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Both Buccaneer tight ends named week 1 starters

Gronkowski and Howard operating in 12 personnel

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Training Camp
Tight ends OJ Howard and Rob Gronkowski work out at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, FL.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Football is back, and it’s going to feel better than anything we’ve felt before! We’ve all been through some unprecedented times with the COVID-19 situation this year with out any sports to keep us grounded. The lack of football has had us all clamoring for a bit of normalcy. Now, with the 53-man roster and starting lineups being announced, we’re starting to feel a sense of reality coming back.

In week 1 the Bucs face the current NFC South Champs. The Saints went 13-3 last year, and even saw Drew Brees surpass Peyton Manning for the most career passing touchdowns. The New England Patriots went all the way to the AFC Championship against the Chiefs, led by current Buccaneer quarterback Tom Brady. He too surpassed Peyton Manning in career passing touchdowns.

Brady comes to Tampa as an unrestricted free agent, and is immediately surrounded by talent. This included bringing in former team mate Rob Gronkowski. This initially created a lot of stir among the media and fans. Who’s out, who’s in? Is Brate staying, is Howard now a trade token? The answer is now confirmed.....no! Bruce Arians loves using his tight ends.

We’ve always been a 12 personnel team. Ever since Pittsburgh. That’s our base offense. - Bruce Arians

Buccaneers Staff Writer Carmen Vitali reported that Arians has even expressed his plan to use 13 personnel and a mix of 4-wide because of the mismatch it creates.

Brate and Howard find themselves equally sharing the field with Gronkowski. There was no doubt the three would make the active roster should it come down to it. So happens, it did and it looks like it very well could work out in the Bucs favor.

The Bucs released their week 1 depth chart against the Saints and had both OJ Howard and Rob Gronkowski listed as starters. Jared Durbin of CBS Sports posted about the starting roster which also included Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at wide receiver and Ronald Jones II at running back.

On Monday, the Buccaneers released their first depth chart, and it had both Rob Gronkowsi and O.J. Howard listed as starters at tight end, with the Bucs operating in 12 personnel.

Brady loves utilizing tight ends over the middle of the field, so there should be a role in this offense for both players.

Buccaneers week 1 depth chart was released on Monday
buccaneers.com via cbssports.com