Leery Of Information Loss On Third Down

July 9th, 2022

“Byron, what are you seeing?”

Leave it to a quarterback to look beyond the numbers when it comes to the loss of a weapon.

Former Bucs QB Dan Orlovsky is a ranting Xs and Os kind of guy these days on ESPN TV. He’s known for a hot take or two, but most of the time he’s just tapping his 13 years of NFL experience.

The latter was displayed this week when Orlovsky talked about how Tom Brady will miss Rob Gronkowski a ton on third down from an informational standpoint versus production.

Gronk in motion is an important tell for Brady when it comes to gathering intel from the defense’s reaction (or non-reaction), Orlovsky explained. He also stressed effects of losing Gronk in the power running game and how that will alter the Bucs’ approach in the red zone and elsewhere.

And Orlovsky went to the comfort loss of Brady.

Joe is not worried about Brady’s comfort level without Gronk, primarily because he’ll have an entire training camp to adjust; it’s not like Gronk getting hurt in midseason. However, Joe will buy the impact of losing Gronk when it comes to Brady reading defenses pre-snap.

That can’t be overcome from Week 1.

Even if the Bucs score a veteran free agent like Kyle Rudolph (479 careeer catches) or Jared Cook (553), it wouldn’t approach being the same until the newcomer proves himself as a weapon approaching the level of Gronk.

20 Responses to “Leery Of Information Loss On Third Down”

  1. PassingThru Says:

    I’d love Gronk to return, but it would be insanity by Licht to bet on hit.

    Use the cap space on Odell Beckham, and sign one of the vet TEs (Cook, Rudolph, James). Any of the three would be a very cheap date. You don’t get a Gronk replacement, but the composite of OBJ and a vet TE might help defray the loss of Gronk.

  2. D-Rok Says:

    Brady has 2 full years in this system, and I’ve no doubts the offense will learn to morph and adjust. Gronk in motion isn’t the only way to tell man vs. zone. Brady is the master of figuring this out, and will use other trusted targets this year like Evans, Godwin, Lenny, maybe Gage – to figure out the defense pre-snap. Gronk and Brady were uncanny in their symmetry and wavelength to read a defense the same way, and that is what is special about Gronk. Gronk is to Brady what Harrison was to Manning. The Bucs will figure this out, methinks.

  3. GOB Says:

    From pre-snap, Gronk and Brady could beat any defense. Often times, especially in the red zone, they would split Gronk out wide. The x or z would motion across the field. Usually the safety would drop to the void. This enabled Gronk to be in jump ball position, so Brady basically had an either or read. He could throw Gronk a shallow fade, or hit the motion man running in the back of the end zone. Especially when Gronk was in his prime, it was almost indefensible. Make no mistake, Gronks absence will effect how Brady attacks defenses. I’m sure he’ll adjust, but you can’t overstate how much easier Gronk has made things for the G.O.A. T.

  4. GOB Says:

    D-Rok, I’d frame it like this. It’s Brady’s third year, in his offense. He took what he liked from the Patriots offense, and acclaimed to parts of the bucs roster, and system. With the wealth of weapons he had the past two years, he got to take more chances. But, this is the weakest group of pass catchers he’s had in Tampa. I suspect this offense to further resemble the Patriots. Gronk, and AB are gone, and we don’t know what contribution Godwin will give. He’ll still be very effective, but they don’t have the horses to run the same offense they did last year. I suspect they’ll try at times, and be disappointed in the results. This should be a run first, play pass offense. I’d be very surprised otherwise.

  5. BillyBucco Says:

    Gronk in motion is NO Different than Cade Otton in motion.
    This is the most ridiculous take I have ever heard!!!!

    Where is Passing Through?
    I can’t possibly put enough explanation points!!!!!!!

    Maybe. MAYBE, I buy the blocking but come on, theY drafted a blocking SPECIALIST.

    SO you have reduced Tom Brady to needing Gronk to READ defenses?
    I literally can’t stop laughing.

  6. GOB Says:

    BillyBucco, No difference at all? I’m sure Brady will rely on Otton to determine where he goes with the football. It’s not as simple as picking up your foot, and sending a guy across the LOS to determine coverage. You obviously don’t understand the kind of connection they had on the field, or for that matter, football at all. Gronk not only knew what he was supposed to do, but everyone around him as well. In parts of six games gronk missed last year, bucs TEs had a grand total of 10 catches on 29 targets.

  7. Miller5252 Says:

    The Bucs know if Gronk is coming back or not. Brady is in contact with him all the time and he knows if Gronk is truly done or if he just can’t put his body through another full season. It’ll be telling with what the Bucs do during camp.

  8. geno711 Says:

    This team will continue to be a primary passing team. That will be the winning formula for the Bucs. I hope they have some 4th quarters where they are a primary running team.

    Otherwise, I see them passing the almost as frequently as last year.

  9. Craig Says:

    I would love to see Gronk back, But Ko, maybe even Otton, might be able to be the same kind of weather-vane for Brady.

    No, it won’t happen immediately. The good thing is that we play Dallas first and for the last three years the Cowboys had really high expectations until the first game.

  10. GOB Says:

    geno, 700 passing attempts? I just don’t see it.

  11. Buccos Says:

    The Bucs have a stronger wide receiver group than last year. Godwin is a full go for week one. Evan’s is primed for a huge year. Gage has untapped potential playing with the Goat. Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman and Cyril Grayson all have past production or great potential. I believe this group will eclipse what they did last year and should rotate all of them into each game to keep them fresh, get them reps and less injury prone as we build momentum for the playoffs. Antonio Brown is addition by subtraction. He was a cancer who couldn’t wait to blow up the team at the worst possible moment. It was and always has been all about him. How could we NOT be better this year?

  12. Dooley Says:

    That’s where we’ll need the backfield to step up in the intermediate pass game. Less worried about Lenny and way more interested to see who amongst Vaughn, Bernard, and White can step up as a new(reliable) 3rd down option with Gronk gone. Don’t expect Brady to stop taking those deep shots on 3rd & whatever either, BUT our backs could carve out an option with a higher success rate establishing good faith with the QB. What Gronk & Brady had is impossible to replicate, especially with the limited time frame we’ve got, but the best way to overcome Gronks absence is to find new options.

  13. teacherman777 Says:

    OJ Howard will get cut and come back.

  14. Iistnfrmafar Says:

    GOB, I thought you posted many times Gronk was washed up??? Brady won 4 SB’s without Gronk with less wr’s. Sure Gronk makes life easier for him, the guy is the best TE to ever play the game but Brady can win without him. It’s on the D, I wouldn’t count on 30 points a game this season.

  15. Bucsfan13 Says:

    Gronk will be missed because he and Tom were on the same wave length when it came to reading coverages, but Tom could literally put anyone in motion to gather intel from the defense pre-snap. A courtesy look at film will tell you this. Brady is also good post snap, so I’m not worried about Brady in that aspect at all.

  16. Duane Says:

    The beauty of Brady’s skill and experience is that he can and has won with every type of offense. That being said, the players he is surrounded with on offense on this team are an improvement over most of the rosters he had in the past. He has always had the ability to reinvent his game from week to week, and I expect the same this year. I dont want my 45 year old signal caller throwing the ball 40 times a week for 20+ games. Run the football, eat up the clock, get the ball back on defense, and win. Play action will generate big gains for this offense, and they never seem to lay the proper groundwork to set it up of stick with it. I think the wins came so difficult last season because we got too cute, fell in love with the pass, and asked the GOAT to work too much of his magic. The wins should come easier this season.

  17. GOB Says:

    listnfrmafar, not washed up, but a big gamble to count on him. Gronks been year to year for the past 4-5 seasons. I agree that the loss is more of a comfort this for Brady. If they had a capable TE on the roster, and not a backup combined with two rookies, I’d feel better about it. Even in his current state, Gronk is still very effective when healthy. It’s that last part that can’t be ignored when discussing Gronk. In parts of six games gronk missed last year, bucs TEs had a grand total of 10 catches on 29 targets.

  18. Listnfrmafar Says:

    GOB, the man played 12 games had 802 yds 55 catches and 6 tds. In a 17 game season that equates to over 1125 yds, 79 catches and 8.5 td’s, as good as.any TE in the league. That’s with coming back from 5 fractured ribs and a punctured lung. That VALUE cannot be replaced.

  19. Eddie Marz Says:

    To the fan that said Gronk in motion is no different than someone else going in motion, doesn’t know football. That’s like saying Tradk dropping back is the same as Brady. LMAO! GOBUCS!

  20. Bucsfan13 Says:

    @Eddie. Any QB could put any player in motion to gain intel on whether it’s man or zone. Godwin frequently went in motion. A RB would be out wide and Brady would motion him to the backfield. This isn’t hard to understand. You obviously don’t watch any football games.