With players getting healthy during the bye week a few tweaks were made to the starting lineup and game plan. One of the changes was to elevate Cameron Brate back to the starting tightened position.
Having appeared in seven games this season Brate’s performance has been underwhelming. He’s hauled in 16 of 29 targets for 137 yards. With an average of 8.6 yards per catch, he’s given the Buccaneers seven first downs. He’s helping but he’s not a player to push the offense to new heights.
But this week the Buccaneers made it clear they still feel he is a number one tightend. Against the Browns he was targeted five times of which he hauled in two for total of 15 yards.
Meanwhile, Cade Otton has been performing well. The rookie stand out has made progress each week and is looking more and more like a steal in the draft. On the season he has pulled in 26 of 35 passes for a catch percentage of 74.3%. For reference Brate’s percentage is 55.2%. Even better, Otton has an average yards per reception of 10.8. Again, better than Brate’s average by a little over two full yards.
But with Cameron Brate returning to the lineup Otton took a backseat. This left the young and talented rookie with zero targets. ZERO. I’m not even sure Otton played a single down.
This personal decision, considering Otton was neither listed as questionable or injured on the week leading up to the Browns game is absolutely bewildering and completely unacceptable. Otten of the last two weeks has been starting to emerge as a true number one tightend for Buccaneers. Against the Rams, he hauled in five of six targets for 68 yards and a touchdown. He average 13.6 yards of reception. In the Seattle game he had a 100% catch percentage hauling in three targets for 39 yards and 11.7 yard per catch average. On top of this his ability to block is on par with Brate’s and getting better each week.
This is utterly mind blowing the staff made the call to start Brate over him.
If this team truly believes that Cameron Brate gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a better chance to win then I have to question the staffs understanding of football. Coupled with the horrendous play calling by Byron Leftwich someone needs to be held accountable. Not only is this decision inexplicable it shows this staff doesn’t know their own players, look at data, or believe in making changes.
Bucs Report’s Postgame Show
Slick and AJ react to the Buccaneers loss to Cleveland. Who is at fault? What now? Slick and AJ bring the heat.
The Aftermath With AJ & Slick
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