Bucs’ Coach Bruce Arians Unconcerned with Rob Gronkowski’s Struggles

Tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) with the New England Patriots in 2017. Photo by Stephen Lew/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9065478cs)

Five-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski has been far from spectacular in his first two games with Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Returning to the field after one year of retirement, Gronkowski managed to get just two catches for 11 yards in 2020.

Still, it appears that Bucs’ head coach Bruce Arians isn’t ready to make a big deal out of Gronkowski’s struggles.

“Not really,” Arians told reporters on Monday when asked whether he’s surprised by Gronk’s poor production. “He got a nice pass interference call for us [and we] missed him on the over route. We’re not throwing the ball 50 times to tight ends—that’s what we have receivers for [and] that’s the way our offense is built.”

According to Arians, Gronkowski contributes in other aspects of the game, which makes him less worried about the 31-year-old tight end.

“Gronk’s playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I’m not concerned with his pass catches or his targets,” he added.

While Rob Gronkowski has always been known as a good blocker, that’s hardly the reason why Tampa Bay decided to give him $9.25 million to play for them this year. Buccaneers were hoping that Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady can replicate the connection from their time together with New England Patriots and produce yards when the offense stalls. And while that wasn’t the case so far, the fact is that Gronk still has some retirement rust on him and should start producing as the season progresses.

Gronkowski spent the first nine years of his career with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls with the franchise before deciding to retire following the 2018 season. He has 523 career receptions for 7,872 yards and 79 touchdowns.