Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians is still getting used to coaching tight end Rob Gronkowski. During an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Arians was asked about what it is like to coach Gronkowski.
“He’s unusual,” Arians said with a smile on his face. “He’s a hell of a lot of fun though, man. He’s a hell of a lot of fun. …Just talking to him, like, ‘Dude, does your elevator go all the way to the top?’ I mean, I’m not sure, but it is fun.”
Arians also praised Gronkowski’s play since arriving in Tampa. The legendary tight end got off to a slow start with the Buccaneers but has stepped up in recent weeks since the team lost O.J. Howard for the season.
“I think he’s playing really, really good,” Arians noted. “When teams want to double-cover Mike Evans, it kind of opens up the field for Gronk. He was working through it early in the season. He’s in great shape, and I think we’re doing a better job of coaching him up a little bit and Tom, too as far when we’re seeing different coverages, where we want to go with the ball.”
Here is a look at Arians’ full interview on The Dan Patrick Interview.
Gronk on Scoring His First Bucs TD: ‘It Felt Good to Get Back in the End Zone’
Gronkowski is coming off his best performance in a Buccaneers uniform notching five receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown against the Packers. He admitted that it felt good to finally score his first touchdown for the Buccaneers.
“It felt good to get back in the end zone,” Gronkowski explained, per Buccaneers.com. “It’s been quite some time and it just feels real good to get my first with the Buccaneers. It was just cool to see my teammates excited and my coaches excited for me to get back in the end zone, which was something pretty cool.”
Given Tom Brady’s familiarity with Gronkowski, the tight end was expected to make an immediate impact with the Buccaneers. Things have gone slower than many expected but there are a few factors that likely impacted Gronkowski’s limited involvement early in the season.
Both players are learning a completely new offensive system without the benefit of offseason workouts. The Buccaneers are also incredibly deep at tight end, but the unfortunate injury to Howard has opened up new opportunities for Gronkowski.
Gronkowski on Bucs-Packers Game: ‘The Stadium Was Popping’
Gronkowski has been part of some big-time game atmospheres during his career in New England, but the Bucs tight end praised the environment at Raymond James Stadium against the Packers. The Buccaneers are one of the few NFL teams that are allowing a small percentage of fans into home games.
“It is a lot of fun, especially last night – that was a great example,” Gronkowski admitted, per Buccaneers.com. “It was just a lot of fun to be out there winning a big game, but also, just the atmosphere of football – being under the lights when the sun went down, the stadium was popping, the atmosphere just felt unbelievable. Just everything – there was a breeze, the fans, they were cheering loud, they were going wild and it was just super cool. It’s a lot of fun to be back out there winning games and doing what we love to do.”