Which Bucs Benefit Most from Tom Brady's Arrival?
The only people that could be more excited about Tom Brady's arrival in Tampa Bay than Buccaneers fans are Buccaneers players. Playing with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history will no doubt benefit the rest of the roster, some more than others.
Brady has spent his career elevating the team around him, from tight ends to offensive linemen. His transition to red and pewter should be no different.
Here are the Bucs who would most benefit from Brady's arrival:
TE O.J. Howard
Once upon a time, Tom Brady had an utterly dominant tight end that powered the Patriots offense for nearly a decade. Now, he has O.J. Howard, who might finally fulfill his potential catching passes from the legendary quarterback.
Howard has not exactly lived up to his billing as a tremendous steal in the first round of the 2018 draft. Over three seasons, he averaged 31 receptions, 485 yards and four touchdowns and missed 10 games due to injury.
Last year was particularly disappointing. Though Howard was targeted 53 times, more than any previous season, he caught just 64.2 percent of his passes and dropped five, nearly one in every ten balls thrown his way.
While the Howard is certainly not blameless for his lack of production, a change of quarterback may be the spark he needs to get on track given Brady's history with tight ends. Howard's opportunity to succeed won't get much better than it will with Brady under center.
RB Ronald Jones II
Tom Brady loves to get the ball out quick and often favors underneath throws to his running backs. Since 2010, Brady has targeted one of his running backs in 21 percent of his attempts. This is good news for Bucs RB Ronald Jones.
The Bucs 2018 second-round pick showed tremendous growth last season, improving his yards per carry (4.2) and catching 31 passes for 309 yards. Quite simply, Jones was dynamite with the ball in his hands:
Jones might not get James White-level of work in the pass game, but as the Bucs do not have a deep backfield like New England, he might see a significant uptick in balls thrown his way next season.
WR Scotty Miller
Brady has a knack for making stars out of talented but unheralded receivers like Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan. 2019 sixth-round pick Scotty Miller could be the next in line for Brady's Midas touch.
Miller teased his potential as a deep threat last season, averaging 15.4 yards per reception. Down the stretch, it was not uncommon to see the former Bowling Green receiver abuse a secondary like this:
Brady brings unparalleled field vision that is likely to exploit Miller's breaches into the secondary. He did the same with Chris Hogan in New England from 2016 to 2018. Should history repeat itself with Miller, the Bucs might be set with their third wide receiver.