Continuing our ‘Catch-Up Week’ on the Locked On Bucs Podcast, Taylor Jenkins of Pewter Report joined James Yarcho and I to discuss the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense.
Among topics were the differences between the 2019 offensive unit at this point in camp last year compared to this year’s version led by Tom Brady. Leonard Fournette came up in the conversation as well as head coach Bruce Arians was non-committal either direction regarding whether or not the team would place a claim for the recently waived Jacksonville Jaguars running back.
My favorite part of the episode however came when we asked Jenkins to contribute with his nominee for Tampa Bay’s “Hidden Hero” for the 2020 NFL Season. Of course, Devin White was off the board as Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com nominated the second-year linebacker on Monday’s episode.
Still, Jenkins had a good group of players to pick from, and with his selection he chose tight end, Cameron Brate!
“I think Cam Brate has dependable hands,” Jenkins said. “I think he’s a smart player, and I think he’s somebody that really gets overlooked, and he’s not going to get 75-catches, he’s not going to have 750-yards. But I think he’s a guy that could come out of the season with five (or) seven really important touchdowns, and he isn’t getting looked (at) like a guy that will do that right now.”
This season isn’t the first time Brate has been underestimated of course. Starting his career as an undrafted free-agent, he’s no stranger to fighting for everything he’s earned. Ever since the Buccaneers selected Howard in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Brate’s future with team has become an off-season talk tradition.
That year, Brate came down with 48 passes gaining 591-yards and scoring six touchdowns. His yards and catches dropped in 2018, but his scoring stats stayed the same. Then, in 2019 with Howard poised to become one of the best young tight ends in the game, Brate’s numbers actually climbed north of 300-yards receiving while chipping in four scores.
So, like Jenkins said, not big stats or fantasy relevant production each week, but Brate has proven himself to be quite the reliable red zone threat. Because of this, he could certainly become the hero in close contests for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and is a fine candidate to be the team’s 2020 “Hidden Hero”.
We’ve got another candidate headed your way tomorrow! So be sure to check back with Bucs Nation and check out the Locked On Bucs Podcast for more of why Brate could be a big part of the Tampa Bay offense in 2020, and more!