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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 27th 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 spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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