“They’ll Take Some Lumps Early In The Season”

June 23rd, 2022

“Gronk’s not here, Tom, and Cam can’t run that play.”

One of the reasoned and seasoned non-hollering NFL voices on ESPN TV is former six-time Pro Bowl Colts center Jeff Saturday.

Bucs life after Rob Gronkowski was on his mind today, and Saturday doesn’t think the retirement of Gronk will affect Tampa Bay much on Sundays.

The center during Peyton Manning’s glory years says Tom Brady will adjust and bring along the Bucs’ tight ends to fill Gronk’s void. Saturday says losing Gronk will be a “minimal impact,” but he expects it to hurt the Bucs early in the season and possibly very late in the season.

“They’ll take some lumps early in the season. They’ve had an offensive lineman retire; they had one leave. So they have some other pieces and parts they’re going to have to fit together as well,” Saturday said. “But this football team with Tom Brady driving it, he understands what needs to be done. But I think think it’s a top-3 team, with Gronk or without out.”

Lost continuity in the red zone late in the season is something Saturday thinks could be irreplaceable, so he belives the Bucs might be wise to pick up the phone and call Gronk at midseason.

Robert Griffin, III, aka RGIII, sees Gronk as a greater loss. He made a strong case.

“With Rob Gronkowski, they’re the NFC favorites, without him they’re just another one of the contenders,” RGIII said. “His numbers are undeniable when it comes to his impact and Tom Brady and the Bucs. In the last two years, they’ve been the No. 1 red zone offense and Brady has thrown 48 touchdowns and zero interceptions with Gronk on the field. So I think from that standpoint, yeah, they’re not going to struggle without Gronk, but they need Gronk and Brady needs him. … He’s going to miss him and he will be callng him probably in November or December.”

Joe won’t dive too deep into all of until the Plan B of general manager Jason Licht emerges, and until Joe sees health projections for Russell Gage and Chris Godwin. To date, the Bucs have been tight-lipped on that front.

But Joe will acknowledge that Gronk’s absence is a hard kick in the groin when it comes to the tough first four games — at Dallas and at New Orleans, and then home for the Packers and Chiefs.

12 Responses to ““They’ll Take Some Lumps Early In The Season””

  1. Stone crab sam Says:

    Can Suh play tight end😎

  2. August 1976 Buc Says:

    3rd year together, this Bucs Offense with TB12 will be just fine. But What about? Maybe? Butt??? Whatever, lolololol Gronk or no Gronk, this offense in its 3rd year version with Brady is stiill going to give Offensive Coordinators nightmares. The Bucs are going to be a top 3 seed at least when the post season rolls around.

    GO BUCS!!!

  3. Lt. Dan Says:

    Didn’t know Bob Griffin was still around.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Brady will adjust…..Cade Otten may surprise….run the ball a bit more…..more play action…..and, we have a punter with a very big leg.

  5. Dooley Says:

    The synergy Brady & Gronk had on field, whether it be pre-snap or as a coverage is breaking down, is irreplaceable and it sucks to lost that. Our offense has a lot to figure out once camp starts, but it’ll be interesting to track how the young TEs respond to basically being thrown in the crucible w/a QB like Brady in their first NFL training camp.

  6. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The naysayers predict we’ll go from a “favorite” in the NFC to a top 3 challenger.

    And that’s bad? If you’re team is top 3 then it comes down to primarily injuries and yes a little luck.

    I absolutely do not care about preseason predictions although I get Joe posting them for “entertainment” value. They literally mean nothing…just some silly season discussion fodder. By Thankgiving nobody will remember or care about these predictions.

  7. cavillator Says:

    Maybe Gronk retired with Brady’s blessing, as in “how do you like the rookies Tommy? Can you work with them?” “Yeah, I can work with them. Heal yourself, and stay ready just in case.”

    They’re tight. Brady has to know exactly how beat up his pal is and would want him to do the right thing for mis current and future health. Also, announcing his retirement tells the rookies the job is there to win. No half assing it because you think Gronk is coming back to take the job you worked your ass off for.

  8. Craig Says:

    Yeah, Gronk is big news in a slow news season. That gives the Bucs top billing for the talking heads of football.

    None of the teams we will face has been un unscathed in the off season. The Bucs actually have fewer major upheavals than most. A couple of the defenses we face early might cause some trouble, but their offenses will also squeak with rust and duct taped repairs.

    It is still going to both a fun and productive season for the Bucs. They might have dropped to second, but I don’t see anyone with more potential to bring it home.

    Rams are the only team close and they blew their wad for last season, this one will be almost bad for them.

  9. Buczilla Says:

    Without Chris, Gronk, or Gage we’ll be damn lucky to win any of our first four games. Hopefully they’re all back by week one.

  10. GOB Says:

    It’ll take them a while to figure it out on offense. They may need to rely on the running game, at least early. This is the weakest group Brady has played with in Tampa, from a weapons perspective. Anyone expecting 700 attempts and 5500 yards from Brady, with this group, is kidding themselves. They’ll be defended differently. Without Gronk, AB, and a recovering Godwin, I don’t see how they dictate in the passing game. Gage is a fine player, but you’re asking him to replicate the production of HOF players, in his first year with Brady. And oh by the way, he’s hurt already.

  11. westernbuc Says:

    Gronk is not the difference between winning a super bowl or not. RGIII’s analysis fits right in at BSPN

  12. SlyPirate Says:

    HUGE LOSS!!!

    With Gronk
    65.5% pass completion, 5:1 TD-INT

    Without Gronk
    60.2% pass completion, 2:1 TD-INT