Bruce Arians Clarifies Comments About Rob Gronkowski ‘Not Running 40 Yards Past’ Guys

Was Arians too critical of the veteran tight end?

by Logan Mullen

Sep 25, 2020

Rob Gronkowski isn’t the player he used to be. Nobody would argue that, and nobody (reasonably) should expect him to still be a top tight end.

But was Bruce Arians a little too critical of the 31-year-old?

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach pointed out earlier in the week that he doesn’t “see (Gronkowski) running 40 yards past people any more.” It was a remark that made waves, especially since he point blank said there very well might be games Gronk has zero catches.

The future Hall of Famer seems to be embracing his role as a largely blocking tight end, however. Even still, Arians was asked if he could further explain what he meant about Gronk.

“It never was his forte, but if you’re going to go up there and bump-and-run him, that’s a different story,” Arians said Friday, via a team-provided transcript. “To just think he’s going to run past a corner who runs a 4.4 (40-yard dash) — he’s never done that anyway. It’s not like it’s something new. He could still go down the field [and] stretch the field. We had good times on him in practices. He can stretch the field, he’s just not going to line up wide and run 40-yard balls.”

Asked if Gronkowski’s role outside of blocking is to be a red zone target, Arians wouldn’t commit to that either.

“(It is) just game-to-game,” Arians said. “He came in here with no expectations and just whatever happens, happens. You play tight end and we’ll see.”

So far this season, Gronkowski has two receptions for 11 yards — all of which came in a Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The Bucs will face the Broncos on Sunday in Denver.

Thumbnail photo via Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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