Rob Gronkowski Offers Interesting Response To Questions About Bucs Role

"I came here to block, baby"

by Ricky Doyle

September 25, 2020

Rob Gronkowski was asked Friday about his involvement — or lack thereof — in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ passing attack.

The tight end has just two catches on four targets for 11 yards in two games with the Bucs, who lost to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 before bouncing back to defeat the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.

“I’m a blocking tight end, you know. I came here to block, baby,” Gronkowski told reporters during a video conference. “So four targets is four more than I thought I was gonna get.”

Uh, OK.

Gronkowski’s self assessment comes on the heels of Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians suggesting this week Tampa Bay doesn’t need to lean on the 31-year-old as a pass catcher. The Bucs have ample offensive weapons, including two Pro Bowl receivers (Mike Evans and Chris Godwin) and two viable tight-end alternatives (O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate).

As such, Arians isn’t worried about forcing the ball to Gronkowski, whom the coach doesn’t see “running 40 yards past people any more.” He’d prefer for Tom Brady to simply make the correct read and find the open man, even if it’s at the expense of Gronk’s receiving production.

“I’m a blocking tight end,” Gronkowski added when pressed again on his role. “That’s all I’ve got.”

Of course, that might be an acceptable answer for another player under normal circumstances. But we’re talking about one of the best pass-catching tight ends in NFL history and a player who Brady had a ton of success targeting throughout their time together with the New England Patriots. His invisibility has been jarring.

“Every game plan can change differently week in and week out, and there’s some times in my career where I could be targeted 15 times and there’s other times where you could be targeted just a few,” Gronkowski said. “It all depends on how the defenses are playing us, how the defenses are lining up against us, who they’re taking away, all that good stuff. It’s just two weeks into the season, so just gotta go out there and just keep on fighting, giving it my all in whatever aspect of the game it is.”

If nothing else, Gronkowski seems to be holding up just fine physically after sitting out the 2019 season. So, perhaps better, more productive days are ahead for the five-time Pro Bowl selection.

?It?s been going good. There’s been times where you’re working and you’re grinding and you’re digging deep to get through things. That’s not usually the joyous time when you’re digging deep, but that’s part of football, that’s part of what you signed up for,” Gronkowski said. “But, many other times we’re just going out there and just playing ball and just being yourself.

“It’s going good overall. There’s a lot of great guys on the team that are a pleasure to be around, a pleasure to work with — same with the coaches. All that is going good, and we just have to keep putting the work in, week in and week out.”

All told, you probably can go ahead and drop Gronk from your fantasy team.

Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images
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