well. By resigning DL William Gholston, and adding DT/DE Chris Baker in free agency, then drafting NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu. Now DC Mike Smith can switch up his fronts, and go 3-4. With Gholston and Robert Ayers on the outside and Baker or NT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, with Baker beside pro-bowl DT Gerald McCoy in the base defense. Teams won’t be able to double-team McCoy, although Baker is 6ft 2 and 325lbs. He can also get to the QB, DE Noah Spence will only get better. With a better push up the middle, Spence is in for a big year. Then your LB corps was already good, but by adding MLB Kendell Beckwith. Now in the base defense Kwon Alexander can play outside to keep him fresher and not taking such a pounding. Both Alexander and Lavonte David are excellent run-and-hit LB’s. But both are smaller, Beckwith is 6ft 2, 250lbs and has the power and strength to take on and disengage without getting pancaked. Once again improving the run defense up the middle, Beckwith’s presents will allow Alexander and David to flow sideline to sideline in both the run and pass game. The secondary wasn’t lefted out, 2nd year CB Vernon Hargreaves and Brent Grimes form a nice tandem. Safety Chris Conte was resigned, and SS J.J. Wilcox will help improve the run defense also. Wilcox isn’t afraid to lay the wood on a receiver, while Conte is great at either Safety position. He will be an excellent 3rd Safety, then FS Justin Evans will give the Bucs a true centerfielder. Evans has the size, speed, length and instincts to make a hugh difference on the back-end. By adding Evans, 2nd year DB Ryan Smith can return to his natural position at CB. In the Nickel defense Grimes will slide to the slot with Smith and Hargreaves on the outside. SS Keith Tandy and Josh Robinson will provide quality depth, with the offense scoring points. The defense will find itself pinning its ears back and attacking the QB on a regular basis. All and all the Bucs had an excellent off-season, i think that Licht will probably add an O-lineman or two before the preseason. With other teams making post-draft cuts, there is a good chance to get a quality O-lineman in free agency. Your Bucs are the real deal, an excellent young team that will only keep improving.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      plus brate is best when used as a slot, their offense should be like 12 personnel with an 11 formation, with howard as the TE