TE Cameron Brate – Photo by: Getty Images
Fan voting for the Pro Bowl closes on December 13, and with Jameis Winston’s next regularly scheduled visit with the media on the 14th, reporters gave he Bucs quarterback a chance on Wednesday to endorse a few teammates for a trip to Orlando in February.
Fittingly, Winston started by saying the entire offensive line deserves recognition “for the way they’ve been protecting.” He’s been sacked just 24 times this year – though his mobility and improvisation deserve partial credit for that stat. Winston was more animated while making a case for two of his offensive weapons, particularly the less obvious one.
“If Cam Brate and Mike Evans aren’t on your Pro Bowl ballots, you got something wrong,” Winston said plainly. “Is Cam still leading the NFL I touchdowns (6) for tight ends? Yeah, Cam Brate has to be on your Pro Bowl ballot. That would be good for him, I think that would be big for him and he’ll really enjoy that.”
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
With 76 receptions for 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns – all of which rank Top 3 in the NFL – it would be criminal to leave Evans off the eight-man Pro Bowl receiving corps. Brate, on the other hand, seems to have more crowded competition for fewer roster spots.
While the Harvard grad continues his rise among tight ends – with 47 receptions for 528 yards through 12 games – Brate only ranks near the Top 10 in both stats and only four tight ends get selected. His six touchdowns, as Winston emphasized, give him his best case, but with Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce basically locks, Brate would still appear to be vying for the final spot. Of course, injuries and declined invitations should leave the door open for one or more alternates.
Winston, always appreciative and complimentary of the defense, kept his Pro Bowl remarks brief and focused only on his side of the ball. At the end of the day, the second-year quarterback is more concerned with getting his teammates to the playoffs than Orlando.
The latter destination is more in your hands anyway. Click here to fill out your Pro Bowl ballot.
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.
Contact him at: [email protected]
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