“It’s A Problem”

June 27th, 2022

Relying on Cameron Brate, who only caught 52 percent of his targets last season.

Yeah, the Bucs, temporarily, got worse last week.

Bucs superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski’s social media retirement jolted Tampa Bay fans — less than an hour before his agent publicly responded that he thinks there’s a great chance Gronk will play this season if Tom Brady calls.

Whatever you think of Gronk’s future, the Bucs can’t count on him, and it’s a loss.

Tight ends guru, new XFL head coach and former Bucs tight end and radio analyst Anthony Becht didn’t hold back on Bucs tight ends during his recent chat on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“It’s a problem. I mean, listen, this is not a very good group overall, just because it lacks experience,” Becht said.

Becht went on to say he expects Tom Brady will lean on Cameron Brate, if Brate can stay health. But Becht is more concerned that the Bucs — for now — have lost the threat of quality multiple-tight-end sets that make life easier for receivers on the outside.

Like most Bucs fans, Becht was clear that the Bucs need another tight end and can’t rely on their two rookies, healing fourth-round pick Cade Otton and blocking tight end Ko Kieft, who had just 12 college receptions.

“It is an important part of what Brady wants to do offensively,” Becht said. “I don’t know necessarily for Leftwich and what they want to do. But we all know how Brady operates. It’s such a key position.”

Joe can’t go too crazy about the Gronk loss in June. There’s time for a Plan-B and Gronk may still show up in October, though the latter wouldn’t help the Bucs through their brutal opening schedule against the Cowboys, Saints, Packers and Chiefs.

25 Responses to ““It’s A Problem””

  1. Pewter Power Says:

    There are 32 teams only maybe 10 have really good tight ends. No reason to freak out. Brate is undrafted and exceeded expectations so no telling what our drafted tight end will accomplish with Brady throwing to him.

  2. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:

    Gronk-a-day…..Hey, Hey Tampa Bay!!!

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Brate needs to catch the football a higher percentage of the time. If he can’t, put somebody in who will.

  4. Dooley Says:

    Jesse James.

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…the Bucs know how to shine!

  6. Kody Says:

    Losing Gronk is nothing short of tragic, as well as shocking since you’d think he’d have all the incentive in the world to play with TB in (probably) TB’s last season ever. One final heroic run at one last SB ring for them both. A chance to break the all time same QB-Receiver completion record. A chance to retire together next year, hopefully on top with another ring. Go out heroes. Go out even bigger legends. So much at stake and Gronk walks away to, what, just play around? To drink and go to Vegas pool parties? Hopefully it’s just that he’s too beat up and old, and that’s the reason. That I would understand. Otherwise, it’s tragic not to go for it one last season!

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with the headline. It’s a problem. Licht has a history of taking his time to find solutions. So, we may have to wait until training camp to find out what he will do. I do trust him, though.

  8. Craig Says:

    Brate might be a better teacher than Gronk. That might be important as our rookie TEs and Cody develop into weapons this season.

    I think Keift has a huge amount of potential, maybe even more than Otton.

  9. Steven007 Says:

    Craig, that’s a good point. Gronk is an athletic freak. A lot of what he knows is intuitive and based on a long term relationship with Tom. Brate on the other hand is not near the same athlete. He rose from the practice squad. He probably has a bit more to offer to the young guys. So I don’t think we have an issue with the development part. But we are still lacking the dynamic playmaker at the position.

  10. Hoops Says:

    I’d like to know how many of those balls targeted to Brate were really catchable? During the season there were passes that weren’t anywhere near him that were marked down as targets to him.

  11. Beeej Says:

    Historically, Brate was always said to have the best hands on the team

  12. Dean Giusti Says:

    He made the decision to retire. You move forward and you don’t rely or hope he changes his mind. You’re either all in or your out. See ya dude.

  13. jimm Says:

    what about considering whoever is best tight end in usfl? they have had lot’s of film to evaluate.

  14. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    One man does not make a team. Damn, it’s not that serious. Rookies come into the league every year, and some dominate out that gate and have guess what? Zero experience. Not having experiences doesn’t make you useless. It is not a problem. If Brady magically all of a sudden can’t throw the ball to anyone but Gronk, then that’s a problem. Brate + Otton + Ko can equal Gronk’s contributions as a group if one of them cannot step up and be the go-to.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    Gronk is punking the world.

    He wants to get paid. Deserves to get paid.

    We need to make him the highest paid TE in the league.

    He deserves to go out as the highest paid TE in the league.

  16. PanthersSuck! Says:

    All Brate does is make clutch catches and score touchdowns.
    We will be okay.

  17. Bojim Says:

    I think Ko will play a lot as blocker.

  18. Leanne moss Says:

    Offer gronkowski more money, NFL rumor has it that TB offered him 8 million. 12 million anyone?

  19. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Hoops: If you watched games, you saw multiple drops by Brate that hit him in the hands. I like the guy, he just needs to catch the ball more often.

  20. GOB Says:

    It’s a problem alright, a big one. I don’t think people are aware just how much Brady relied on Gronk last year. Look at his numbers compared to the other top TEs, and extrapolate it over 17 games. The current group of TEs can’t come close to replicating that kind of production. Licht got caught with his pants down. In parts of six games gronk missed last year, bucs TEs had 10 catches on 29 targets. Licht’s answer was drafting two developmental TEs, in a weak TE draft. That’s dereliction of duty as far as I’m concerned

  21. Hoops Says:

    To Joe in Michigan I saw passes over Brate’s head that no one coulda caught and several calls that shoulda been pass interference.

  22. FrontFour Says:

    So let’s sing one of the FA TE’s out there and develop the young guys. Stop pining for Gronk. The guy has said he doesn’t want to be here, fine, let’s move on.

  23. steele Says:

    DickLeBeau, appreciate your thoughts but disagree. Gronk is/was that important to this offense, and this QB. Gronk is Brady’s security blanket. Gronk is a complete TE. Brate can’t block. Otton/Kieft are rookies and non-factors until proven otherwise. Cody McElroy? Please. Combined, they do not equal Gronk.

    They absolutely must sign or trade for the best TE currently available. And it will still a problem unless they somehow land someone top caliber. Add Rudolph/Ebron/Cook/Jesse James/Toilolo to this bunch, and it’s still a committee of mixed quality.

  24. don g Says:

    Brate did just fine with Winston Brady is def better

  25. Brazen Zebra Says:

    My guess is Brady will go into his GM mode and get Gronk playing again.They’re great together!