Does Tom Brady Miss Rob Gronkowski This Much?

September 24th, 2022

“Please come back.”

The Bucs just aren’t moving the ball.

A lot of folks have asked Joe about the offense and why is it struggling. Joe thinks receiver injuries are a huge reason. New offensive linemen is another. But there is one giant issue.

The Bucs are basically playing without a tight end.

Cam Brate is not peak Cam Brate, not even close. His production has been really off with just two catches for 16 yards.

Cade Otton hasn’t had any sort of impact. Joe still maintains he could be starting before the season is over but he’s not there yet.

Ko Kieft is making a big impact in blocking only, more as a fullback than anything.

Just think back to last year when foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski was hurt. The Bucs offense wasn’t smooth at all. The Washington game sticks out.

So how bad is the offense sputtering? Well here is an interesting stat dug up by Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis.

Just 4-of-24 possessions (16.7%) for Tampa Bay have reached the red zone, 30th in the league

For one of the best offenses the past three years to barely getting to the red zone is a remarkable plunge in moving the ball down the field.

You can’t tell Joe that Tom Brady doesn’t miss Gronk. Badly.

51 Responses to “Does Tom Brady Miss Rob Gronkowski This Much?”

  1. Go Bucs Says:

    Absolutely! We’re not utilizing the deeper middle of the field because of it!

    Go Bucs

  2. NCBucfan Says:

    Hopefully Beasley will help fix that, and hopefully Godwin finally gets right! Can’t depend on Julio to stay healthy, he seems to be who we thought he was, in my Dennis Green voice! But yeah, and didn’t I see where Otton is doubtful this week? What the heck is going on Joe

  3. Beeej Says:

    I’m sure Brady is hesitant to throw to the middle of the field with inexperienced receivers –they make a mistake he gets picked

  4. NCBucfan Says:

    God bless Brate, but he looks slower than molasses! We are getting nothing from the TE position as far as the passing game goes!

  5. NCBucfan Says:

    And I’m still baffled about the Tyler Johnson drop! Scotty not anything close to a possession receiver, and don’t even get me started on Darden. Darden is a total waste, his best contribution was a 10 yard punt return, total waste of a roster spot in my opinion!

  6. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Hey now…… how bout that Kyle Rudolph?

  7. gbobucsfan Says:

    Need to trade for Austin Hooper.

  8. NCBucfan Says:

    Yeah Dooosh,

    At least Kieft and Otton are rookies, but Brate and Rudolph seem to be WASHED

  9. Lt. Dan Says:

    Ahem….the sky is not falling. This offense has talent. Godwin will be back soon, Evans will be coming off of his suspension next week, hopefully Julio is back soon. Otton is out for personal reasons, not injury. Kieft is doing exactly what he was drafted too do. Hainsey, Goedke and Walton are better than we thought they would be.

    The stars align two ways, for you or against you. Much like a pendulum swings. The defense is playing lights out and we are 2-0, both wins on the road. When the offensive correction comes…watch out!

  10. Beejezus-belt Says:

    Maybe the Bucs have played two of the better defenses. I let us not forget the Saints are different team when they play Bucs, always same their best for the Bucs.

  11. NCBucfan Says:

    Lt Dan I hear ya, I just think we have wasted space on the roster. Dardung, Rudolph, and the jury is still out on if Brate has anything left.

  12. D-Rok Says:

    NCBucfan and Lt. Dan, agree with your comments.

    Joe should do a fan poll: Should we cut Darden and Rudolph and sign Suh and Gronk in their place?

    I realize due to various factors that neither signing may not be possible, but the question is what the fans would want, not necessarily if it’s feasible.

  13. Crickett Baker Says:

    Otton’s mother passed away and they were close. That is why he’s been away.

  14. Ash Says:

    If the offense were healthy I’d say yeah if they were struggling but we haven’t seen all the starters play for even one game. Does Tom miss gronk playing probably but it’s not the issue some are making it out to be tom is playing with backup wr it’s not going to blow the doors off of anything they are not starters for a reason and everyone is seeing why.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Its a good “problem” to have – The Bucs being 30th in the league at anything significant on offense after 2 games…..

    Why? Because we have a 2-0 record against 2 good teams – and because in short order the cavalry will arrive – Evans, Godwin, Beasley, Gage and maybe even Julio should all be available and hopefully healthy targets within the next 1-3 weeks.

    Oh – and we’ve got Tom MFin Brady under center – and injuries or not, he’s pissed about the poor offensive showing thus far….

  16. NCBucfan Says:

    Agreed D-Rok,

    And if Gronk wants to come back, Licht will def make it happen.

  17. PassingThru Says:

    Agree with the somber assessments of Brate and Rudolph. Brate looked like he was running on sand last season. I couldn’t understand the excitement over the Rudolph signing; sure, you could blame last season on the Giants, but the pronounced drop-off began two seasons ago in Minne. Say what you want about Cousins, he isn’t afraid of throwing the ball to TEs. Rudolph is well-done, he’s crispy.

    Don’t expect much out if rookie TEs. Rookie TEs seldom produce. By and large they are second season breakout candidates.

  18. NCBucfan Says:

    Prayers up for Otton and his family!

  19. Infomeplease Says:

    When your playing with the 4th, 5th,6th receivers and the rookie tight ends, things can be a struggle!! It’s time for them to step up!!! I’m hopeful our run game, defense, and special teams can pick up the slack until we get back our receivers!! NEXT MAN UP!!! LFG!!

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    According to PFT – Cole Beasley has been elevated to the active roster for this Sunday. Hopefully this will help. Beasley knows how to get open and can move the chains.

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    Of course a healthy Gronk would be huge right now. A patchwork offensive line is a big deal too. Without Donovan Smith the TE’s and RB’s aren’t able to free release into routes, so less options early in Brady’s reads. Godwin out, Julio banged up as usual, Russell Gage either injured or non-effective has been a major disappointment. Perriman catches a couple deep balls here and there, but he doesn’t help at all in the middle of the field to move chains. Scotty Miller same problem as Perriman. Darden useless on offense. Tyler Johnson released for no good reason. Recievers on the practice squad with much higher ceilings than the guys we have active and healthy on the roster right now.
    Beasley might see 10+ targets tomorrow with about three practices under his belt this season. White might have to play some slot as well.

  22. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    Word is that Gronk still isn’t 100% and would only consider a return during the second half of the season, if at all.

  23. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Joe what’s up with Kyle Rudolph? He n Brate just lost to much ?

  24. Redeemer Says:

    Yes, Brady does miss Gronk that much. In New England, when Gronk was injured, Brady always had Edelman. Without Godwin, he really doesn’t have that trust factor with anyone else. Evans is great, but a different type of reciever. Not necessarily a jump starter. Like has been said, maybe Beasley can be that guy. I don’t want Godwin to play until a week after that hamstring is 100%.(October) If this offense is going anywhere, they desperately need him to be healthy.

  25. ElioT Says:

    Thanks Kyle Rudolf! Freakin bum.

  26. sasquatch Says:

    I think, as much as the Gronk fixation is cute, that it’s more about having a full set of healthy receivers ready to go. Not having Gronk this year is a part of it, but he isn’t coming back, so the focus ought to be on the current roster. That’s what we have to work with. They need to get healthy and they need to get their rhythm down. Also, they’re starting 3 new guys in the middle of the OL, and Donnie has been hurt, so 4 out of 5 linemen last week were new starters from last year. Continuity is severely damaged due to all the transition. Gronk is only a part of it… and not even worth a mention because… drum roll… “I’m done with football.” Get over it.

  27. Mort Says:

    Too small a sample size. Not everyone gets to play Chicago and Minnesota to open the season.

  28. Georger Says:

    Joe it has more to do with the WR being injured and playing away. 19, 45, 28, 38 are the amount of points scored the 4 games Gronk was injured. Bucs scored 30 points or more in 7 of 8 home games and only scored 30 or more points in 3 of 8 away games.

  29. Bucsfan Says:

    Brady came back from 28-3 vs falcons in super bowl without Gronk. Martellus Bennet was his tight end. Gronk missed almost all year and Brady Bennett was good together. Brady didnt miss Gronk that year. The falcons super bowl had nothing to do with Gronk. Gronk didnt deserve a ring. Gronk got hurt like he usually did with patriots that year. Bradys last yr with patriots they had for tight ends Ben Watson who is older me Matt Lacoste Ryan Izzo. They got no production from them. My point as long as Brady has a functioning tight end he is fine. Lets not forget Brady and Bucs played a lot of games with out Gronk. Gronk missed some games.

  30. George Says:

    Of course Brady misses Gronk, what Quarterback wouldn’t miss a first ballot Hall of Famer and arguably the best TE ever .

    That said the Bucs just won two hard fought road games in domes . I expect at home we will see a lot more offensive productivity even with all the injuries at WR.

  31. Rod Munch Says:

    First, Brady needs to tell Gronk to stop doing keg stands and get in shape because he’s coming back.

    Second, we’re only in game 2, against 2 good defenses, and the Bucs have had all sorts of injury issues. The Bucs have a guy who can play that Gronk role, who Brady can throw to regardless of if he’s ‘covered’, and that Mike Evans.

  32. BucsfanFred Says:

    Sorry to hear about Cade’s mom. My sincere condolences.

  33. ModHairKen Says:

    Let’s not discount the two Defenses they played against.

  34. D-Rok Says:


    As I recall, Bennett showed up and showed out while Gronk was hurt that year. I would LOVE to have a Bennett on this year’s squad on the Bucs. Rudolph was supposed to be “that,” but he may be washed up, who knows until the year is done.

  35. Oneilbuc Says:

    For the pass 2 years I was told Brady makes every body good including the our defense. And now yall are panicking because Gronk is gone and Evans and Godwin not playing. I don’t want to hear no excuses from yall because when I brought up the other players on the team yall told me we were winning because of Brady and Jamies last 5 games in 2019 he didn’t have Evans or Godwin and y’all never gave him that excuse so I don’t want to hear that excuse for Brady . Brady will be ok if the bucs run game step up .

  36. Bucsfan Says:


    I am happy Brady is back ONEILBUC with the Bucs. That being said Gisele wanted Brady to play for dolphins. The reason Brady is in this mess is because ONEILBUC your beloved Tampa Bay Bucs wouldnt release or trade Brady to Miami. Flores lawsuit had nothing to do with Brady not going to dolphins. The Bucs wouldnt let Brady leave. You know why ONEILBUC because Brady sells out ray jay. Bucs were next to last in attendance with Jameis. How many prime time games Bucs get with Jameis ONEILBUC. ONEILBUC Brady didnt want to come back to the bucs but he had no choice. Brady and Gisele would be happy living in their mansion in Miami and him throwing to tyreek Hill. Now Brady is going to get divorced because bucs wouldnt release him

    ONEILBUC I promise you this Brady is a free agent after this year. and he is leaving.

  37. orlbucfan Says:

    Who cares? Go Mighty Defense!!

  38. PassingThru Says:


    You went off on a tangent due to Joe’s headline. The story is about the lack of a starting-caliber TE vet on the roster. I’ll go one step further: Not only do the Bucs (and Brady) miss having Gronk, they are now missing credible red zone threats at both TE and WR. Godwin is injured. Gronk retired. AB lost his mind. Replacing them are Julio (who was never a red zone threat like Gronk, AB or Godwin), Gage (who isn’t comparable even when healthy), Rudolph (has been), and a pair of rookie TEs who cannot be expected to contribute much.

    Brady has won Super Bowls without Gronk, that isn’t the issue. The issue is the lack of red zone/end zone talent.

  39. mg Says:

    Just Win Baby

  40. John Says:

    Dump Rudolph sign Jared cook. Done.

  41. LakelandSteve Says:

    I think help could come in the way of the slot receiver. They can’t replace the tight end but can run routes over the middle in the short to medium range. I thought that is why we got Russell Gage but so far he seems none existent. Is it too much to hope for that Brady and Beasley have a connection with only a few days working together?

  42. Brazen Zebra Says:

    Pretty please Gronk? … with sugar on top? Tom will even buy you a brand new Ferrari! … I hope.

  43. Winny Testaverde Says:

    Rudolph & Brate are both ready for the career glue factory. KK41 a gadget blocker but not a receiving threat. Darden is Dar-Done. Jones may never play more than sparingly here on out. Godwin is in healing mode…suddenly the offense looks thin to win. Gronk is missed but likely couldn’t get up to game speed in time to make a meaningful difference. It is what it is…glad the defense ( backfield especially ) is much improved.

  44. Bill96740 Says:

    Odel Beckem?

  45. steele Says:

    Entire article about the TEs and…no mention of one Kyle Rudolph. Where exactly is he? What is he doing? Can he play at all? If not, why? The reason for bothering with him was that he was SUPPOSED to do some Gronk-like things, even if in a watered down way, with Brady’s blessing. Hello?

    If he is contributing nothing, he’s wasting a roster spot.

  46. Joe Says:

    Entire article about the TEs and…no mention of one Kyle Rudolph.

    Hard to mention a guy who hasn’t played. You know, sort of like writing about Casper the Friendly Ghost.

    Where exactly is he?

    He has been inactive on gamedays thus far.

    What is he doing?

    Playing poker?

    Can he play at all?

    He can play, but not as good as Cam Brate or Cade Otton (at least in the eyes of Bucs coaches). And Ko Kieft hasn’t really been playing a whole lot of tight end, often playing fullback.

    If not, why?

    Numbers game. Can only have so many players on the active gameday roster — and yeah, that’s a stupid rule. If not Kyle Rudolph, who would you suggest be inactive on gamedays and have the pleasure of sitting next to Mr. Inactive himself, Kyle Trask each Sunday?

    The reason for bothering with him was that he was SUPPOSED to do some Gronk-like things, even if in a watered down way, with Brady’s blessing. Hello?

    Hello… hello… hello — HELLO!

    If he is contributing nothing, he’s wasting a roster spot.


  47. Oneilbuc Says:

    The only thing I’m saying is yall bought in to the media narrative about Brady or any other quarterback. I was telling yall that it’s about the team but I was told it’s all about Brady. Just have the same mindset for every quarterback not just Brady. I’m not giving him a excuse because yall don’t give no other quarterback the same excuses y’all give Brady. Now if Brady has a good game tomorrow wich I hope he does and we win stop saying it’s all Brady and give those wr credit for getting open so he can throw them the ball.

  48. BillyBucco Says:

    Can’t really follow that

  49. Pirate Poe Says:

    Let’s find a way to trade for kittle or Kelce then we would have a definite super bowl team

  50. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Oneilbucyall, what excuses, Bucs are 2-0. Is there any current NFL QB that could still win with the mish-mash of back up smash? Sure the D is carrying the load but you still have to score to win. Just count the amount of dropped balls, Brady is doing his job, yes a bad pick in Dallas and mis-snap but the snap happens to all qb’s playing with a center that’s is playing in his 2nd NFL game. You’re just a hater, he’s white and that ain’t changing. Last point, you actually defended Jamais last week and he was HORRIBLE! I never understood the hate for him I read on this site until I saw him in action last week. Brady has an off game and you blame him 100%, Jamais shats himself and you brush it off. HATER! I thought you were a religious guy?

  51. Oneilbuc Says:

    Listnfrmafart. If any of them has a off game I don’t care because no one is perfect. But again I was told Brady makes every one good and now yall worried about who he’s throwing the ball to . And I get it when someone tells the truth about team and don’t line up to the narrative that’s been push by the media for years yall call it hate lol 🤣🤣. I’m going to keep showing yall that yall are bias and don’t hold every body to the same standard. When Brady plays bad it’s always a excuse it’s always the team fault or coaching. But when we win he plays good yall ignore every one else and it’s all Brady because he makes every one good remember?? Don’t make it a team game when he’s not playing great but make it all about him when we win.