Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski gives shocking quote on his role
But as Gronkowski continues his new journey with the Bucs, he has already pinpointed the area of his game that needs the most improvement: blocking.
Gronkowski said he needs to be a better run-blocker as part of Tampa Bay’s offensive scheme:
#GoBucs TE Rob Gronkowski "As a blocking tight end, I got to improve my blocking.''
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) September 25, 2020
Gronkowski didn’t stop there as he continued to stress how much of a blocking tight end he is. Keep in mind, he’s earning $9 million this season as a “blocking” tight end.
“I’m a blocking TE. I came here to block baby. 4 targets is 4 more than I thought I was going to get.” – Gronk when asked if he thought he’d be a larger part of the passing game so far.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 25, 2020
Indeed, Gronkowski’s role has changed quite a bit from his Patriots days.
“Gronk” was arguably New England’s most prolific receiver in the 2010s, working the seams to perfection and giving Tom Brady an outlet who could beat linebackers in coverage while also taking on smaller defensive backs.
However, Gronkowski has not been relied upon as a receiver even when the Bucs have decided to air it out.
The former All-Pro has just four total targets this season. He had two receptions for just 11 yards in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints, and failed to register a catch in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers.
This is not to suggest Gronkowski is losing out on snaps. Indeed, he was on the field for 77 percent of all offensive snaps in Week 1, and nearly 70 percent in Week 2.
Clearly, this is suggestive of different usage.
Gronkowski, again asked about his role in passing game: "I'm a blocking tight end. That's all I've got. … Every game plan can change, week in, week out."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) September 25, 2020
Gronkowski will now be counted on to help Brady by giving him added protection — rather than being his top pass-catching weapon.
However, Gronkowski seemingly acknowledging his role and showing a desire to improve is a welcome sign for the Bucs, who hope to build momentum with another win against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.