Tom Brady wasn’t the only ex-New England Patriots star making their Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut in Week 1.
Rob Gronkowski played in the Bucs’ 34-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz SuperDome. It was his first game since coming out of retirement in April.
It was a quiet performance for the 31-year-old, who reeled in a pair of passes for 11 yards in the loss and later was the subject of a little criticism from head coach Bruce Arians.
Tampa already has a star tight end in O.J. Howard. And ahead of the Bucs’ Week 2 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, Howard shared his initial impression of game-action Gronk.
“I think he felt good,” Howard said. “When we talked about it, obviously it was the first time he had played in a whole year live. We didn’t have any preseason or anything like that, so there wasn’t a chance to warm up into it – it was live bullets right away. I think he did a great job. He’s out there blocking some great pass rushers, big guys in the run game like Cam Jordan. He did a great job holding his own and creating some holes for us to make some plays.”
In an ideal world for the Bucs, Howard, Gronkowski and Cameron Brate will combine to form a three-headed monster at the position. So far though, that hasn’t been the case.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images