Tom Brady: I think O.J. Howard is prepared to have a great season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
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The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl last year without O.J. Howard.

The tight end had torn his Achilles in Week Four. Tampa Bay’s offense continued to grow and develop with Tom Brady as its quarterback. Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate successfully carried the load at tight end as the club won the Lombardi Trophy.

But now Howard is back, and should be another dynamic weapon for Brady in 2021. That’s at least what the quarterback is anticipating.

“OJ’s worked really hard to put himself in the position he’s in,” Brady said Tuesday, via “I think he’s prepared to have a great season. He’s worked really hard through training camp, been available to the team. Very hard worker, doing all the right things. So, really happy to have him back out there.”

Howard caught 11 passes for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns before suffering the injury last year. In 2019, he made 34 receptions for 459 yards with one TD in 14 games.

It will be intriguing to see how the Buccaneers use their three tight ends, as Gronkowski and Brate are both back for 2021 as well. In his first season with the Bucs, Gronkowski played all 16 games for the first time since 2011, recording 45 catches for 623 yards with seven touchdowns. Brate caught 28 passes for 282 yards with two TDs last year.