What Makes Rob Gronkowski Special?

July 1st, 2022

Special traits identified.

Just thinking that foot-rubbing tight end Rob Gronkowski’s retirement-maybe is not a bluff makes Joe curl up in a fetal position on the couch.

If you believe former Jets and Dolphins’ strongman Mike Tannenbaum, the Gronk era in Tampa is not over. But thinking of replacing him keeps Joe up at night.

So what is so special about Gronk that sets him apart from all other current tight ends? NFL Films guru Greg Cosell says there are two key elements where Gronk is superior to other modern tight ends.

Speaking on the Ross Tucker Podcast, one of the best pure football series of podcasts out there, Cosell said it is Gronk’s size and his ability to “inline” block. And Cosell noted Gronk is sneaky good getting downfield. He may not be as smooth as Travis Kelce but he still gets the job done.

Having Gronk on the field is like having a third tackle. When he lined up tight to Tristan Wirfs, Joe almost pitied an outside linebacker. Almost.

29 Responses to “What Makes Rob Gronkowski Special?”

  1. stpetebucsfan Says:

    The Buc’s have plenty of people to replace Gronk’s blocking!!

    Whether it’s the new TE Ko Kieft or one of our backup OL who trains for that spot as well. We have talent and depth on the Oline. We should NOT miss Gronk’s blocking skills.

    His receiving skills are a little more difficult to replace so don’t bother. Brate is adequate and we have two RB’s now who both can catch it out of the backfield. This is a stark difference for Brady from his first year. ROJO just never mastered that skill. ME13…and3-4 others and eventually CG14.

    What makes Gronk so special and the GOAT at his position is the COMBINATION of skills he brings. He is an excellent blocker as well as an excellent receiver who knows how to get open and has great hands. We cannot replace that “package”. Why try? Just divvy up Gronk’s skill sets among several players.
    We have players who can block as well as him, we have receivers who can get open, we have receivers with hands…we just don’t have ONE player who can do all that. So the Bucs adjust.

    Chicken Little…the sky is NOT falling!

  2. FrontFour Says:

    Give it a rest. Let’s just focus on the guys that are committed to the team. At this point, Gronk isn’t one of them.

  3. Bird Says:

    Dont forget his ability to put down a case of beer with ease

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Didn’t Gronk say a few months ago that he’d play with Burrow at Cincinnati?
    I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that if he comes back, it’ll be with Bucs.

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    Screw Gronk.

    Tired of the game he’s playing.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Gronk-a-day…..what more can I say?

  7. Oddball Says:

    He has the rare K (knucklehead) chromosome. That’s what makes him special.

  8. Its a Bucs Life Says:

    Gronk and Brady are super stars but the drama around them is exhausting as a fan

  9. Onetrickpony Says:

    I agree with FrontFour, until or if he comes back that’s when I will care. This is getting old, he said he is retired so until something changes I take him at his word and thank him for what he has done for the Bucs

  10. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    @StPete, while I understand what you are saying: “…Just divvy up Gronk’s skill sets among several players….” is that the Bucs have other great weapons to go to, such as ME, CG, LF and maybe Gage. The exact thing the Bucs are missing by not having Gronk is the “… GOAT at his position (and) the COMBINATION of skills he brings…”.

    Having Gronk WITH ME, CG, LF and Gage makes the Bucs unstoppable.

    And the Bucs cannot replace Gronk with a combo of Brate (who is now brittle in his old age) and Keift/Otton. Even combined, they do not have the same skills as Gronk and with Brate in it screams to the D that we have a pass play, and with Keift/Otton, blocking for a running play

  11. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Biff Barker Says:
    July 1st, 2022 at 7:19 am
    Screw Gronk.

    Tired of the game he’s playing.

    What on Earth are you talking about? He was undecided on retirement, then he decided to retire. What game is that? Just because Joe and a plethora of other media types keep talking about him, that has nothing to do with Gronk himself. Check yourself.

  12. Steven007 Says:

    Unfortunately the title of this particular article reminded me of his grown-worthy USAA commercial. As for divvying up his skills, that can be done certainly, but the problem is it needs to be done piecemeal with more than one player. With him on the field you have the threat of a potentially devastating inline blocker as well as a very good receiver. When you’re only fielding 11 players it’s the rare player that has that combination of skills.

  13. #8 Says:


  14. D-Rok Says:

    I was watching on the Bucs site vids of Gronk both here in Tampa and in NE – “Gronk’s greatest catches” compilation. Good stuff.

    What caught my eye that maybe I never noticed or appreciated before is:
    1) Gronk had GREAT hands, often wrestling or snatching the ball away from defenders.
    2) Gronk seems to be lumbering and slow, but I was shocked how often he ran away from defenders during YAC. Even blowing by CB’s. His game speed is much faster than he looks.

    I do hope he comes back, healthy and motivated.

  15. Steven007 Says:


  16. Buc4evr Says:


  17. GOB Says:

    Couple things. Gronks catch radius and his hands are off the charts good. He has mitts like a freaking grizzly bear, and it’s hard to overthrow him. Especially when he was younger, his speed was excellent. Like D-Rok said, he could run by most defenders, because of his ability to get off the line.

    He isn’t coming back Bucs fans. He has the rest of his life to think about. Let the man be.

  18. D-Rok Says:


    *STOMPS FEET AND THROWS A HISSY FIT* NO! He’s too good to “leave be.” LOL

    Naw man in all seriousness, I also say let the man retire and salvage what health he does have left. I sure appreciated all he did as a football player!!!

    Sure-fire first ballot HOF’er in 2027.

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    Like Brady….Gronk’s still playing at a high level.

    I’d like to see him back.

  20. Jeffrey Becker Says:

    we will miss his blocking, and the deception that comes with his versatility

  21. sasquatch Says:

    He’s retired… until he says he’s not. Next subject.

  22. GOB Says:

    D-Rok, I seriously question what he has left anyway. He was a man amongst boys for the majority of his career, and was an absolute joy to watch. The last thing I’d want to see is him carted off the field, and headed for yet another back, or knee surgery. The man has nothing more to prove. It’s a minor miracle he lasted as long as he did. God bless GRONK!!!!

  23. Listnfrmafar Says:

    One more season Gronk with your boy, you can do it!

  24. D-Rok Says:


    I agree. It would be a sad day indeed to see Gronk carted off by EMS with a horrible injury. As a selfish fan, I’d LOVE to see him play one last year with Brady.

    He was a complete beast, and that only takes its toll on the body. Leave with good health (a relative term based on the beating he’s taken) and retire a multi-ring wearing sure-fire HOF’er.

    Gronk has always been in my top 5 players to watch in the last 20+ years.

  25. GOB Says:

    Agreed D-Rok. Many are unaware of the concussions he’s suffered over the years too. TJ Ward not only destroyed every major ligament in Gronks knee, the resulting fall caused a serious, NHL level concussion. Gronk spent two days in ICU. Belichick spent the night in the hospital with him. I think the hit he suffered last year sealed it for him. I loved watching him too much to see another hit like that. The best TE in the history of the game.

  26. D-Rok Says:


    Agreed. Gronk IS the best TE to ever play. Some can argue Gonzalez or others, but no other TE had it all. Gronk had it all. I think in 20-30 years when the talking heads are discussing all-time greats, Gronk will be in the top 2 or 3 to ever play.

    And, last year, c’mon man – what football player suffers 3-4 fractured ribs AND a punctured lung, only to come back and play later in that same year? I had a life-threatening heat stroke in the Mojave desert in the Army about 30 years ago, and I’ve ALWAYS hated and avoided the heat since then. The man was a beast amongst boys.

    Love me some Gronk.

  27. Trey Long Says:

    Gronk does everything well plus he’s super clutch.

  28. D-Rok Says:

    And all you “fair-weather” fans loudly exclaiming “Screw Gronk if he don’t play,” I say you don’t have a clue. Might wanna appreciate greatness, if even for a day.

  29. Anthony Says:

    Gronks the best all around. He’s a big kid living the dream. Want him back but wish him the best either way. He’s a class act and so is Cammille.