While there are some areas that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers undoubtedly need more improvement, one area they stack up right next to the best in the league is in offensive weapons. Between a top-tier receiving corps and talented running backs, there is no shortage of ways to move the ball down the field.
However, there is one position in particular that will need to produce far more if the Bucs hope to have a consistently-good offense, and that is tight-end, specifically Cameron Brate. While the Bucs did sign veteran Kyle Rudolph this past offseason, Brate is the far superior offensive threat between the two tight-ends.
With great hands and a knack for delivering in big moments throughout the past few seasons, even when playing behind Rob Gronkowski, Brate will need to step up more consistently in Week 2 after a quiet Week 1.
It would benefit the team’s offense greatly to see Brate catching passes on 2nd and 3rd downs instead of the sporadic chances he currently gets.
Considering how much Brady has relied on production from his tight-ends throughout his storied career, it would only make sense for offensive coordinator Bryon Leftwich to adapt to that and call more plays that target Brate, despite Tampa’s limited use of tight ends outside of Gronk.
Instead of the three targets he got in the first game against the Cowboys, finding a way to increase Brate’s targets to the fix or six range will not only help the offense overall, but should also keep opposing defenses on their toes and worrying about someone other than the big name receivers.
Considering the plethora of star talent the Bucs have between their wide receivers and running backs, Brate should have favorable matchups most of the time and it would be foolish for the Bucs to not take advantage of that fact. This obviously means that Brate will also need to step up and not miss his chances, and if he does, he could play a massive role this season.
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