Greg Olsen: No Rob Gronkowski Really Set The Bucs Back

December 17th, 2022
Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen of FOX Sports.

Interesting, interesting chatter from a guy who excelled at a Pro Bowl level.

Former Pro Bowl tight end and current FOX NFL analyst Greg Olsen hopped on the “SI Media Podcast” this week hosted by Jimmy Traina. There, Olsen had both a juicy Bucs tidbit and a meaty morsel.

The meaty morsel, Joe will detail here.

Olsen was talking about the best tight ends and how important it is for teams to have one. Olsen explained it’s no surprise to see teams that struggle have limited to no production from a tight end.

“I think that every team that is successful, I think if you look around the league at the best teams over the last five or six years, almost every team that is in the Super Bowl has one of the top tight ends,” Olsen said.

“Almost all the best offenses in the league have one of the top tight ends. It’s a position that everybody wants, it’s just not a position that everybody can find at that level.”

And the Bucs are one of those teams, Olsen noted. In fact, he used the Bucs as an example of what can happen when you cannot replace a top-shelf tight end.

As we all know, foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski elected not to retire.

“You are seeing it with Tampa right now,” Olsen said. “They have a couple of decent kids. They are young, they are learning. But they are not Gronk.”

Joe thinks Olsen is really onto something here. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

This season through 13 games Bucs tight ends Cade Otton (337), Cam Brate (149), Ko Kieft (80) and washed Kyle Rudolph (20) have accounted for 586 yards receiving and three touchdowns — three!

(Rudolph has been virtually invisible with four targets and two catches.)

Playing in only 12 games last year, Gronk hauled in 802 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Only Mike Evans (14) had more touchdowns.

Rookie tight ends seldom have major impacts. It appears Otton may someday be a quality tight end. He’s shown flashes. But this year, he’s not remotely close to Gronk.

So yeah, Joe thinks Olsen nailed this observation. The Bucs haven’t remotely replaced Gronk and that is showing in the putrid Bucs offense.

59 Responses to “Greg Olsen: No Rob Gronkowski Really Set The Bucs Back”

  1. captivajim Says:

    i would add Jensen, Cappa & Marpet to the list

  2. Kentucky Buc Says:

    The Bucs should’ve offered him what he is worth. Instead they gave money to a host of let downs. The guy was invaluable.

  3. NEfan Says:

    His blocking ability is just as important as his receiving. He used to make those irritating bubble screens work. Why does Brate see the field? Otton has shown great potential, Brate is just stealing his reps.

  4. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Agreed, Capt. Jim. Maybe throw in the decent version of Donovan Smith.

  5. Joe in Michigan Says:

    NEfan: Same reason that Rudolph the red nosed washed player is on the roster. The Bucs didn’t get the memo that Rudolph and Brate are done (although I’ll always like and appreciate Brate’s contributions of the past).

  6. D-Rok Says:

    @Joe in Michigan,

    Another example of felonious negligence by the Trio of Travesty. (JL, TB, BL).

    WHY WASN’T RUDOLPH CUT LIKE WEEK 4? He’s literally useless. Coaching and GM blunders.

    The only way I will change my mind about Rudolph and The Trio is IF Rudolph miraculously balls OUT the next 4 weeks – that would tell me they had a plan all along. Otherwise, what a waste of time, money, and roster spot.

  7. D-Rok Says:

    But man, loved me some Gronk. As a fan, I WISH he had one more year left in him!!

  8. Destinjohnny Says:

    That and having the worst offensive line talent in the NFL thanks to our GM

  9. D-Rok Says:

    @Joe in Michigan,

    Another example of felonious negligence by the Trio of Travesty. (JL, TB, BL).

    WHY WASN’T RUDOLPH CUT LIKE WEEK 4? He’s literally useless. Coaching and GM blunders.

    The only way I will change my mind about Rudolph and The Trio is IF Rudolph miraculously balls OUT the next 4 weeks – that would tell me they had a plan all along. Otherwise, what a waste of time, money, and roster spot.

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    It has really killed our red zone production… When Gronk, Evans and a healthy Godwin it was difficult to stop…

  11. Redeemer Says:

    His loss reverberates through the entire offense. Like NE said, they miss him dearly in the run game. His ability to stretch the middle of the defense is where they miss him most. The seam route, and those crossers helped get others open. The red zone drudgery is another. Even as beat up as he was, Gronk was still a mismatch or a great decoy down there. I’m glad he’s done though. I think after that rib injury last year, his heart wasn’t in it anymore. When that happens, it’s over.

  12. D-Rok Says:

    Got off work, at half the Colts-Vikings game was Colts 33-0. 2 minutes left, score is 36-28. What a freakin’ game! Gonna be an instant classic IF the Vikes win.

    Vikings showing everything the Bucs do not: Fight, spirit, determination, execution, spit, vinegar, and oh yeah, skill. Down 33-0?

  13. D-Rok Says:

    Tie game, 2 mins left. One of the best halves of football I’ve seen played by the Vikes in close to 30 years. Wow super exciting.

    And then I think of the Bucs.

  14. Jeffs Dad Says:

    And i thought collinsworth was annoying,olsen you have to mute it and listen to gene

  15. Dick LeBeau Jr. Says:

    There are plenty of teams in the league that don’t have TEs like a Gronk, Kelsey, or Kittle and they still win games. This is not a good excuse anymore. Good teams with good coaching find ways to win games. This team will not incorporate schemes that put your players in the best position to succeed and that’s it.

    Screen pass to Godwin. Predictable every game. Run up the middle. Predictable every game. Sneeze at Brady. Pass behind the line of scrimmage for a short gain or no gain at all. No more excuses. This is just not a good team this year and the main thing that changed was the head coach and his philosophy of move the ball and take your shots with the running game secondary. That is reversed this year and we’re not built for this scheme change.

  16. SB~LV Says:

    Tom’s blankee

  17. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    If we just would have drafted Dalvin Cook…. Thanks Koetter

  18. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Watching Lenny block, catch, and run; I’d wager with 15 pounds added, he’d make a real good tight end. It’s gonna never happen, but we can dream, can’t we?

  19. NEfan Says:

    He’s too short for TE

  20. D-Rok Says:

    Sorry, off-topic, but the Vikings just won in OT, 39-36. What an incredible game. Dang if Saturday doesn’t have his team fired up and fighting, but lost on a kick in OT. Instant classic NFL game. Vikes were down 33-0 at half, in case I didn’t mention it twelve times already.

    Great football game.

    So, what were we talkin’ ’bout with this Bucs thread? LOL

  21. Marine Buc Says:

    @ NEfan/Bring back…

    Lenny could probably play an H back/full back position similar to Juszczyk in SF…

  22. NEfan Says:

    D-Rok, fired up? They blew a 30 point lead.

  23. NEfan Says:

    Marine, and see him cry on the sidelines? Couldn’t stomach it.

  24. D-Rok Says:

    Yes, I am fired up bro NE. And, they blew a 33-point lead, to be precise. 🙂

    It was a great display of football – something I’ve been longing for from our sad Bucs.

  25. Erick Says:

    It wouldn’t have made a difference. Brady is not the same.

  26. D-Rok Says:

    Even Mrs. D-Rok noticed how fired up the purple team was. And she said, Why can’t the Bucs play like the purple team??? I just said, “I dunno, honey, I dunno.” LOL!!!

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    With these coaches, Gronk would have no impact.

    The problem is not the players.

  28. D-Rok Says:

    I hadn’t thought of that, Cobra. How the Suck would drain the life from fun-loving Gronky. Yeah, you might be right, sadly.

  29. NEfan Says:

    Gronk would go postal and BL. Indy in the second half looked like Bucs every game. Another’s boring O.

  30. Marine Buc Says:

    @ NEfan

    He would have to be able to grow up and realize he is too slow and he needs to accept a different role in order to stay employed in the NFL…

    He can block, run the ball and catch very well. I would like to see more two back sets being used by the Bucs.

  31. NEfan Says:

    The camera man just panned Oneilsuckyall at the Cleveland game at 1:52 left in 2nd qtr right before the KO.

    GO ONEIL!!!

  32. kyle Says:

    No sh..z sherlock

  33. NEfan Says:

    Marine, and I would like to see BL dress more professional and not like he’s attending a Nets game. It ain’t gonna happen

  34. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Agreed, D-Rok!

    Disclaimer: I thought Brady looked finished playing in his last year in New England and in their playoff loss to the Titans…I also remember thinking John Lynch was completely done in his last year with the Bucs, and he went on to have good years with Denver.

  35. Tom Sumner Says:

    ya think!!LFG!!

  36. kyle Says:

    joe? why arent the bucs treating this like a bye week? The outcome doesnt matter? why not rest the starters and get ready for the cardinals.. Playoffs for the bucs start next week? Why not get healthy as possible instead of losing players sunday in a meaningless game?

  37. kyle Says:

    i know the nfl frowns on tanking, but it may be beneficial to the team..

  38. kyle Says:

    why not pull brady in the first and let trask play? The team is not healthy enough to compete this week..

  39. NEfan Says:

    Kyle, do you really trust this team to have to win out to get in the PO’s if they tank Cincy? Cincy is due to lose, I like Bucs odds.

  40. Kyle Says:

    Nefan, maybe need to study. The outcome doesn’t effect the bucs season at all. It’s an afc opponent. Thanks brother. Go bucs

  41. Kyle Says:

    Mathematically I think they can lose to the cardinals too and still win the division. If they beat panthers and falcons..haha. just one of those crazy years were winning the division is the only way to move on.

  42. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Bengals where already motivated to play tomorrow even if the ravens won or lost. The bucs better show up tomorrow and at least make it a competitive game.

  43. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Kyle you can’t play that game. The bucs need to start winning games or at least be competitive in them. This coaching staff remains a joke. If they get destroyed tomorrow how on earth is someone not fired. BL or Bowles doesn’t deserve to finish the season.

  44. Kyle Says:

    I agree with everyone, id love to see a win.. analytics should play a roke?

  45. Kyle Says:

    If the bucs win Tomorrow, im jumping in lichts pool!!

  46. Kyle Says:

    Lets get the dub fellas!!

  47. PassingThru Says:

    Not news, I’ve been stating the obvious since the preseason: Neither rookie TE will even remotely come close to being adequate. That’s the way the league rolls, it takes time to develop a TE and it isn’t like Otton is a first or even second round talent. His upside it a decent TE2, and that won’t be until next season at the earliest. But then Licht signed Randolph and for some unknown reason he figured he was still a TE1, something he hasn’t looked now for over two years.

    Compound that felony with losing AB, and replacing him with the rotting corpse of Julio or the preseason wunderkind Gage.

    This team was deeply flawed prior to the preseason.

  48. AmauryGuzman Says:

    PassingThru there’s ways to scheme with the personnel you have but leftwich is big dummy when it comes that.

  49. D-Rok Says:

    So you see what I’m saying, Passing? It’s felonious.

  50. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    “Joe thinks Olsen is really onto something here. Let’s take a look at the numbers.”

    Honestly Joe you could make the same argument for every offensive skill position. Compare 2020 or 2021’s stats to any 2022 player. Huge drop off.

  51. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Offensive production has tanked across the board. Including Brady and Evan’s.

  52. NEfan Says:

    No run, No win!!!

  53. steele Says:

    Gronk would have made a huge difference on many levels. But the problems are far bigger than his absence.

    Why is Kyle Rudolph still on the team at all?

  54. Kentucky Buc Says:

    I hear a lot of Rudolph hate going on here. How does anybody know what he can do ? He hasn’t played enough to know. Do we trust Bowles evaluation or BLs ? I mean let’s look at who they keep sticking out there . Darden hung around forever. Goedeke played until he got hurt. JTS has done very little. SMB is not even an average back up. Logan Hall has done nothing unless you count taking Jensen out for the year. There’s been some poor personnel decisions to add to the incompetence.

  55. Kyle Says:

    Jesus it looks cold in Buffalo tonight..haha. the crowd are throwing snowballs at the dolphins..haha

  56. D-Rok Says:


    Precisely. Rudolph has done nothing. It would be awesome if he could do something, but to date, NOTHING. Hence, the “hate.”

  57. MadMax Says:

    Josh Allen is a beast!!!!

  58. Kentucky Buc Says:

    D-Rok. He might be washed but how does anyone know. He’s had like 4 targets. Once again are we to believe these coaches are good evaluators after what we’ve seen this year.

  59. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    NEfan Says:
    “No run, No win!!!”

    Constantly run the same plays out of the same formations, no win!!!