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Wow, no OJ Howard Thread

Im really surprised that there hasnt been a thread started on OJ Howard becoming a Houston Texan!!! He is exactly what a lot of us were calling for. A big, athletic, blocking TE with the ability to be a receiving threat as well.

Has he turned out to be all the hype coming out of his draft? No, but that doesnt mean he's instantly the best TE on this roster and at 27 could become a long term solution or at least piece to this offense and the TE's on this squad.

As for me, Im really glad Casserio went out and made the move to bring OJ on. Gives Mills another great target and some security when called on to block. Instant upgrade at the TE position for sure.
 

OptimisticTexan

2022 Rebuilding Block 2 / Go Texans
Okay, let's dig into a little bit of OJ Howard's NFL career:

2017 & 2018 saw TB finish with 5-11 records. Jameis Winston & Ryan Fitzpatrick were the QB's and Mike Evans, Deshaun Jackson, & Chris Godwin the receivers. Koetter was the HC. TE's were used but not like the RB's and WR's. **OJ Howard had a nice rookie season while missing 2 games due to a high ankle sprain. This injury happened on a 30 yard TD reception. 2018 he missed 6 total games. Week 4 he suffered an MCL strain and missed 1 game. Returned and had 4 TD's in 4 games. Season ended Week 11 due to a foot fracture.**

2019 saw Bruce Arians enter as the new HC. TB finished a 7-9 record. Winston was still QB1, but they now had Blaine Gabbert as QB2 and still possessed the duo or Evans and Godwin at WR. Arians offense didn't put a lot of emphasis on the TE's so production wouldn't be the same. They did add Anthony Auclair to their TE room b/c of his blocking ability. OJ Howard did finish the season for the first time, but did miss 2 games due to a hamstring strain. Some feel he may have been rushed back b/c he wasn't 100% for the rest of the season nor the beginning of the 2020 season.

2020 saw the arrival of Tom Brady and his sidekick Rob Gronkowski. TB finished the season 11-5 and won the SB. Tom had the same WR's in Evans, Godwin, and Miller to go along with a TE's Gronk, Howard, Brate, and Auclair. Unfortunately, Howard's season was over in Week 4 with a right torn Achilles. He rehabbed for 2020 to be ready for the 2021 season.

2021 saw TB put up a stellar record of 13-4, but lost out in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Gronk took the TE position and Brate had enough field time to establish himself as TE2. Howard was TE3 and probably more of a casualty b/c of his contract....therefore making him an expendable player. On the positive side, 2021 gave him a full season to get healthy.

2022....The Bills didn't have a real opening where he was competing for the TE1 spot, he was going to be an insurance piece to their TE room. I believe Howard has a very good chance to find a home here in Houston where Pep's offense will have a bigger roll for the TE's.

Receiving & Rushing

Regular Season
Playoffs

GamesReceivingRushingTotal Yds
YearAgeTmPosNo.GGSTgtRecYdsY/RTD1DLngR/GY/GCtch%Y/TgtRushYdsTD1DLngY/AY/GA/GTouchY/TchYScmRRTDFmbAV
201723TAMTE801414392643216.6620581.930.966.7%11.12616.6432633
201824TAMTE80108483456516.6528753.456.570.8%11.83416.6565504
201925TAMTE801414533445913.5123332.432.864.2%8.73413.5459114
202026TAMte8041191114613.328332.836.557.9%7.71113.3146201
202127TAMTE8017921141359.6110210.87.966.7%6.4149.6135101
Career5946180119173714.61589752.029.466.1%9.711914.61737154




 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Okay, let's dig into a little bit of OJ Howard's NFL career:

2017 & 2018 saw TB finish with 5-11 records. Jameis Winston & Ryan Fitzpatrick were the QB's and Mike Evans, Deshaun Jackson, & Chris Godwin the receivers. Koetter was the HC. TE's were used but not like the RB's and WR's. **OJ Howard had a nice rookie season while missing 2 games due to a high ankle sprain. This injury happened on a 30 yard TD reception. 2018 he missed 6 total games. Week 4 he suffered an MCL strain and missed 1 game. Returned and had 4 TD's in 4 games. Season ended Week 11 due to a foot fracture.**

2019 saw Bruce Arians enter as the new HC. TB finished a 7-9 record. Winston was still QB1, but they now had Blaine Gabbert as QB2 and still possessed the duo or Evans and Godwin at WR. Arians offense didn't put a lot of emphasis on the TE's so production wouldn't be the same. They did add Anthony Auclair to their TE room b/c of his blocking ability. OJ Howard did finish the season for the first time, but did miss 2 games due to a hamstring strain. Some feel he may have been rushed back b/c he wasn't 100% for the rest of the season nor the beginning of the 2020 season.

2020 saw the arrival of Tom Brady and his sidekick Rob Gronkowski. TB finished the season 11-5 and won the SB. Tom had the same WR's in Evans, Godwin, and Miller to go along with a TE's Gronk, Howard, Brate, and Auclair. Unfortunately, Howard's season was over in Week 4 with a right torn Achilles. He rehabbed for 2020 to be ready for the 2021 season.

2021 saw TB put up a stellar record of 13-4, but lost out in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Gronk took the TE position and Brate had enough field time to establish himself as TE2. Howard was TE3 and probably more of a casualty b/c of his contract....therefore making him an expendable player. On the positive side, 2021 gave him a full season to get healthy.

2022....The Bills didn't have a real opening where he was competing for the TE1 spot, he was going to be an insurance piece to their TE room. I believe Howard has a very good chance to find a home here in Houston where Pep's offense will have a bigger roll for the TE's.

Receiving & Rushing

Regular Season
Playoffs

YearAgeTmPosNo.GGSTgtRecYdsY/RTD1DLngR/GY/GCtch%Y/TgtRushYdsTD1DLngY/AY/GA/GTouchY/TchYScmRRTDFmbAV
GamesReceivingRushingTotal Yds
201723TAMTE801414392643216.6620581.930.966.7%11.12616.6432633
201824TAMTE80108483456516.6528753.456.570.8%11.83416.6565504
201925TAMTE801414533445913.5123332.432.864.2%8.73413.5459114
202026TAMte8041191114613.328332.836.557.9%7.71113.3146201
202127TAMTE8017921141359.6110210.87.966.7%6.4149.6135101
Career5946180119173714.61589752.029.466.1%9.711914.61737154



If Howard is what he was supposed to be he would be starting for the Bills, not getting cut by them.
 
If Howard is what he was supposed to be he would be starting for the Bills, not getting cut by them.
Unfortunately, I agree. The Bills at the time of his release didn't have anyone of note at TE other than Dawson Knox, so Howard should have at least made it over the other TEs they kept. Those injuries have severely affected his athleticism. His contract was just about fully guaranteed so his release would not have been for cap reasons. I hope he can block and perhaps be a receiving threat near the goal line.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
TE's Gronk, Howard, Brate, and Auclair.
Thank you. I just learned Auclair was on that team with Oj.

Kinda scratching my head why Howard would choose Houston over Cincinnati. Not the decision I would have made.

I wonder if Auclair said something to him. & if so, what could he possibly have said.

& if he didn’t, what could Caserio have said?
 

The Pencil Neck

Hall of Fame
Thank you. I just learned Auclair was on that team with Oj.

Kinda scratching my head why Howard would choose Houston over Cincinnati. Not the decision I would have made.

I wonder if Auclair said something to him. & if so, what could he possibly have said.

& if he didn’t, what could Caserio have said?
Do we know that Cincy actually made an offer?
 

OptimisticTexan

2022 Rebuilding Block 2 / Go Texans
Thank you. I just learned Auclair was on that team with Oj.

Kinda scratching my head why Howard would choose Houston over Cincinnati. Not the decision I would have made.

I wonder if Auclair said something to him. & if so, what could he possibly have said.

& if he didn’t, what could Caserio have said?
The Texans offer the opportunity to be the starter and Cincy was definitely another backup roll to the starter. Texans may not be playing for a playoff berth, but he'll have his best chance at rebound success with the Texans.
 

TexansBull

Hall of Fame
Thank you. I just learned Auclair was on that team with Oj.

Kinda scratching my head why Howard would choose Houston over Cincinnati. Not the decision I would have made.

I wonder if Auclair said something to him. & if so, what could he possibly have said.

& if he didn’t, what could Caserio have said?
I think the opportunity to be a starter is most appealing.

It will be either like Foster when he chose us over other teams so he could get a chance to start over limiter competition, or like when other free agents came here and flamed out.

We have had some good FAs come here and do well. Kevin Walter, Johnathan Joseph, and Antonio Smith.

Plus - Lovie seems to be a coach players want to play for. Pep ain’t too bad either.
 

Texansballer74

The Marine
Thank you. I just learned Auclair was on that team with Oj.

Kinda scratching my head why Howard would choose Houston over Cincinnati. Not the decision I would have made.

I wonder if Auclair said something to him. & if so, what could he possibly have said.

& if he didn’t, what could Caserio have said?
It was said they had already signed another Tight End. Maybe they were talking stashing him on the practice squad.
 

Porky

Hall of Fame
He is instantly the best TE on the roster. Yes, he's an injury risk. No I do not think he will be the dynamic athlete he was coming out of Bama. Too many injury's. That said, IF (big if) he can stay relatively healthy, he should be the starter in 2022 and give Mills a legit weapon at the TE position. We'll see if he can nail down TE for the longer term, but for now...I'm pleased with this acquisition. This is a good risk/reward signing.

Has anyone seen the terms? Amount and years? Is this a make good one-year contract?
 

Texansballer74

The Marine
He is instantly the best TE on the roster. Yes, he's an injury risk. No I do not think he will be the dynamic athlete he was coming out of Bama. Too many injury's. That said, IF (big if) he can stay relatively healthy, he should be the starter in 2022 and give Mills a legit weapon at the TE position. We'll see if he can nail down TE for the longer term, but for now...I'm pleased with this acquisition. This is a good risk/reward signing.

Has anyone seen the terms? Amount and years? Is this a make good one-year contract?
Howard to a one-year contract with a maximum value in the $4 million range, according to a league source. Howard visited the Texans on Thursday, took a physical and quickly agreed to terms after previously visiting the Cincinnati Bengals after being cut by the Buffalo Bills.
 

Earl34

All Pro
If Howard is what he was supposed to be he would be starting for the Bills, not getting cut by them.
Agree. Darren Fells came to the Texans as a journeyman, blocking TE and put up career numbers in 2019 (34 Recs, 341 Yds, 7 TDs) and 2020 (21 Recs, 312 Yds, 4 TDs).

At this point. I'm not sure if we can get Darren Fells' production from Howard.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Agree. Darren Fells came to the Texans as a journeyman, blocking TE and put up career numbers in 2019 (34 Recs, 341 Yds, 7 TDs) and 2020 (21 Recs, 312 Yds, 4 TDs).

At this point. I'm not sure if we can get Darren Fells' production from Howard.
I think until he gets hurt I think he will be much better than Fells.
 

maverick512000

Hall of Fame
Howard to a one-year contract with a maximum value in the $4 million range, according to a league source. Howard visited the Texans on Thursday, took a physical and quickly agreed to terms after previously visiting the Cincinnati Bengals after being cut by the Buffalo Bills.
Perfect, low risk, high reward with an easy way out. I like this signing UCB more now. Also plays into the idea that this year is all about seeing if Mills can be the guy.
 

edo783

Hall of Fame
I watched the Ohio State game off and on tonight. I can't say that the QB impressed me. Seemed slow to read and wasn't really all that accurate. Isn't he supposed to be one of the high QB picks in the next draft?
 

Lucky

Trust Me. I Know What I'm Doing.
Staff member
I watched the Ohio State game off and on tonight. I can't say that the QB impressed me. Seemed slow to read and wasn't really all that accurate. Isn't he supposed to be one of the high QB picks in the next draft?
Yes, not quite the level of Stroud's 573 yard 6 TD performance at last year's Rose Bowl.
 

Texansballer74

The Marine
I watched the Ohio State game off and on tonight. I can't say that the QB impressed me. Seemed slow to read and wasn't really all that accurate. Isn't he supposed to be one of the high QB picks in the next draft?
He was playing against a pretty stout defense. Every game isn’t going to be perfect. He’s still a top notch quarterback.
 

AcresHomesTexan

No Longer Arlington: Escaped From Jerry's World
Staff member
My suspicion is that OJ Howard is the name-brand version of Darren Fells. willing to be wrong, of course.
 

Lucky

Trust Me. I Know What I'm Doing.
Staff member
I’d like to see him with the Texans for a season before I slap the “not worth a damn” label on him.
The glass half full outlook is that just because Howard can't play with the best teams doesn't mean he can't play here. One man's trash yada yada...
 

edo783

Hall of Fame
I read an interesting factoid yesterday about Pierce. At the Senior Bowl, they determined that he was the fastest player on the field. Apparently they used some sort of GPS tracking thing to determine it. I was a little concerned about his top end speed, but maybe I shouldn't be.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I’m solely talking about his draft status and nothing more. He will be drafted in the top 10.

Let’s get back on topic before the police say something.

I’m pulling for Howard to come into his full potential with our Texans. It will be huge for Mills and the Texans.
Delete
 

vtech9

Veteran
I read an interesting factoid yesterday about Pierce. At the Senior Bowl, they determined that he was the fastest player on the field. Apparently they used some sort of GPS tracking thing to determine it. I was a little concerned about his top end speed, but maybe I shouldn't be.
I've discussed this with my brother. We both played football growing up. He was quite a bit faster than I was out of pads, but in pads, we were pretty close. I was never a sprinter, and typically ran a 5.0 40, but in pads, I was fast enough. Is it the pads, or is it just the added adrenaline of being in a game. I don't know. I know I've watched Pierce pull away from faster DB's in games, but his 40 time says he shouldn't be doing that. I think Pierce plays faster than his 40 time. Just another reason he was my #1 RB want for the Texans.

As far as OJ Howard goes, I remember I liked him coming out of college, but I haven't paid much attention to him since, so I'll withhold judgement on his signing for now.
 

The Pencil Neck

Hall of Fame
I've discussed this with my brother. We both played football growing up. He was quite a bit faster than I was out of pads, but in pads, we were pretty close. I was never a sprinter, and typically ran a 5.0 40, but in pads, I was fast enough. Is it the pads, or is it just the added adrenaline of being in a game. I don't know. I know I've watched Pierce pull away from faster DB's in games, but his 40 time says he shouldn't be doing that. I think Pierce plays faster than his 40 time. Just another reason he was my #1 RB want for the Texans.

As far as OJ Howard goes, I remember I liked him coming out of college, but I haven't paid much attention to him since, so I'll withhold judgement on his signing for now.
Jacoby Jones used to joke that he had "Next Man" speed where he was at least as fast as whoever was chasing him. I think Arian Foster was like that. If he had guys chasing him, he got faster than his 4.6+ time. I think Pierce is the same.
 

ArmyBengal

Retired Army Medical NCO
I like the OJ Howard signing for your Texans. When the report came in that he was coming into Cincinnati for a visit, I was pretty excited. Even though he has yet to live up to where he was drafted, injuries were a big part of that and "IF" healthy, would be a nice addition. I was hopeful to see him and Hayden Hurst in 2 TE sets with the skill players we have on offense. Not a top 3 target in that offense, but another player that certainly needed to be accounted for, especially in the red zone.

He wasn't going to be a starter here and like someone else who mentioned liking him coming out of college, I always thought he would make it in this league, as he always had the athletic ability. He averaged 42 catches in his last two years in Alabama on teams that had stacked offenses and won the National Championship in 2015. That's no small feat by a TE.

Good luck to him this year. I will be watching and rooting for him and Mills to be a solid connection !!
 

vtech9

Veteran
Jacoby Jones used to joke that he had "Next Man" speed where he was at least as fast as whoever was chasing him. I think Arian Foster was like that. If he had guys chasing him, he got faster than his 4.6+ time. I think Pierce is the same.
Yeah, I think with some players, the 40 is mental. I know when I was running the 40, I was worried about takeoff, form, and just thinking about getting a good time. When I was on the field, I was only worried about making the play. When covering fast WR's, I wasn't worried about anything else but keeping them in my pocket. I didn't care what their 40 time was, nor mine, I was just worried about staying in a position to make a play. I loved playing on Kick team. On kick coverage team, I could just pin my ears back and run. Interestingly enough, even though, according to the 40 time, I was one of the slowest on the team, I was always one of the first down the field.
 

leebigeztx

Keep it Movin!
If this comes true it will be a first. Name the last Ohio State QB that wasn't a bust?
No argument from me on that one, nut your scouts have to look for top level physical traits. After that, it comes down to coaching the position. Think about all the big time blue blood programs and then look at where the best qb's in the league come from. We see how mediocre the qbs from Bama are as well as the old Canes and so on. It really relies on coaching and how the oc and qb maximize that players upside.
 

Toro Bravo

Waterboy
Different game. LBs we’re running 6 sec 40s back then.
I'm not insinuating that speed is not important. But, running a 40 time on a track and field speed in pads are not the same.

As I stated in another post, there is a reason that the Bengals, and 30 other teams, didn't sign Howard. I really hope I'm wrong and he is great for the Texans, but something just seems questionable. Then again, it may not take much to be an upgrade in this TE group.
 
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thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
As I stated in another post, there is a reason that the Bengals, and 30 other teams, didn't sign Howard.
My understanding is the Bengals wanted to sign him but he chose HTown.

so yes, there’s a reason the Bucs & Bills released him & 28 other teams weren’t interested.

I think it’s about the 1st step. After a number of foot injuries, the last being an Achilles, his initial burst is compromised. Like Marlon Mack that “get off” is important.

Can a TE be effective without that initial explosiveness? We’ll see.

But, running a 40 time on a track and field speed in pads are not the same.
my point is there was definitely a time when that thinking was relevant. But we’re living in a time when mobility is a big part of your QBs game. Your RBs better be able to catch. CBs have to be good tacklers. LBs have to be good in coverage.

yes all that were good options to have in the past but are now more necessary.

A fast receiver back then was a 4.5 forty, so a 4.7 wasn’t bad. Today a 4.3 is fast & 4.6 is slow.

so yeah, speed isn’t the end all be all, but with the number of 4.4 guys out there who can catch & run routes… you have to value speed just to compete
 


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