Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate is a Pro Football Focus "secret superstar"

RECOMMENDED READING


Two years ago, Cameron Brate was clinging to the Buccaneers roster. Now, he is being called a "secret superstar."

Over at Pro Football Focus, Sam Monson identified one player on each NFL team who has received little national recognition relative to his high production, and the tight end was his pick for the Bucs.

"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," Monson said. "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."

RELATED STORY: The Jameis Winston-to-Cameron Brate connection

Brate, who missed the final game of the season because of a back injury, became Jameis Winston's most reliable target not named Mike Evans. His 57 catches, 660 receiving yards and eight touchdowns all were second-most on the team. His touchdown total tied the Bucs record by a tight end, which was set by Jimmie Giles in 1985.

Past Tampa Bay "secret superstars" (no PFF list in 2016)

• Danny Lansanah, linebacker (2015): "The arrival of Lovie Smith changed everything for Lansanah. He quickly took to the Tampa 2-based scheme, and showed the versatility to play all three linebacker roles."

• Demar Dotson, offensive tackle (2014): "Dotson played on a Tampa Bay line that conceded 47 sacks on the season (sixth-most) and had running backs run behind it to the tune of 3.8 yards per carry (25th), but he can't help the talent surrounding him."

• Leonard Johnson, cornerback (2013): "It would be a bit of a stretch to say that Johnson was a true superstar last season. Aside from the large responsibilities he had, he also made mistakes that will cost him in the future if he doesn't correct them."

• Michael Bennett, defensive end (2012): "He was one of the very few bright spots on a defense that needs to get better in order for Tampa Bay to be competitive in 2012."

• Quincy Black, linebacker (2011): "The emergence of Quincy Black in 2010 was a big part of the Buccaneers defensive success, and if they are able to bring him back, he'll be part of a defense that continues to rise. If he leaves Tampa Bay, he'll boost a 4-3 defense elsewhere."

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

Comments
Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says team has not turned the corner yet

TAMPA ó The Bucs have some positive momentum with back-to-back wins, but DT Gerald McCoy said itís too soon to say his 4-6 team has turned a corner."We havenít turned a corner yet," McCoy said Wednesday, preparing for Sundayís game at Atlanta. "Itís ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

McCoy is only Bucs player in Pro Bowl voting top 10s

The Bucs aren't faring well in early Pro Bowl fan voting, with DT Gerald McCoy as the only Tampa Bay player ranking in the top 10 at his position.McCoy, seeking his sixth straight Pro Bowl selection, ranks seventh among NFL defensive tackles, one wee...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macyís parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.ííItís a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Koetter says Bucs not distracted by Jameis Winstonís off-field issue

The Bucs are 1-0 since news broke last Friday of Jameis Winston being accused by an Uber driver of groping her during a ride in March of 2016.That's really all the evidence coach Dirk Koetter needs to say the issue has not been a distraction to the t...
Updated: 10 hours ago
NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

NFL Week 12: Tampa Bay Times staff picks

Happy Thanksgiving! It's already week 12 of the NFL season, and the football feast is set to begin. It all starts at at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, when the Lions try to win their fifth straight Thanksgiving Day game against a Minnesota team out to bec...
Published: 11/22/17
Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Cannon Fodder podcast: Examining the Bucsí Hall of Fame semifinalists

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman takes a closer look at the three former Bucs who are semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.He also looks at the constant churn on the Bucsí practice squad and why Julio Jonesí stats have dropped off this season,...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Bucsí Barber, Lynch, Rice among Hall of Fame semifinalists

Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Simeon Rice — teammates on the Bucs' 2002 Super Bowl championship team — are among the 27 semifinalists to be considered for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame class.Lynch is a semifinalist for the sixth st...
Published: 11/22/17
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Itís a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they canít win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17
Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

Bucs-Falcons: Itís time to start believing Miko Grimes

TAMPA ó The most valuable player for the Bucs is Brent Grimes.It felt odd typing that, but itís time to say it.In Grimesí two seasons in Tampa Bay, the Bucs havenít won a game without him. This season they are 4-3 when he plays, 0-3 when he doesnít.H...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA ó Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sundayís game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 11 hours ago