Rob Gronkowski proves why he is the perfect Buccaneer tight end

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Rob Gronkowski
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Rob Gronkowski /

The box score wouldn’t show it, but Rob Gronkowski has proven that he is the perfect tight end for the Buccaneers to utilize in their offense.

Bruce Arians has never been the type of coach to use tight ends in his passing attack. The addition of Rob Gronkowski made sense, given the addition of Tom Brady, but there were some questions regarding Gronk’s usage in the Buccaneer passing attack.

After two games, it’s too early to tell what Gronk’s impact will be through the air as a receiver, but his mark on the passing game as a blocker is undeniable.

The Buccaneers love to play out of 12 personnel sets, one running back and two tight ends, and generally, one tight end is used as a blocker, and the other is running a route. Tampa Bay will probably try to use O.J. Howard in this receiving role given his athleticism, but that leaves Gronk to do one of the things that he does best; block.

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Is Gronkowski still one of the best pass-catching tight ends of all time? Absolutely. But on this Buccaneer team, his pass-catching is one part of his game that isn’t needed. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on the roster, catching the football is the least of Tampa Bay’s offensive problems.

Even in his older age, Gronk can block at a comparable level to some of the best in the league. Tampa Bay needed this help desperately, as blocking isn’t the best part of Cameron Brate‘s game.

The best part about having Gronkowski in Tampa Bay isn’t just his talent, but his attitude. Most future Hall of Famers would complain about only receiving four targets in two games, but Gronk has handled it in stride.

“I’m a blocking tight end!” Gronkowski said with a smile in an interview clip tweeted by ESPN’s Jenna Laine. This massively changed role could be enough to change most players’ personalities in a flash, but Gronkowski treats this like any other opportunity.

Tampa Bay may be paying a king’s ransom to keep the superstar on their roster, but how many other elite tight ends would remain content and optimistic in an offensive system that isn’t getting them the ball? Instead of treating this as a slight, Gronk is just going to keep going out and playing his hardest, regardless of his role.

The stats may not be what most people expected, and the price tag may be high, but the Buccaneers should be content to keep Gronkowski on their roster for as long as he is willing to stay, given his current level of play in the offense.

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