Rob Gronkowski mostly did the dirty work of blocking for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the way to the Super Bowl but can still get regarded as the greatest tight end ever.
Good Morning Football’s Kay Adams thinks so.
“Don’t forget about Gronk,” she said on the NFL Network show on Monday. “He may be relatively quiet on the stat sheet so far this postseason, but he has left his imprint on every single game so far.”
Gronkowski has two catches this postseason for 43 yards, but his blocking has made a big difference, Adams noted. Kansas City Chiefs counterpart Travis Kelce stole the show offensively compared to Gronkowski in two playoff games with 21 catches, 227 yards, and three touchdowns. Kelce also gave Gronkowski’s Bucs trouble in November with eight catches for 82 yards in a 27-24 win at the site of the Super Bowl.
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians described Kelce as one of three Chiefs players he least looks forward to coaching against. The Bucs still have a big, dangerous target in Gronkowski, too, and Adams believes he could do more Gronk things in the passing game against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
“He holds every major playoff and Super Bowl record at tight end — catches, yards, (and) touchdowns,” Adams said. “He is still the greatest tight end in playoff history.”
“Gronk’s still that dude,” she added.
The Old Guard
Gronkowski and Bucs quarterback Tom Brady brought their winning culture from New England to Tampa this season, known as the Patriot Way.
Arians told 98Rock Tampa Bay that it starts with their work ethic and leadership.
Arians said he “didn’t know about Gronk’s work ethic” per NESN’s Doug Kyed. The coach added that “when young players see” Gronkowski and Brady’s dedication, “they listen.”
Tampa has numerous rookie and second-year players making an impact this season. Devin White, Mike Edwards, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson, and Tristan Wirfs all made key contributions this season.
Gronk’s Serious Side
“He loves the game and when it’s time to be serious, it’s very serious,” Licht said in Tuesday’s press conference. “There’s a lot of talk of what Tom has done for this locker room, and it’s all warranted, but what Gronk has done for this locker room is equally as amazing. He’s just a great teammate who loves life.”
Following the Bucs’ Wild Card win at Washington, Arians talked about Gronkowski’s seriousness in approaching the game as to why he would willingly block instead of catching the highlights.
“That’s what he is, he’s a football player,” Arians said per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s not a wide receiver. He does have a lot of stats, but he doesn’t go into a game looking for stats. He’s looking for wins.”
Bucs center Ryan Jensen echoed that following the team’s first playoff win in 18 years.
“Gronk has been killing it in the run game, which, again, is huge for having a balanced offense,” Jensen said in a Jan. 21 press conference. “He’s out there run-blocking like a maniac, and it’s awesome to see.”