June 2nd, 2022

Story not covered enough.

So for those who kvetch Joe writes too much about foot-rubbing tight end Rob Gronkowski, this post is for you.

Over at NFL.com, columnist Jeff Chadiha takes a look at the most overhyped stories of the summer and the stories not getting enough play. And guess what story Chadiha claims isn’t getting enough run? That is the mystery surrounding Gronk. Will he or won’t he play?

Why does Chadiha believe this story is underreported? Because Chadiha believes if Gronk throws in the towel on his career, the Bucs can kiss goodbye any Super Bowl hopes.

Rob Gronkowski’s return

… The chemistry the two share cannot be overlooked, with their 90 career TDs second to only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison’s 112 for most by a QB-pass catcher combo in NFL history. The Bucs offense has been loaded with playmakers since Brady’s arrival, but he often looks for Gronkowski when he needs a clutch play. Gronk finished last season with 55 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns despite playing in just 12 games. There’s no doubt he’s taken his share of punishment over the years. Gronk also just turned 33, so it’s not hard to see why he’s taking his time with this decision. While the Bucs surely don’t need him running around at OTAs at this time of year, they will need him come late July if they’re looking to make another run at a championship.

Well, if Gronk does not return, it hurts, no doubt. If that happened, Joe thinks the spotlight would then shine on Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich. How does he adjust?

Handicapper/stathead Warren Sharp twittered this morning that last season was the lowest in eight years that tight ends lined up tight to the tackle or pass blocked. Clearly, more and more tight ends are turning into wide receivers. Cam Brate, for example, is a much better receiver than a blocker.

So the mark of a good coach is how he uses the talent on hand. If Gronk hangs it up, then Joe thinks it is up to Leftwich to take on that challenge.

As the great Bill Belicheat once famously said, “Don’t tell me what a guy can’t do; tell me what he can do.

And just a reminder for folks who believe Joe writes too much about Gronk and other stars, you should be able to do the math on why Joe has the world’s most popular Bucs site.

24 Responses to ““Underrated””

  1. GOB Says:

    Joe, you run not only the best bucs site, it’s one of the better ones covering the league. User friendly and fine content, most of the time.
    Gronk will play this year, but availability has always been a problem. Personally I don’t think he has much left in that wracked body. I don’t think Licht did enough to bolster the room, even if he plays. In the games gronk missed last year, bucs TEs had 10 catches on 29 targets. Licht’s answer was do nothing in FA, and a developmental TE in the draft. Counting on Gronk comes with great peril. He was supposedly healthy in the Rams game, and had 4 catches on 10 targets with a bunch of flat out drops. If I’m Gronk, I retire. GOB would hate to see him carted off the field. It would be an unceremonious end for the best TE ever to play.

  2. PassingThru Says:

    How do you adjust if no Gronk?

    1. Trade for a quality TE (providing one becomes available)

    2. Play Gage almost exclusively in the slot, and hope he thrives

    3. Trade for a quality slot receiver (again, if one becomes available)

    Brady loves using slot options (Welker, Edelman, Gronk, Troy Brown) in critical situations, where he needs a handful of yards for a first down.

  3. Dew Says:

    I think contract talks will start the week after Mandatory Mini-Camp

  4. Smashsquatch Says:

    Worst kept secret in the NFL? Gronk returns to the Bucs and takes his happy a$$ time doing so. So be it, he’s earned it.

  5. dls5492 Says:

    Seeing Gronk’s girlfriend and Brady’s wife, it’s a miracle they leave the house at all.

  6. GOB Says:

    Another worry of mine, is how Gronk centric the offense was at times last year. It almost seemed that Gronk was the only one Brady fully trusted for long stretches. I love Gronk, but the bucs need to find out if these other recievers can actually play. The only way to do that, is with live bullets. Brady is always going to Gronk for critical plays. He didn’t go away from him in the Rams game, even though Gronk was having a terrible day.

  7. D-Rok Says:

    In the most crucial moments, the Brady-Gronk connection is quite special. I realize Gronk had an out-of-character “down” game against the Rams, but nobody is perfect. Posters on this site call Gronk “lumbering, slow,” etc., but when healthy, Gronk always seems to find the clutch moment to come through for his team. Who caught the first 2 TD’s to what would eventually ice the SB win for the Bucs? I think we need Gronk.

    As #8 would say,


  8. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    Gronk when not injured (out) or playing hurt (see ribs and lung rams game) in all his entire time in NE and TB has barely lost a football game in 11 seasons. He is the ultimate weapon and has the highest win% of any player for games he (starts and is able finishes). He doesn’t lose games as he a TD a game player and couple key catches. He has slowed down in 2020-21 undoubtably.

    Many key NE and TB loses since 2010 came when Gronk was beat up and left a game or was hurt and couldn’t play at all. Gronk’s decade from 2010-2020 was probably the greatest run for any weapon in NFL history. His impact in 2023 with Brady throwing to him even as a old beat up TE who won’t play an entire season I would still take Gronk over Kelce/Kiddle etc for one season in 2023 with Brady.

    Gronk if able to play in 2023 is more important than even the Tampas LT, WR1, or DE.

    If he can’t play and Tampa cannot find another RB, WR1/TE1 to replace Gronks production I don’t see Tampa doing much in 2022. With Gronk and another vet WR addition (Julio,Beckham,Brown, Beasley etc) I see Tampa as SB favourite for NFC.

    Team is very strong but for offence you cannot have too many weapons

  9. Tyler904 Says:

    Man I remember a decade ago Bucsnation used to give Joebucsfan a run for your money but you guys are by far the best now.

  10. Wade Landry Says:

    It doesn’t seem to me Gronk is under rated or under appreciated.He certainly is #1T.E.over his career as the total skill set(catch/block).

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Ha… and Little Debbie sells more cakes than anyone else, but are they the best cakes?

    “And just a reminder for folks who believe Joe writes too much about Gronk and other stars, you should be able to do the math on why Joe has the world’s most popular Bucs site”

  12. Dew Says:

    So what is Gronk worth for a one year contract????

  13. Kentucky Buc Says:

    Essential. Passing game, running game. Essential.

  14. Allbuccedup Says:

    How do adjust if no Gronk? Two options trade or sign a free agent. Cade Otton is not healthy yet, so you got Brate. If Gronk doesn’t answer the bell in a couple of weeks bring in Eric Ebron for a physical if you can’t find a trade.

  15. Buczilla Says:

    I think that Gronks coming back and if not then we’ll still be fine at tight end. I’m far more worried about when Godwin is coming back, how effective he will be, and the fact that we willfully made zero attempts to replace him knowing full well that he is injury prone AF. Gage, a nice player is already banged up and fans are left to hope and pray that Scotty Miller regains his old form. Every other receiver on the roster is either brand new or have only shown flashes of being capable nfl receivers. If all of our starting recievers are healthy, they are the best in the league and it’s not even close. As it currently stands, I’m mortified by our receiver situation.

  16. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    Congratulations on being way #1.

  17. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    You are the best
    PS, all the other sites are dealing with the Gronk thing too.
    That includes nob BUCS centered sites.

  18. Listnfrmafar Says:

    GOB, seriously? The guy was in line for an epic season and then fractured 5 ribs and a punctured lung. Most TE’s that’s season ending. Not to mention BA the fearless leader put him back in the game and then put him in too early. You need him on that wall, you want him on that wall. Go back and watch 2020 SB when he’s healthy then tell me he’s done. Is there a better receiver/blocking TE in the league? If so name him.

  19. ClwJB Says:

    No way he leaves TB12 in his last hurrah – he will be back just in time for kick off 👍

  20. HC Grover Says:

    Broadway Gronk

  21. AlvaFan Says:

    What about that kid McElroy. They protected him last year so he wouldn’t be lost off the practice squad. He’s been making some plays in the passing game during ota’s. Maybe this is his year to shine

  22. SoFloBuc Says:

    Congrats Joe!

  23. Bojim Says:

    So glad I found this site. My little football knowledge turned into a little more. 😁

  24. David Says:

    He’ll be back.