Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn’t played a down since a Week 3 loss, but quarterback Tom Brady will still find a way make to fun of him about something.
Gronkowski’s name came up when Brady visited with former NFL star quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning during their “Manningcast” on ESPN 2 for Monday Night Football. Earlier in the season, Gronkowski joined the “Manningcast” and said he didn’t watch film.
“The thing about Gronk, he’s such a quick study, sometimes when you give him too much information, he processes it so quickly you can’t give it to him too much early in the week,” Brady said via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
“His mind doesn’t need to be bogged down with film study,” Brady added. “He’ll come to me later in the week and say, ‘Hey, you know, what do I got to do?’ And I say, ‘Get open, catch the ball and run with it. It’s not that hard. You’re a tight end. You don’t have to call the plays. Just run and get open.'”
Strong Season for Gronkowski Before Injury
Gronkowski had a strong season going before he injured his ribs and got a punctured lung against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 26. He had 16 catches for 184 yards and four touchdowns in three games.
There’s a chance Gronkowski may return to the field on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said on Monday according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Lavonte David and Richard Sherman could also return for the defense, Arians said, per Auman.
Brady Takes Shot at NFL Defenses
A day after Brady praised the Bucs’ defensive performance for shutting down the Chicago Bears in a 38-3 win, Brady poked fun at defensive players in general on the “Manningcast” and didn’t clearly exclude anyone. His comments came in reaction to former Bucs quarterback Jamies Winston scrambling for a first down for the New Orleans Saints, fooling the Seattle Seahawks defense.
“And the defense, would you give them any credit for being smart enough to figure that out,” Brady questioned the Manning brothers per Stroud. “Have you ever been in some of those defensive meeting rooms? You wonder why they play defense, because they could never be an offensive player. Defense is kind of like a dog chasing a car. Pick the guy with the ball.”
Peyton Manning didn’t go all-in on Brady’s attempt at a humorous rant.
“I’m sure Antoine Winfield (Jr.) really appreciates those comments,” Peyton Manning said per Stroud. “Tell me how that conversation goes at breakfast in the morning.”
It even drew the displeasure of former New England Patriots teammate and linebacker Teddy Bruschi.
“Playing defense is like a dog chasing a car,” Bruschi tweeted. “Tom Brady is not my friend anymore.”
Brady enjoyed the benefit of top-10 defenses in points allowed and/or yardage with the Patriots during their Super Bowl-winning seasons per Pro Football Reference. Similarly, the Bucs had a top-10 defense in both points and yards allowed last season during their Super Bowl run with Brady.