Rob Gronkowski on offensive role: 'I came here to block, baby!'


Rob Gronkowski retired from the NFL, performed in the WWE for an unremarkable stint, teased us for months about a potential return while seemingly denying it multiple times, sent shockwaves through the NFL universe by returning to the league, and made a splashy reunion with old friend Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.

And he did it all... to block? That's apparently the case, according to what the veteran tight end said in a press conference on Friday. A reporter asked him about whether or not he expected to be a bigger part of the passing game at this point in the season, with only four targets sent his way so far.

"I'm a blocking tight end, you know," Gronk said with a boyish grin on his face. "I came here to block, baby! So four targets was four more than I thought I was gonna get. Yeah."

He repeated the line again, with the same smile, when told that it was the smallest role he's had in an offense since his rookie season.

"I'm a blocking tight end," Gronk said, laughing. "That's all I got."

When the reporter followed up and said that it wasn't like he forgot how to play a huge role as a pass-catcher in the red zone, he joked that he had indeed forgotten before finally giving a straight response.

"Every game plan can change differently, week in, week out," Gronk said. "Sometimes, in my career, you could be targeted 15 times and there's other times you could be targeted just a few. All depends on how the defenses are playing us... who they're taking away, all that good stuff."

So if you expected the potential Hall of Famer to post numbers similar to some of his campaigns in Foxborough, such as his 90-catch, 17-touchdown All-Pro season in 2011... you might be disappointed. Head Coach Bruce Arians doubled down on that sentiment with a couple of eyebrow-raising lines.

Still, we have to think that Gronk's reunion with Brady is going to manifest in a little bit more excitement than what we've seen so far. After all, Gronk has two catches and 11 yards in two whole weeks. He's not going for 16 catches and 88 yards over the course of the 16-game season... that's just not happening.

We're going to see that Gronk spike eventually. But perhaps we shouldn't expect all too many throughout the year.

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