Koetter: TE Brate has 'uncanny ability' in red zone


Cameron Brate has developed into a favorite target of Jameis Winston and is on pace to win the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting tight end gig this season.

After going undrafted out of Harvard in 2014, Brate bounced on and off the Bucs' roster his first season. Last year he signed with the New Orleans Saints' practice squad, only to return to Tampa a week later.

Brate went on to appear in 14 games last season, including four starts, and compiled 23 receptions, 288 yards and three touchdowns. He did all that on just 30 targets.

By all accounts, the third-year player will have many more chances in 2016, especially scoring touchdowns.

"Cam has got an uncanny ability to show up in the red zone and we saw that again today,'' coach Dirk Koetter said Thursday during the team's final day of minicamp, via the Tampa Bay Times.

With Austin Seferian-Jenkins botching the early portion of offseason workouts for "not knowing what he was doing," Brate has taken an early command of the chance to win the starting gig.

Last season, Brate displayed a natural rapport with Winston that should only grow in Year 2. The Harvard product is more athletic than given credit for and has an ability to find the soft spot in coverages -- which will aid his red-zone production.

With a dearth of playmaking pass-catchers behind receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, there will be plenty of targets to be had in Tampa this season. If you don't know Cameron Brate yet, you will. Soon. He'll get plenty of those left over targets.