Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Underrated TE Brate will be needed second half of season

Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

Buccaneers safety Keith Tandy’s sister Latasha built her fantasy football team almost exclusively out of Bucs players this year. As you might expect, the strategy has not worked out in her favor.

“Her team’s in last place,’’ Keith said. “But she does have Cameron Brate.’’

Big deal, you say? Well, actually, having the Bucs second-year tight end out of Harvard on your team is a big deal. But not just from a fantasy owner’s perspective.

As the Bucs prepare to take on the Bears this Sunday, Brate is tied with Martellus Bennett of the Patriots for the league lead among tight ends in touchdown receptions with four.

That number has him tied for 13th overall in the league in touchdown receptions, four behind NFL leader Mike Evans (eight), and Brate says it’s all a result of the hard work he put in with Evans and Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston during the offseason.

“We had a bunch of time during the weekends and we’d all get together at SkyWay Park (in Tampa) and put a ton of extra work in,’’ Brate said. “Developing that chemistry, trying to get where he wants us to be, that’s huge and it’s shown so far.”

The Winston-Evans-Brate trio has proved to be pretty huge, too. As the stats show that troika has teamed up for 12 touchdowns so far this year. Only Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wideouts Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams (13) have teamed up for more.

Winston reiterated Brate’s point that the success the trio has had is largely a result of the extra work they put in during the offseason. He also seemed to suggest that if a few others on the team would put in the same level of offseason work, the Bucs might be better off.

“Cam Brate in particular is a person that is here before everyone else,’’ Wisnton said. “On off days he’s here for four or five hours a day. Same with Adam Humphries.

“I mean, it’s no coincidence who’s having success on our football team. It’s the people that are always here putting in the work on a day-to-day basis.’’

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