The O.J. initials have significant meaning in Buffalo, from a football standpoint. (For the rest of the country, those two letters have a slightly different connotation.) Tight end O.J. Howard has joined the Bills. For now, Howard has a long way to go to match the exploits of the other Bills player who went by those two letters.
Via Joe Buscaglia of TheAthletic.com, Howard “has not looked like the dynamic pass catcher he was when he was a first-round pick out of Alabama in 2017.” Buscaglia writes that Howard’s “movement skills” are “well below” those possessed by starting tight end Dawson Knox.
“Howard has not been quick in and out of his breaks, which could hamper his ability to deceive the defender and separate while running routes,” Buscaglia writes.
Howard, who spent five years with the Buccaneers, suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the fourth game of the 2020 season. Last year, he appeared in all 17 games, but he caught only 14 passes for 135 yards.
His best season came in 2018, with 34 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns. He signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Bills earlier this year.