With Rob Gronkowski officially announcing his retirement recently, it was a necessity for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to go out and find another proven tight end to fill his shoes. With that in mind, they signed Kyle Rudolph just over a week ago and Tom Brady even called him personally to recruit the former Minnesota Vikings star, who is hoping to help the Bucs win a Super Bowl.
By no surprise, Rudolph was asked if he can fill the shoes of Gronk, who was a legend and one of Brady’s favorite weapons for a very long time. His answer couldn’t have been more spot-on. Via Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times:
“Those shoes are way too big to fill, and I’ve got pretty big feet,” Kyle Rudolph said of Gronkowski.
Instead, Rudolph is looking to replicate Gronk’s success, not replace it. But, he’s feeling confident he can build some immediate chemistry with TB12 by the time Week 1 rolls around:
“I feel like there’s so much ground to make up, and I don’t have 10 years of experience with Tom to make it up. We play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1 in September, and my goal is to go out there that week and be on the same page with Tom like we have been playing together for 10 years.”
Kyle Rudolph spent the first nine years of his career with Minnesota before playing a lone season with the New York Giants in 2021. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and stands at 6’6″ with a similar stature to Gronkowski.
Sure, he’s not Gronk, but Rudolph is a proven tight end in this league and should undoubtedly thrive with Brady as his quarterback.