Bruce Arians is aware of Buccaneers cannot change Rob Gronkowski, however he is assured in Cameron Brate, different TEs


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will miss Rob Gronkowski at tight finish as they eye a second Tremendous Bowl title in three years. Gronkowski was a key piece within the Buccaneers’ first championship run, however so was Cameron Brate — who emerges because the No. 1 tight finish within the offense.

Just lately retired Bruce Arians would not assume they’re going to be a big drop off with Brate, who has been productive in his eight NFL seasons. 

“It is a step again, that is for certain — as a result of he is a Corridor of Fame participant,” Arians mentioned, by way of “However I actually just like the room proper now. I like the younger youngsters we have got in there and Cam Brate’s a superb veteran participant that Tom actually trusts. 

“Now, he isn’t Gronk. That dimension and what he brings as a blocker and receiver I believe is unmatched. You do not change that man, however we even have Codey McElroy … I believe it is time for him to interrupt out as a receiver.”

Brate has caught 253 passes for two,683 yards and 33 touchdowns in his profession, together with 30 catches for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns as a backup tight finish to Gronkowski final 12 months. His finest season got here in 2016, when Brate caught 57 passes for 660 yards and eight touchdowns. 

The Buccaneers are used to having Gronkowski out for a brief time frame, as an injury-riddled 2021 season precipitated Gronkowski to overlook 5 video games. He nonetheless completed with 55 catches for 802 yards and 6 landing and had 9 catches for 116 yards and a landing in two postseason video games. 

Regardless, it is arduous to switch one of many best tight ends of all time. Gronkowski is fifth in NFL historical past for receiving yards by a good finish (9,286) and third in receiving touchdowns by a good finish (92). His 98 catches for 1,389 yards within the playoffs are the third-most by any participant in postseason historical past, and his 15 receiving touchdowns are the second-most in playoff historical past. 

Arians additionally believes McElroy can turn out to be a breakout participant for the Buccaneers this 12 months. McElroy has performed simply three video games in two years whereas spending nearly all of time on the Buccaneers apply squad, having only one catch for 30 yards. He’ll be in competitors with Cade Otton and Ko Kieft for the No. 2 tight finish job. 

In the meantime, Arians would not plan on returning to teaching, as he is happy with how his profession turned out. The winningest head coach in Buccaneers historical past, Arians had a .633 successful share (31-18) in his three seasons with the staff — together with an .833 win share within the playoffs (5-1). He completed with an 80-48-1 report (.624 win share) in his profession with the Arizona Cardinals and Buccaneers. Together with his 9-3 report as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, Arians’ .635 successful share (89-51-1) ranks eighth amongst coaches who’ve coached at the very least 100 video games within the Tremendous Bowl period.

Is Arians a Corridor of Famer? As an alternative of specializing in that, he is extra happy he left teaching on his personal phrases. 

“I used to be most likely executed anyway, so why not do it now,” Arians mentioned. “I do know lots of people assume the Corridor of Fame is the end-all, be-all and if it occurs, that will be essentially the most unbelievable factor to have the ability to put on a gold jacket. However this meant extra to me personally.”



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