The Buccaneers secret superstar revealed
Who is the Buccaneers secret superstar?
The Buccaneers have several players on the team that could potentially earn consideration as “superstars”. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans come to mind immediately. Many believe that O.J. Howard will qualify. On the defensive side of the ball, Gerald McCoy steps to the forefront of the thought, as does Noah Spence and Kwon Alexander. Dirk Koetter has a lot of terrific players at his disposal.
But what about our secret superstar? Well first it’s probably a good idea to talk about what I mean. Pro Football Focus may have a grading system that is questionable, but what they do well is tabulate advanced metrics. They go further inside the numbers than any other site that is available to the public so if you want the really detailed scoop, there is only one place to go.
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Well, PFF did a piece on what they called each team’s “secret superstar”. A secret superstar, by PFF standards, is someone who took a big leap in their production last season, and/or players that have performed better than their public perception.
They are the guys that are really good but still flying under the radar.
PFF went to each roster and named a superstar from each one. For the Bucs, the choice was a tight end that came out of nowhere for a big season. You know him, his name is Cameron Brate.
Take a look at the stat they found:
"Brate burst into the scene in 2016, more than doubling his snap count from the year before and dramatically eclipsing his receiving marks as well. He caught eight touchdowns from 78 targets and dropped just two of those targets for a drop rate of 3.4 percent of catchable balls, the fifth-best mark among TEs in the league."
Say what you want, that is pretty impressive. We have talked about earning the trust of Jameis Winston in the past. This is exactly how you do it. You make plays when the quarterback delivers you the football. You don’t drop passes. It’s no wonder why Brate rapidly became one of the most trusted weapons in the Bucs offense. He didn’t drop the ball.
Next: The camp battle for third wide receiver
Now the biggest question will be if Brate can sustain the development. After tying for the league lead in touchdowns at the position with eight, there will be a much thicker “book” on Brate this year. Opponents will start to defend what he likes to do. Can he adjust? That will be the question in determining how far Brate can go with his game, but after last season, all signs are encouraging.