O.J. Howard “a little bit” surprised by lack of passes his way

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Among the players in the Buccaneers passing offense that didn’t get on track in last Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Saints was tight end O.J. Howard.

Howard was targeted with a pass on the team’s first drive, but the ball didn’t come his way again until he made his only catch of the game in the final minute of the fourth quarter. Howard has been targeted 14 times overall this season and said Monday that he’s been surprised by the lack of throws in his direction.

“A little bit, but it’s just one of those things where you’ve got to stay at it,” Howard said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “Sometimes we don’t play teams who give us what we thought we were going to get on film. So it’s one of those things where you have to keep going and hopefully you get the good looks.”

Howard was targeted nearly five times a game last season, so it’s a noticeable difference for the 2017 first-round pick if not the only issue to sort out after a rough day for the offense. Wide receiver Mike Evans didn’t have a catch for the first time since 2015 and he needs to be on track for Tampa to fire on all cylinders.