“We Gotta Replace Gronk’s Catches”

July 27th, 2022

New Bucs tight end Kyle Rudolph

The line in the sand has been drawn by the Bucs’ new head coach: 55 catches, 802 yards and 6 touchdowns.

That’s the stunning regular-season production of tight end Rob Gronkowski last season in just 12 games.

Asked about inking former Pro Bowler TE Kyle Rudolph today following the first training camp practice, Todd Bowles made the deal clear and simple. “We gotta replace Gronk’s catches,” Bowles said.

He went on to say the Rudolph edition “gives us a chance to be more creative.” Translation: if the Bucs run two tight-end sets with Rudolph and Cameron Brate, defenses will be guessing.

Joe watched Rudolph through various drills and more today, and he spent a lot of time in the ears of coaches. He didn’t look like a free agent veteran coming to collect a check, much more like a guy chasing a ring.

26 Responses to ““We Gotta Replace Gronk’s Catches””

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Julio is chasing a ring too soon
    Well they all are!

  2. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Hey Joe where all those a holes that talked crap about our GM? He is doing the best job he can with the money he has had.

  3. Goatfarmer Says:

    T-Rex is a walnut brained extinct slimy lizard.

  4. sasquatch Says:

    Paragraph 4:

  5. steele Says:

    We gotta replace Suh with Suh, and JPP with Carlos Dunlap/Trey Flowers.

  6. gotbbucs Says:

    If Russell Gage stays healthy he should pretty easily replace Antonio Brown’s production from last year. That leaves Julio Jones and Kyle Rudolph to replace Gronk’s production.
    You have to put it all in a vacuum. Basically the guys recieving passes need to come up with about 5k yards and 40+ TD’s.
    Evans 1,100
    Godwin 900
    Gage 750
    Julio 500
    Rudolph 300
    Brate 200
    Fournette 400
    Everybody else +/- 900

    Should be pretty doable.

  7. #8 Says:


  8. Dew Says:

    Who did Bowles say has lost weight & moving from dline to DE? And looking good. I couldn’t understand who he said. Thanks.

  9. SB~LV Says:

    Bowles has a similar speaking rhythm and sound of Tony Dungy

  10. GOB Says:

    I think 40-50 catches from Rudolph is a reasonable expectation. He’s always had great hands, and knows how to use leverage to get open. Then there’s the Brady effect. Rudolph has never had a QB with Brady’s level of pin point accuracy. Brady threw to Gronk at an insane clip last year. Hence the numbers Joe alluded to in just 12 games.

    Without that security blanket, I’m interested to see how Brady distributes the ball. Hitting the open reciever, no matter who, may be the MO this year. Many many times last year, he forced the ball to gronk, when others were open.

  11. Dooley Says:


    Elijah Ponder he’s cut about 35lbs to convert from DT to OLB. That 4th OLB spot is wide open behind Barrett, JTS, and Anthony Nelson. We’ve got Cam Gill, Andre Anthony, Ponder, Joe Ozougwu(kind of reminds me of Jacques Smith) and Jordan young all vying for that spot along with a special teams role.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gronk-a-day…. in perpetuity….

  13. Maniac Buc Says:

    As a football coach, nothing I hate more than the term “replacing production”. Nobody needs to replace anything. Everyone just needs to be the best version of themselves in this iteration of the offense, and production, whatever it may be, will take care of itself.

  14. Dew Says:

    Thanks Dooley. Yeah Bowles said they aren’t looking for another DE at this time so let’s hope someone steps up big

  15. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Keep up the Gronk-a-day articles, Joe. I enjoy them and it aggravates the whiners. 😆

  16. Allbuccedup Says:

    Got to replace Gronk catches Duh! Thats why you got Rudolph, Gage, Jones and Otton.

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    I’m curious how Rudolph looks compared to Brate – is he faster/quicker/about the same? Brate obviously has great hands (unless it’s 4th down with 2 mins left vs the Texans, then he drops it), but Brate can no longer get open vs man-to-man coverage, he’s just too slow at this point. Is Rudolph any quicker at this point in his career? I assume Rudolph will be more of the OJ of last years offense, mainly a blocker that can catch – but if they put him in the Gronk role, I can’t see that going well, if he could play the role of Gronk he wouldn’t be taking a low salary that isn’t signed until the week of camp.

  18. Rod Munch Says:

    Also you’re not just replacing Gronk’s catches, you’re replacing AB as well. Both are (or should be) 1st ballot HOF’ers who were still playing at a very high level.

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    gotbbucs – I like people who actually try to noodle this stuff out instead of just making dumb comments, then when you explain their math to them, it of course never works out.

    So here’s my prediction, as of today…

    Brady, 5200 yards, 43 TDs, 12 INTs

    Evans, 1100 yards, 15 TDs
    Godwin, 1100 yards, 5 TDs
    Gage, 700 yards, 3 TDs
    Julio, 650 yards, 2 TDs
    Brate, 350 yards, 7 TDs
    Fournette, 250 yards, 2 TDs
    White, 200 yards, 2 TDs
    Rudolph, 200 yards, 3 TDs
    Miller, 250 yards, 2 TDs
    Perriman, 200 yards, 2 TDs

    Gives another 200 yards and 1 TD for whoever. This is also assuming Godwin is healthy to start the year, if he’s not, then you’d give Gage and Julio a good bump up.

    For Julio, I’m thinking he only plays half the games, so while 650 doesn’t sound like much, he might get that in 8 or 9 games, which would be very good production.

    For TE’s, I’ll believe it when I see it with Rudolph, but for the moment, I still have Brate as the main TE in the endzone and to have the most yards.

    Finally I have Miller making the team, buying his excuse that he was basically injured all last year. If course that could be Grayson in that role as well.

    Maybe Brady will go out and break Manning’s record by getting 5500 yards and 56 TDs – he just needs to do it in 16 games so there’s no asterisk.

  20. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    With all due respect, Brady favored and targeted Gronk, his close friend.
    I have watched plenty of film, and seen other receivers wide open plenty of times for even longer gains, yet Brady targeted Gronk.

    So, with that in mind, I think the thing we will miss most about Gronk is his blocking.

  21. #8 Says:

    TB12 is at 90 different players he’s thrown a receiving a TD.

    He can add: Rudolph, Jones, Gage, White this year realistically?

    That’s the craziest stat he has to me-

  22. adam from ny Says:

    brady wanted julio…so that’s now “his guy”…so he trusts him as a savvy vet to get it done…he will not be cut…he was brought in specifically by tom, for tom…

    he should have a good year if the hammy holds up…

    also a lot of people’s numbers can vary widely depending on how godwin bounces back production wise

  23. adam from ny Says:

    “me and julio down by the school yard”

    who said it…tommy b or paul simon


  24. Dooley Says:

    This offensive system for the most part, has been humming for the last few seasons. I think we can for sure make up for Gronk & ABs lost production potential, but what works for us in that regard is that we’re just continuing that search from last season. We’ve got a head start, we’ve got the “whom” assembled, now it’s just time to figure out the how and when. I think it’ll take more than 2 players to make up for what Gronk & AB brought to the team, but it also helps having this same scheme in place the last 3 seasons so the new guys can lean on their teammates and the staff to get caught up to speed.

  25. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Gronk replaces Gronk’s catches with more Gronk catches! I may be deluded, but Gronk ain’t retired. No way, no how! When Brady puts his GM squeeze on the Gronk, Gronk smiles and says, “Okay Tom, I’m playin!”

  26. Eddie Marz Says:

    Not going to replace Gronk’s catches with Rudolph. Julio Jones and hopefully Grayson and Gage will do that. GOBUCS!