With the abundance of weapons that Tampa Bay has had in O.J. Howard’s first two seasons, he hasn’t been as utilized as some may have thought. Howard has also had some injuries cut both of his seasons short, but he seems to be full go for year three.
Head Coach Bruce Arians has never been known to use tight ends that much in his system, but as always, good coaches find a way to adjust their scheme to fit the players and Arians seems to be doing just that. When you have not only Howard, but also Cameron Brate, it is imperative that you get those two the ball as much as possible.
Howard had the following to say about his usage so far in the new Buccaneers offense
“We’ve been used a lot. I would say during OTA’s, we knew that coming into it. This position can be very helpful in this offense. [Bruce Arians] just finds ways to get us the ball,” Howard said. “The first couple days of practice, I’m sure you guys have noticed it, we got a chance to make a lot of plays and I like it a lot.”
Since Arians was hired back in February, we have heard that the culture will change within the walls of One Buc Place. Other head coaches tried to install a certain culture, but ultimately, all of them came up short in doing so.
So far, according to Howard, Arians has done an excellent job installing what he wants from his team not only with their play, but their overall attitude as well.
“A lot. Coach, his mentality – the way he wants us to be – I think that’s rubbed off on everybody on the team. He’s said that since day one since he’s been here – the way he coaches [is] the way he coaches. We like it,” Howard said. “He’s just going to make our team better. You see we are going out there with confidence every day and a little swagger on both sides of the ball. That’s the identity our team wants to build.”
If all things go as planned, expect Arians to use every bit of O.J. Howard on a week to week basis and that would all but guarantee him his first Pro Bowl appearance in the NFL.