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The loss of Rob Gronkowski is glaring –

The loss of Rob Gronkowski is glaring

September 19, 2022

In two games, the Bucs tight ends had 3 catches for 20 yards on 8 targets.

It’s hard to get worse than that. The tight end of leader Cameron Brate is far from the player he was in his prime. Kyle Rudolph can’t enter the field, and rookie blocking tight end Ko Kieft had a rock moment with his first target of the season on Sunday. Fellow rookie Cade Otton has a catch for four yards.

Suddenly, leaving OJ Howard looks like an explosive option, except he’s playing for the Texans.

The Bucs invested a ton of money in tight ends in 2020 and 2021 with Rob Gronkowski, Brate and Howard. It was done for a reason: Tom Brady doesn’t just rely on a tight end, he’s more comfortable when he has that option.

Yeah, Joe realizes everything the Tampa Bay offense does (or doesn’t do) against the Saints comes with an asterisk, since Brady and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich haven’t solved the defense puzzle yet. Saints. But the ineffective tight play appears to be more than just the Saints and Cowboys playing excellent defense.

Gronk’s agent, the oily Drew Rosenhaus, has repeatedly said he thinks Gronk would agree to a return to the Bucs if he got a phone call from Tom Brady with an urge.

Joe suspects the phone call isn’t too many weeks away.