As the Bucs continue to complete phases of their offseason program, tight end Cameron Brate continues to stand out and cement his status as a player to watch this summer.
Bucs TE Cameron Brate – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The third-year Harvard grad, who caught 17 of his 23 receptions last season during the final seven weeks, has become a go-to target for Jameis Winston, particularly in the red zone. His chemistry with the second-year quarterback has impressed Dirk Koetter throughout the early offseason, and Thursday’s practice did nothing to change the head coach’s opinion of Brate’s potential.
“He’s got an uncanny ability to show up in the red zone and did so again today,” Koetter said of Brate, who shined during the two-minute portion of practice, the part Koetter was most enthusiastic about last Thursday.
It’s early in the offseason – the defense is still installing its new system and the offense is continuing to develop – but the Bucs were able to simulate a few realistic drives during their last minicamp session. That experience, Koetter said, will acclimate them better for training camp and provide solid tape to study in the six weeks leading up.
“One of the best things about today, if you were paying attention early, before the fights – I know you all have that short attention span (laughs) – in the two-minute drill, unbelievable situations,” Koetter said. “In two-minute the first group scored a touchdown, they called us for an illegal pick. The second group, we had a penalty in there, too, so penalties on the offense and then we tried to get a hurry-up field goal there at the end with the third group.
“You can’t manufacture enough of those game-ending situations. Even if we screw them up – and we do – (it’s great) to be able to go in and show them to the guys on tape and learn from them because when they come up in real life, we have to a little better than we did today.”
The two-minute drill will surely be emphasized throughout training camp and, from an offensive standpoint, give tight ends a great opportunity to make a strong impression. In mid-June it appears the Bucs have two legitimate contenders for the starting role in Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Regardless of who’s tabbed No. 1 on the depth chart, though, it’s expected that both will see plenty of action in Koetter’s tight-end heavy offense this season.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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Two TE’s, two RB’s, two tall WR…Whatever it takes to put points on the board!
I appreciate what Brate is and the work he puts in. I think he’s a good secondary tight end. That said, if he IS our best option to start, then we’re much weaker at the position than I thought. The guy couldn’t block a one-legged elderly woman. ASJ is the ONLY tight end of this roster who has the potential to be both a legitimate weapon in the passing game and a valuable blocker. He’s it.
Hopefully he keeps his shit together, keeps his head straight, and delivers on his physical ability. It’s certainly not a given. But if we’re running Brate out there all the time, then we’re going to be disappointed with our production from that position. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who had a pro-rated 320 yard season last year, so it’s not like he’s some crazy receiver, either. Now, I get that he’s young and developing, but still, ASJ is easily our most talented TE.
The results are on the field.
Toofamiliar17, you state that Brate couldn’t block a one legged elderly woman and i’ wondering how you formed your opinion.
Do you go to the games and only watch him. Do you watch the games on TV and only watch him. Do you have NFL rewind. Do you watch a lot of tape on him.
Can you please qualify your statement.
I for one go to the games and watch NFL rewind and haven’t paid that much attention to his blocking.
From what I understand about him though, his primary responsibility is as a pass catching TE and he isn’t called on much to block unless he is chip blocking.
Since he normally is used in that situation, he doesn’t catch much heat from jongruden who despises run blocking TE’s like Luke Stocker.
Still, I would like to know how you formed your opinion of Brate’s blocking ability if you would please enlighten us.
It’s a good thing that Brate & Vitale are there because I have a nagging feeling that ASJ is just not one of those long-term Bucs core players that is going to be there when as the team makes its climb.
I hope Brate develops into a viable target, but as an un-drafted college F/A from an Ivy League school it may take some time. Let’s don’t get too carried away here. ASJ (when he’s on the field) is clearly the best of the bunch. Yes, he needs to mature, which is what we said about a certain young QB, but other than injury, which herein can have folks wanting a player shown the exit, there’s no way Brate overtakes him as the # 1 TE.
To be the #1 TE a player has to produce. Through two seasons ASJ has not. If he makes it three in a row……he’s a bust. Play Brate, at least he’s dependable. Injuries and immaturity don’t make for great NFL careers.
unlike many fans, I think Licht is seasoned and mature enough to understand injuries happen to all players and will tolerate low production because of them for a certain period of time.
That said I don’t think he will tolerate both immature behavior and a player who continues to be injured.
I saw the injury that happened on an NFL network clip over and over and it had to hurt hitting the concrete floor of the Super Dome like that.
After seeing the clip, there is little reason to believe ASJ was malingering.
Still, if ASJ doesn’t get his head in the playbook and start producing, this could very likely be his last season with the Bucs.
Well said drdneast. But we have many fans who equate a real injury with a co-worker taking a day off for stepping on a sand spur. No tolerance whatsoever. There were fans ready to send GMC and Doug Martin packing and they are two of our best players. On the other hand, Kenny Bell is a “can’t wait to see him” mystery because he has remained in the shadows, stayed silent, didn’t smile, pose or post on Twitter. Anyone watching ASJ in Training Camp can easily see the talent. Let’s hope he matures and heals.
Maybe he could mature and heal at the same time and speed up the process.
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