The emergence of Bucs TE Cameron Brate to elite level doesn’t come as a surprise to Dirk Koetter or Sean Payton, who for a week owned Brate’s rights and forfeited him back to the Bucs. Those two offensive gurus saw something in the 6’5 undrafted Harvard free agent that no others saw. Potential.
With a TD catch in Saturday’s close loss to the Saints, Brate became the league leader for TDs by a TE. Not Greg Olsen. Not Antonio Gates. Not Jason Written or Travis Kelce or Tyler Eifert or Jimmy Graham. Our guy. In his second year. Setting Bucs records.
Brate came into the door at One Buc staring at three experienced tight ends in front of him in Luke Stocker, Brandon Myers, and the incumbent Austin Sefarian-Jenkins; who would be arrested and released from the team for DUI early in the season. Turns out that night of drinking for ASJ was a blessing in disguise. Koetter’s hand was forced and Brate became the starter, paving the way for one of the brighter futures in football.
Brate’s emergence coincides with Mike Evan’s meteoric rise to stardom. With Evans constantly being watched over the top, it has allowed Brate to work the middle of the field for Jameis like a ten-year pro. Of his 57 receptions this season, 40 have gone for first downs putting him at 6th amongst TEs and first in pct of catches for first down at 70% (min. 40 rec).
If his run blocking continues to improve and round out his overall game, this kid has the potential to be our best TE ever paired up with an unrelenting gunslinger. Think Favre/Chmura in today’s game. No ceilings. Go Bucs!