The Buccaneers have played the offseason perfectly in preparing for life without Rob Gronkowski and with Cameron Brate.
Let’s not forget, that the Buccaneers still have Cameron Brate despite losing O.J. Howard. Now, while Brate may not get the recognition he deserves around the league, Bucs fans have come to appreciate just how reliable ol’ reliable has been for them. The undrafted Ivy Leaguer never misses time, and if the best ability truly is availability, then start getting him fitted for his gold jacket. Whether he becomes of de facto starter, or the second tight end to Gronkowski, Brate will thrive thanks to be growing rapport he’s developed with Brady.
Since the GOAT arrived in Tampa Bay, he and Brate linked up 58 times for 527 yards and six touchdowns, to go along with 18 catches for 213 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs. Granted, those aren’t exactly Gronk-like numbers, however, should Gronko hang up the cleats the Bucs could be in far worse hands.
Just for good measures though, the Buccaneers played the draft splendidly when it comes to the tight end position.
The Bucs drafted two tight ends, and both compliment each other perfectly. Fourth-round pick Cade Otton is the more natural receiver, with great run after the catch skills. Ko Kieft meanwhile, the tight end they drafted in the sixth round, is an absolute bowling ball of a tight end, whose biggest strength is his blocking. Both tight ends put together essentially equal one Gronk as far as their best skill sets are concerned. Obviously, we’ll wait and see what the production produces. You pair them with Brate, along with Brady throwing them the rock, and the team will keep moving forward into the future with those tight ends.
Sure, neither were seen as “first-round talents”, and their draft spots reflect as such, but with tight ends that doesn’t matter. Great tight ends are rarely drafted in the first round or even any early rounds at all. You can look at history or just the current NFL landscape of tight ends for proof.
So while the slow decision-making process of Rob Gronkowski may be growing tiresome for fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they can be rest assured knowing that the team can afford for him to take his time, and will be just fine regardless of the outcome.