Gronkowski’s problem is obvious: He can’t move like he used to

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“I came here to block, baby” could make it onto a T-shirt, but that’s hardly an accurate representation of why the Buccaneers traded for the privilege of paying Rob Gronkowski $9 million this year.

Gronk, in true Gronk fashion, laughed off his lack of involvement in the Tampa Bay offense through two games, saying “[f]our targets is four more than I thought I was going to get.”

Baloney. Gronk didn’t press pause on a no-pain-plenty-of-gain media career to hitch his wagon to the left or right tackle and take on pass rushers. Gronk came back to do Gronk things. While he always has been respected as a blocker, he’s a future Hall of Famer because of Gronkspikes, not pancakes.

Watching the first two games of the season, the problem is obvious: He can’t move like he previously did. Against the Saints in Week One, after he made his first catch as a Buc, Gronk ran as if his feet were stuck in Mississippi mud.

Although he had no catches in Week Two, two passes were thrown his way. For the first, he made an un-Gronk-like flailing motion for the ball as it sailed over his head. For the second (wiped out by an interference foul on the defense), Gronk had the ball in his hands but hot potatoed it in a way that the Gronk of old never did.

Maybe it will eventually come back. Maybe it won’t. For now, though, the Gronk of Old has been replaced by a Gronk who looks old, and who may be in the process of realizing after a year off that everyone seems a lot faster than they used to be. Primarily because for now he is noticeably slower than he used to be.

45 responses to “Gronkowski’s problem is obvious: He can’t move like he used to

  1. Love Gronk and don’t begrudge him wanting one last opportunity and payday, but you have to wonder just what Tampa was thinking? I mean, he was more of a blocking TE in his final year with the Pats than he’d ever been. Didn’t they bother to at least kick the tires before they decided to buy?

  2. I believe anyone that expected the old Gronkowski immediately out the gate to be delusional. He retired the first time do to injuries and his last year with the Pats he was mainly a blocker with the occasional key catch. He said after the Rams super bowl it took him over a month before he could raise his arms over his shoulders and needed daily fluid drains from a bruise he had received in that game.
    He probably just wanted one last ride with his friend Tom. Every time a player comes back like this be it Gronkowski, Dion, Lynch, etc my one co-worker says how they’re going to tear it up after a years rest and show the league they still got it. Just like how he at 50 can still beat kids in their twenties at sports if he had too. So, I guess these unrealistic expectations put upon Gronkowski by us are just our own fears of growing old and seeing it happen through him.

  3. You guys just keep pushing this narrative over and over since wk 1. If you or anyone thought Gronk would look like he did 5 years ago then you were delusional. If you think this is as good as he will look all year then your also delusional. He took a year off and returned with no otas, preseason games(not that he would necessarily have played) and a new playbook so it was going to take time…I’d also venture to say if you asked the Bucs they still would make the deal if this is as good as he gets. They didnt hamper their future cap space or miss out on someone else by signing Gronk, they made Brady happy and improved their offense even if only because of his blocking.

  4. It’s pretty obvious why Tampa Bay paid a fortune for old Gronk when they thought they were getting young Gronk. Brady demanded they sign him and they were desperate to give him what he wants

  5. We were specifically told TB has “better weapons”.

    bawahaha

    abwahaha

    Warnings were out. The guy barely got through the 2018 season. But, somehow ego Arians knows better. lmao

  6. It’s pretty obvious why Tampa Bay paid a fortune for old Gronk when they thought they were getting young Gronk. Brady demanded they sign him and they were desperate to give him what he wants
    ________________________________
    Same reason Pats signed Sanu last year. Tom should stick to being QB and leave the personnel decisions to the professionals.

  7. I just watched the play vs the Saints where he supposedly looked like he was “running in mud”.
    1. It was well defended
    2. There was nowhere for him to run
    3. You’re wrong

  8. The Bucs got suckered. They are paying out 9 mill for Gronk, and 50 million for Brady…and for what?…the only decent player so far this year has been Fornette.

  9. Why do so many of you look to tear the guy down? I mean, I’ve never cared for his meathead persona and antics but no one can deny he’s been one of the best to every play the position.

  10. redclaw1314 says:
    September 26, 2020 at 11:00 am
    It’s pretty obvious why Tampa Bay paid a fortune for old Gronk when they thought they were getting young Gronk. Brady demanded they sign him and they were desperate to give him what he wants
    ________________________________
    Same reason Pats signed Sanu last year. Tom should stick to being QB and leave the personnel decisions to the professionals.

    26 1 Rate This

    —————

    Bingo. One more reason Brady is gone. BB couldn’t even be the GM anymore.

    The media still tries to protect Brady, but Antonio Brown and Sanu were Brady demands.

    Bye bye Brady. He is TBs problem now.

  11. For 59 million, more or less, the Bucs so far have Tompa Tom’s 43.8 QBR and Gronk’s 2 receptions.

    For another 6 million, I’ll send down a video of the Patriots 2015 Super Bowl parade.

  12. Brady should of retired or stayed in NE
    This was the single most worst move he could of made.
    By seasons end he will be talking retirement

  13. Rob Gronkowski is 31, my dear fellow commenters. Let’s pump the brakes on the growing old talks. Thirty one isn’t even close to half of the American male life expectancy. Thirty one is fairly young even by NFL standards. Giving him more than two games to knock the rust off is fair before writing him off, I think

  14. Gronk retired of his own volition. However it’s also possible that BB would have cut him if he had come back.

  15. “Thirty one isn’t even close to half of the American male life expectancy.”

    That has nothing to do with us calling Gronk “old”. Gronk is “football old”. He no longer has a step on defenders. He no longer can go up as high to snag 50/50 balls.

    In the real world, Gronk is young. In the NFL, Gronk is Grandpa Gronk.

  16. touchback6 says:
    September 26, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    The media still tries to protect Brady, but Antonio Brown and Sanu were Brady demands.
    ———————————————————————–
    The team needed a WR, and they could only choose from the guys who were actually available. So they tried. AB had off field issues, Sanu hurt his ankle. It didn’t work out. But blaming Brady is absurd.

  17. Sunday Swami says:
    He took a year off and returned with no otas, preseason games(not that he would necessarily have played) and a new playbook so it was going to take time…
    ==

    Aldon Smith is the same age, didn’t have OTAs or preseason games, hadn’t played a single down in FIVE years, and is playing in a new defensive scheme. Yet he looks far more athletic and up to speed in comparison with Rob Gronkowski.
    If Gronkowski was just a fraction late coming out of his breaks, or had dropped a pass or two, I might buy the timing and rust excuse. Truth is, his body and brain took a severe pounding during his years in New England and it shows.
    He’ll get a little better as his conditioning improves and he learns the playbook. I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls a nice game or two out his hat, if for no other reason than his chemistry and the trust factor with Tom Brady. But he’s a shadow of his former self, and there isn’t going to be any New England-style resurgence where we’re reminded of the man in his prime.

  18. BB wasn’t going to pay a lesser gronk $10M. Arians is.

    Gronk is a sneaky smart money guy. It’s really that simple.

  19. Tampa Bay is gonna ride their ‘Brady Problem’ deep into the playoffs. Gronk isn’t what he used to be, but he’ll still be a force. A year off, no off-season stuff and a new offense. What a shocka he’s off to a slow start. #rubes

  20. Now we are seeing what Brady and Gronk really would have been if not drafted by the hoodie! Couple of ball boys at best!

  21. As is always the case, no one knows less than TB6. Brown was not a Brady demand. Brady was all in on Brown but it was BB that got the ball rolling after taking a call with Mayock. BB convinced Kraft that he could handle Brown. Kraft wanted to make sure Brady was in, which he was, and Kraft gave the green light to BB. Let’s try reading a book sometime.

  22. BB is such a genius that his succession plan for Gronk was Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse. Arguably, the worst tight end group in football.

  23. A Brown and JGordon were worthwhile shots for the Pats. Didn’t work out, but got most of the money back. Do they need to draft better? Absolutely. Gotta hit your 1rst rnd pks. Michel and Harry are an embarrassment. Yrs without a TE. That’s ridiculous

  24. Football a little tougher than “Game On”? He’s getting soft. He doesn’t want to mess up his Hollywood chops.

  25. flintmichiganmegabowl says:
    2 games in. No preseason. People sure love to overreact to things in 2020.
    ==

    Anyone over the age of 30 that’s played or watched sports at any level, for any significant period of time, can tell the difference between a guy that’s just out of shape and rusty, and a guy whose body has broken down.
    Rob Gronkowski very much resembles the latter.
    Along with quick-twitch muscle response, the legs are always among the first to go on an athlete, and they don’t come back. His are gone.

  26. A good comp for what Gronk is trying to do would be John Riggins. Riggins played 9 all pro level years, took a season off, and then came back and was still good.. That’s the exact track Gronk is on. Hopefully he can get similar results.

  27. dregonspengler says:

    September 26, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Sunday Swami says:
    He took a year off and returned with no otas, preseason games(not that he would necessarily have played) and a new playbook so it was going to take time…
    ==

    Aldon Smith is the same age, didn’t have OTAs or preseason games, hadn’t played a single down in FIVE years, and is playing in a new defensive scheme. Yet he looks far more athletic and up to speed in comparison with Rob Gronkowski.
    If Gronkowski was just a fraction late coming out of his breaks, or had dropped a pass or two, I might buy the timing and rust excuse. Truth is, his body and brain took a severe pounding during his years in New England and it shows.
    He’ll get a little better as his conditioning improves and he learns the playbook. I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls a nice game or two out his hat, if for no other reason than his chemistry and the trust factor with Tom Brady. But he’s a shadow of his former self, and there isn’t going to be any New England-style resurgence where we’re reminded of the man in his prime.

    ———
    And if you actually quoted my full post and what I said leading in to that instead of cutting it off to make your point. I stated Gronk wasnt going to look like the Gronk of old and no one should have expected that but that this is also not the best Gronk is going to play either.

  28. Sunday Swami says:
    And if you actually quoted my full post . . .
    ==

    I didn’t quote your full post because I think it’s ridiculous to re-post an entire long comment when a sentence or two will let other readers know who you’re responding to.
    Either way, we still disagree. While you admit he won’t be the Gronk of old, you seem to think he’s just rusty and will get a lot better. I think he’s broken down and old, and aside from a flash here and there, will offer little more than he has to date.
    I’m not here to troll, and I have nothing against the man personally. If he shows great improvement over the season I’ll happily come back and say I was wrong. Enjoy you weekend.

  29. best Gronk is going to play either.

     

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    Rate This

    dregonspengler says:

    September 26, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Sunday Swami says:
    And if you actually quoted my full post . . .
    ==

    I didn’t quote your full post because I think it’s ridiculous to re-post an entire long comment when a sentence or two will let other readers know who you’re responding to.
    Either way, we still disagree. While you admit he won’t be the Gronk of old, you seem to think he’s just rusty and will get a lot better. I think he’s broken down and old, and aside from a flash here and there, will offer little more than he has to date.
    I’m not here to troll, and I have nothing against the man personally. If he shows great improvement over the season I’ll happily come back and say I was wrong. Enjoy you weekend.

    ——-
    Except when you lack reading comprehension and continually misrepresent my quote then yes you should quote someone’s full post instead of cutting into the middle. At no point did I say gronk was going to get a lot better as you assert I’ve said just this is not the best he will be. Gronk wasnt great 2 years ago and the likelihood is he ends up looking better than he does now but not to the level he was even 2 years ago because that’s what age does.

  30. Dregonspengler says:
    better as his conditioning improves and he learns the playbook”
    ———
    So you think gronk is going to get a lot better and be great? See what happens when you randomly take partial paragraphs and sentences and misrepresent them?

  31. Despite the loss, the Rams defense beat the HELL out of the Patriots players in Super Bowl LII, with Gronk taking a LOT of very heavy hits that nearly retired him permanently.

  32. Gronk remains a beast and force for any team to deal with. However he has paid the price and taken the hits. Watch him catch the ball , he is very cognizant of any low tackles, he attempts to lower his body and bat them away with his arm. He is protecting himself as much as possible which to be expected , because he still cannot be taken down by any one person. So don’t expect a return to the old Gronk, he cannot be reckless without putting himself on the IR..

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