Bucs TE Cameron Brate and MLB Kwon Alexander - Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
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Bucs Camp MVP 8-2: Making The Bucs Brate Again
There wasn’t any rain on Wednesday. The players had the day off on Tuesday. But for some reason, there sure were a lot of dropped passes on Wednesday at Bucs training camp. Mike Evans dropped three passes early before calling it a day and letting the coaches get some younger receivers like Donteea Dye and Bobo Wilson some playing time with Jameis Winston. Rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin, who got an extended amount of playing time with the starters today as a result of Evans DeSean Jackson missing a good deal of practice while they got some rest, even dropped some passes and he’s been pretty sure-handed.
The only target that didn’t drop a pass – and rarely does – was tight end Cameron Brate, who is part go-to guy for Winston and part safety blanket, as well. Brate is the primary receiver on some plays, but when Winston is in trouble and the play is breaking down he often looks to No. 84 – even more so than No. 13. Brate is where he’s supposed to be and almost always comes up with the catch – even in traffic.
Bucs TEs O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
Wednesday was no exception. Brate was his usual consistent self, although he stood out more today than in other days because of the myriad of drops by Tampa Bay’s other offensive weapons. Brate didn’t make any diving catches or one-handed grabs. But he gets open, catches the ball and moves the chains.
Brate is as reliable as they come as a receiver and that really stood out on Wednesday. Just wait until the Bucs work on their red zone passing game. He’ll be lighting up the scoreboard as Brate did a year ago when his eight touchdowns were tied for the league lead.
An area where Brate has really improved this offseason is in his blocking. Brate came to the Bucs three years ago as a 235-pounder but has added 10-12 pounds of muscle in the weight room to help him as an in-line blocker.
“I gave Cam a compliment on it, too,” Bucs defensive end Will Gholston said. “Once you put on the pads you can definitely tell the difference. At first when he got here he was a little light, but now he’s definitely more stout. He has a couple little things he can work on, but I’m not going to tell him until after camp (laughs)! I think he’s definitely improved as a blocker. And he’s an animal catching the ball. You can watch the film of the 7-on-7’s. He’s a red zone threat and he can stretch the field. That’s going to be crazy with him and O.J. Howard. He’s always working after practice, too. The dude just keeps getting better.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR’s Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons’ Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Our red zone offense should be much improved this season with the addition of Howard and Auclair to the TE crew, and Jackson and Godwin along with Evans and Humph on the WR crew. Plus improved run blocking with the addition of Sweezy along with Howard and Auclair. That was the area most in need of improvement last season, even more than the number of give aways by the offense. Fix that one thing, and we’d have won at least one or two more games last year and made the post-season.
I care first and foremost about the Bucs when it comes to football, and I am so PUMPED to have two incredible pass-catching TE this year. With that being said…
Any statistical predictions yet for Brate? For example, what percentage of offensive snaps will he be out there, targets, etc? I want to draft him for my fantasy team but I’m worried OJ Howard will steal reps, targets, and TDs, Any thoughts yet?
It’s a great problem to have as Bucs fan!! Go Bucs!!!
Brate is improving at such an amazing rate that he is on his way to being consistent Pro Bowl caliber player and he is only 26 years old. Wow!
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