How's it going? This is Ray route coming to you with another addition of SportsCastr news.
And there's only two of us for this afternoon session.
And I'm sure our boy Joe will be with us later.
But I want to introduce my partner in crime Lawrence O.
And we're here with some more stuff for today.
We're gonna be talking about somebody near and dear to my heart, former New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski.
But we're gonna be talking about We're not talking about 10 4012.
We're talking about 2020 Rob Gronkowski.
And there's some people questioning whether or not Gronkowski is more of a risk than he is to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before we get into it.
Lawrence, I'm gonna take the next 45 minutes, if you may, just to go over his injury history really quickly with you.
Even prior to coming into the NFL in 2019 you missed the season or the end of the season with a herniated disc in his back 2012.
You had a high ankle spraying 2012.
He pulled his hip 2012.
He fractured his forearm in 2013.
He fractured his forearm again in 2013.
He fractured his back in 2013 in an A C.
L Tear as well as a concussion, all on the same play and never in 2015.
He had a Nique had any strain, which was a great one.
In 2016 he had a thigh hamstring pull Grade one.
In 2016 he had a chest slash lung brews.
In 2017 he had a lake thigh bruise.
In 2018 he had a concussion.
2018 he had a lower lumbar sprain, and in 2018 again, he got another lower lumbar spring.
Now, according to sports injury predictor dot com, this is crazy to me.
The chance of Rob Gronkowski being injured in 2020 is a 78.7%.
They're predicting a 9.
2% chance of injury per great game.
They are predicting that he misses a minimum of 3.
5 games this season and they have him as the durability of to now.
Obviously for me that could, you know that could lead to us making speculation.
But let me read to you what one GM told the report told the reporter.
He said, Quote was he just beaten down at the end of the 2018 season, and after a year off, he'll come back refreshed for a final run.
Sure, I guess that's possible.
Tampa Bay Better hope so.
Or they just wasted $9 million.
What he showed in 2018.
That's not worth it.
Lawrence, That is, from an NFL general manager.
Let me make it clear before I turn it over the Lawrence.
We're not here to debate rocks hierarchy of the greatest of all time.
We're not here to talk about how great of a player is.
We're here to talk about Rob Gronkowski in 2020.
Do you agree or disagree with that anonymous general managers assessment that Gronkowski is more of a risk than he is of a possible contributor to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year? The $9 million isn't the only thing that Tampa Bay gave up to get Gronkowski.
They gave up 1/4 round pick as well.
So you gotta really need to put that into consideration, uh, total between the two.
I think that that is a serious gamble at the wheel, right? If you're if you're going to ah, like gamble are its ah, red or black situation, that's 50 50 chance.
But this GM for Tampa Bay has just put money on a number, in my opinion, that that's how I see it now.
Granted, if he hits, he's gonna hit big because Gronkowski is that type of player that where he goes out there, he could.
He can legitimately.
He's a matchup nightmare for anyone on a defense linebackers and fast enough to cover him.
Safeties ain't strong enough to tackle him, and that's just how it is.
And he Gronkowski has proven that over his tenure in the NFL.
But his injuries are concerned.
Yeah, it is possible that after a year off from the NFL that ah, he can actually just his body healed up and guess, uh, less chance of getting hurt after he takes a year old. Maybe.
Maybe because you got to remember, he's been a year off, Uh, three years bodies not been taking a hitting and human physiology, you know, you get used to that kind of stuff over a period of time.
Now he was with the W.
Debbie for a while as well, right? I mean, I think he's still the 24 7 champion.
So what if, um, who they play? Week one? The New Orleans Saints? That's what I thought I thought.
So they're gonna be some defensive player on the New Orleans Saints.
Is gonna be the 24 7 champion.
Right tackle drunk.
So 123 I want to know there's going to be a w w referee sitting there for the game. That be interesting.
Wouldn't it be like they hit him and Drew Brees runs on the field and takes the cover? I think it is a gamble, I think.
I think $9 million for one year plus 1/4 round pick is a bit of a gamble, but like I said, man, I to be on.
If he's healthy, anything will stay healthy for even 12 games.
Will say, Let's say he misses, uh, four games due to injury.
Those 12 games you're coming out with a Gronkowski that Tom Brady knows.
You know he's not gonna have to go out there doing reps.
He'll be the only offensive player out there that he could throw the football.
True that he won't need timing with because he's got timing down with him.
Uh, he'll be there to help protect Brady.
You know, that's something that Brady's gonna need to get this.
Ah, this offensive line that Tampa Bay has.
Yes, they went out someone, but they were still really awful anyhow.
Before then, they needed more than one player.
Um, the nine million.
I don't have an issue with that fourth round pick, though.
Man that worth round pick.
That's a long term player that you're replacing to have very, very short term production from one other player.
Yeah, so I agree and disagree with a couple of the points that you made, but I'm mostly on the same page, is you? I love that you brought up the blocking standpoint, because by the time they signed Rob Gronkowski and spent the $9 million there wasn't a $9 million offensive lineman available to come in and protect Tom Brady.
So it's not like that money is going to go toe waste in the sense of we could have spent it somewhere else.
Gronk came late to the into the off season.
The big free agents were already gone.
I understand what you mean about the fourth round draft pick, but I also think that Tampa Bay is looking at this situation as a win. Now.
Howard is gonna be a free agent, I believe after this season, Probably demand big money.
Ah, how long can you have Goodwin and Evans on the same team with a $60 million quarterback? You know, I think that this is a win now for them, I think not just the familiarity with Rob Gronkowski for Tom Brady, but I also think that his blocking presence is gonna be just as big.
A lot of Patriot fans, myself included, will tell you that we saw a shell of raw of Gronkowski in 2018 and 2017.
He was Gronk 69 receptions, 1084 yards, eight touchdowns, which was a little bit lower than his regular, considering he's had 10 touchdown years.
He's on multiple double touched a double digit touchdown years, but eight touchdowns in a long of 53 averaging 15.
7 yards per reception.
That's a Gronkowski type of season.
He played almost a full season.
I think you missed one game due to injury, but he was entered the rest season.
47 receptions, 682 yards, an average of only 14.
5 yards per reception and only three touchdowns.
I mean, Gronk is a red zone ball eating machine, and you only walked away with three touchdowns.
That being said, we always knew that Gronk could block.
But we saw another side of Rob Gronkowski in 2018.
And when you talk about the Patriots running game that exploded near the end of the season and into the playoffs, when Sony Michelle was just running down the throats of the Chargers and the Chiefs, Yeah, James Devlin, the fullback, had a lot to do with that.
The offensive line traditional offensive lineman had a lot to do with that, but Gronkowski was a blocking machine.
So at this point, I don't see this as a risk because this isn't New England.
And this is what I think.
People are comparing Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, the rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
If they didn't sign Gronk or make the trade for Gronk, they would still be the same favorites they are today.
They would still there wouldn't at all change.
Brady would still be is rolling to a team full of weapons.
Gronkowski was sort of the icing on the cake like this was to push us over the edge type of deal.
So if Gronk does go down and I don't want to say, we should expect it.
But if the expectation is that Gronkowski is going to go down from the weapons standpoint, Brady's got other people.
I think that what I would hope is is that if he was gonna get injured on and look, I don't want Tampa Bay to win the Super Bowl, but I don't want to see guys get injured.
But if he was gonna get injured, my hopes would be was later in the season.
When Brady is more connected with his other reception receivers, they could get over it.
The reason Gronkowski is presence was missed so much in New England it was because outside of him in Julian Edelman, Tom Brady was usually working with nobody's.
They didn't have a team, even guys fan favorites like Danny Amendola in New England.
He's just a guy.
He's not a game changer, and I wouldn't even consider Julian Edelman a game changer.
Julian Edelman is, you know he comes up with big catches like the catch in Super Bowl 51 but Edelman is a consistent, solid, steady guy.
But there's not a lot of times that Edelman's gonna get you 50 yards on the play.
You know, throat stiff arm, six guys down, drag half a team behind the Master Washington Redskins playing against drunk.
And that's what you had with Gronk, a legit Red Zone threat, a legit fourth and long and a legit third and long a guy.
That man I need to make a play I'm putting into Gronkowski.
I remember the A F C championship game against the Chiefs, and Tony Romo just kept saying, You got to give the ball to Gronk.
Now is the time.
I know he's not the player he was last year, but he's your best player.
Now is the time to do it.
With Gronk down, the Patriots are completely different teams with Gronk down in Tampa Bay, it's not the same thing.
So I respect whatever this GM saying.
But when you're in a win now situation, what's nine mil? What's 1/4 rounder? And again, it's a right.
It's a game of roulette with him.
And if they hit, they're gonna hit big.
Yeah, that's that's exactly the way I feel.
And what, like you said, he has had a year off now.
So those bodies more healthy.
And he should, barring something crazy, should the should be able to play at a more higher level than what he has the last couple years that he didn't play because he is fully healthy now.
Like I said, so boring.
Some crazy injury that happens, that's gonna allow.
And you hinted on it and I said something, Merlin.
He's going to give Brady that security blanket for the first few weeks.
That's exactly what his biggest specialty, besides obviously one blocking.
But even then, the security blanket could be considered part of run blocking, right? Um, but he gets in the situation worth timing it down with his receivers and stuff.
Growth there, you know, he will he have that that mental connection with Brady where he'd be like, Oh, crap is in trouble.
Find this open spot in the zone or what not? Bam got it.
Got him a first down.
He didn't have to throw the football away or eat that fact, Absolutely.
And I think the other thing, too.
And we talked about this on our show last night with Joe.
We talked about just the presence of people, right.
We talked about going to Heinz Field and playing the Steelers and the confidence they have going to Gillette Stadium playing the Patriots with or without Tom Brady.
There's a bit of fear about walking in the Gillette Stadium when Gronk is on the field, people half to pay attention.
You can't just say, Hey, he's not the same Gronke Always wise and leave him on one on one with a linebacker because he is going to kill you and destroy you the entire game.
And I think the security blanket is perfect.
It draws attention.
I actually expect when we let's talk a little bit about expectations.
We all know that Tom Brady likes to use the tight end.
Bruce Arians may want him to throw 50 yards to Mike Evans every play.
Trust me running backs and tight ends are going to get Fed O J.
Howard on a contract year.
You could not have asked for a better time to have Tom Brady come in because he's gonna make you look like a superstar.
But it's actually gonna be Gronk that makes you look like a superstar because of the attention that he is going to demand.
Howard's gonna find himself in a lot of favorable matchups.
He's gonna find himself in a position to actually be the Gronk of Tampa Bay.
Because Gronk is taken away so much on the other side, And O.
J is not even the only tight end they have on the team.
They have a solid list of tight ends, and I think Gronkowski and I think with having the depth they have.
You also don't have to play Gronk every play.
He doesn't have to play 80% of the plays.
You confuse him in sparing situations and an injured Gronk, a beat up Gronk and old Gronk.
Whatever you wanna call it.
Do you want to cover Gronkowski in the red zone? I mean, you know, I mean even if he got out of his walker just to play the red zone plays.
I'm I'm terrified of having to cover.
You are now putting one of your best safeties on him.
You're not putting just anybody.
You're putting one of your better coverage guys on Gronk, which is gonna leave somebody else open.
So Gronkowski may not walk away with 10 touchdowns this year, but he could be responsible for an additional 10 that won't show up on the statute.
We'll also you gotta remember rocks, Not that kind of guy.
He takes plays off.
I mean, this kid, he goes out there and he puts 100% of himself into every single play.
You sit there, you go back and you lifted off all those injuries.
And you've seen him with so many different types of braces on him while he's playing the game football.
And it didn't matter.
You had, like, three inch thick black patting, goes all the way across his arm and stuff while he was while he was playing.
He's still going out there diving through two guys for ah, reception and for a touchdown reception or something.
And now that he's healthy.
Now that he's helped me, that just means that he's gonna be able to do that even more effectively.
Yeah, and I think back to Super Bowl 53 to pay his last game with the Patriots.
Um, he makes a huge like, 30 yard catch that sets up the only touchdown of the game for Sony Michelle in the fourth quarter.
What's more impressive about that catch to me now than it was at the time? And it was a great catch, you know, was one where he went to the floor.
He rolled just a phenomenal, you know, 50 50 ball that he doesn't jumped up in one impressive catch.
What impresses me more is he had taken a hit that game that had given him such a contusion on his leg.
He had to number one.
He couldn't go see Jimmy foul in the next day because he was in so much pain.
He couldn't sleep that night.
His leg hurts so much literally in tears.
And yet that guy goes up through that pain and makes those kind of catches.
So, yeah, he always gives when he's on the field and those endorphins.
Adrenaline starts running.
And don't forget, he is now allowed to use his CD and and THC stuff to to to work on his things.
We may see a very, very different Gronkowski than we saw in 2018.
And even if he's not, he's again a presence on the field that's going to draw attentions from from the other defendant from the other team.
Oh, yeah? Oh, yeah, definitely.
I'm actually kind of excited.
I think that he'll probably be early on.
He's gonna draw a lot of attention now, depending upon how Brady and Arians run.
This offense, you know, is depending upon how long that that attention last on him.
Because, I mean, if he's out there and he's getting the double teams and you're seeing O.
Our catching the football every 33 passes, you know, because that's where he's stolen it to.
Every three times he throws, he's throwing it to O.
But you know, Grant gets maybe two or three targets, and in the first game against, uh, the Saints or something, you might see someone kind of flip on the next game be like, Well, we gotta pay attention, toe o J.
Howard Now and then that That's the game we're growing.
Cassie eats you.
Look, you know, on the next one.
Well, and that's the fear about Tampa Bay in general.
So then Okay, so you take away the tight ends and running backs, you're gonna get burnt with Goodwin and ah, Godwin and, uh, Evans, you can't win when trying to cover that team.
I think that when you look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you have to try to outscore them.
You gotta hope Tom Brady can't throw the ball, you know, one time and Mr Play, because I they're going to score points.
And I think we've all agreed on that they're going to score points.
We worry about that defense, and it's gonna come down to can.
Can Brady keep playing at high levels throughout the whole game? Does he get tired in the third or fourth? Is his arms start getting tired? Can he take that 50 yard shot in the fourth quarter that he needs to make that Bruce Arians is gonna want him to make without throwing an interception? Yeah, um and I'm not Look, I'm not bashing Tom Brady.
I know I've been getting a lot of hate from Patriots fans lately is they think I'm on this Tom Brady bashing street.
I'm just trying to be realistic with everybody.
Tom Brady's 43 years old.
He's 10 years older than me.
I could tell you I get a lot more tired than now.
I'm a lot fatter, not a shape that Tom Brady is.
But I get tired.
I'm not in the other thing about it to whether it's Gronk or Brady and Lawrence, I'm sure you could contest this.
When I used to fall down in my early twenties, I just popped back up and kept going.
When I fall down now I lie.
I lie down for a bit, you know, it takes me a while toe to get moving again, and it hurts for a long time.
I am Tom Brady's age, so yes, I know exactly what you mean.
This time last year, I fell down my stairs and under normal cir***stances back 20 years ago, like you said, I would have just jumped up.
You know, I was getting ready for workings.
Foot slipped went right down my stairs when I was 23 I would have got up, shook myself off.
Got dressed? No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
I laid there for quite some time saying a few choice words for about 10 15 minutes, and then I got up and done stuff.
And then that night, I paid for and I heard I had to call off work for like, two days.
You cut my muscles hurt too much, and life gets to you.
And I think about the wrongs who have been through a lot of these injuries.
You know, back in my prime, in my days when I was in shape, when I was working out, when I was going to the gym, when I wasn't the blubbery self I was today Ah, I was at this point time in my life.
I was a correctional officer, so he's keeping myself in good shape.
I weighed about £240 of muscle.
I was going to the gym six days a week.
Lawrence, I was cutting my grass, stepped into a hole and pop my hip, and it was about a six month recovery.
I'm feeling that 10 years later, now you know 10 years later.
Now I'm starting to feel the aftermath of that hip injury and other certain actions and movements.
I do, and I looked like an old man.
I gotta stop and grab my hip and kind of bend over a little bit.
And with the injuries that Gronk has had his back and, you know, you can look, you can pull your back reaching for the remote.
It doesn't matter.
And I've had doctors tell me it doesn't matter how healthy you are.
You could be the most in shape, person world. The back is an injury.
And I've also been told because I had a back injury.
Once you enter your back, once you're susceptible the rest of your life toe major back injuries wrong.
I mean, he looks like, you know, he reminds me a Ray Lewis in his final year where you looked like a bit of a robot with all the different padding and stuff that he had on.
And that's what Gronk looks.
So I do worry for him in Brady, you know, as older guys in a in a system where you don't have a great offensive line and if you have to go deep.
You need time to throw that ball deep.
Jamis Winston made a lot of mistakes, but you know what else? Tree missile incident got away from the past.
Rush found himself.
Time Brady look has great movement in the pocket.
He's probably one of the more fluid, one of the best guys moving in the pocket.
But that's taken two steps to the right, taking a step to the left.
You know, dropping into this when your offensive line I saw last year with an offensive line collapsing Tom Brady throws the ball away a lot because whether he wants to admit it, it hurts more to get hit now than it did 10 years ago.
And that's where I think Gronk can be that guy because it was little three yard outpost where you could just throw it 10 feet in the air.
Gronckle up and get it.
But how many hits can growing take like that before it starts to wear down on him? Well, maybe O. J.
Howard could pull some stuff up like that, you know, maybe kind of helping.
Not a little bit.
I'm not expecting, uh, Godwin in evidence in order to, you know, I mean, obviously, they played football long enough, both those receivers where they know that, yes, you're gonna go out on route.
But once you hit a certain time in your route, it should be ingrained.
Since you've been playing wide receiver so long and a pull it and the ball hasn't been thrown yet.
There's a timer in their heads, too, right? They know the quarterbacks got to get that ball out.
It's time to run back towards the quarterback straight towards him, trying to get him on easy opportunity to throw the football away, because at a certain point, routes become null and void at a certain at a certain time.
In every play a route, we comes completely.
You're just playing backyard football, trying to get open for your quarterback.
Which is exactly why we believe the Buccaneers will struggle at the beginning of the season until they can get on the same page.
Is Brady because one thing that Brady has is is they in New England, they have plans for broken routes.
It's not just come back to the quarterback.
It's like, Okay, you have to break your route you have to examine that you have about half a second to examine the field and figure out where Brady wants you.
And what we call last year was young players who hadn't played with Brady and Brady.
You see him trying to tell them where to go, and the guys weren't doing what he wanted them to do.
So I'm not saying I'm a little higher on Tampa than you are through our conversations.
But I think we are going to see an early season struggle for Tampa Bay, and it's a really interesting dynamic.
Here is gonna be my final thoughts, and I'll give you your final thoughts.
It's gonna be an injury dynamic because you've got a young team full of pro Bowlers who have actually stayed relatively healthy in their career.
Yet their two most dynamic playmakers is a 43 year old quarterback and a tight end who has been beat up, you know, and beat to the ground and dealt with injuries his entire career.
And it's gonna be interesting to watch them come together and try to become the dominant team that I think they're expecting in in Tampa Bay.
Yeah, I think I think unity is a very, very big thing that's gonna have toe be accomplished here in in Tampa.
Um, just flat out there, they're gonna have to get out there and find their rhythm together before that.
First, you don't want to find your rhythm Ah, week or two before you know your first game of the season.
And so I don't know, uh, Tom's already thrown a little bit, right? He's thrown out some.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
He's at least at one session with his receivers.
He's probably had more, but one recorded side, one God, minute session.
Yeah, I'm figure.
And that's probably happening quite a bit because I was not the kind of guy he's just gonna leave things to chance.
So I'm assuming that he's out there at least two or three times a week on his own, with Evans and God one.
And how word maybe even grown, even though he probably don't need it, will grow.
He's that kind of a person where he'd be like, You know, I still want you there, you know, Let's throw around.
There ain't 10 people here.
We could just throw around and get our stuff together because they need to be prepared.
And Tom Brady is that guy that will get you prepared.
All you have to do is listen to him and and and take his direction Well, yeah, and they've actually kind of went beyond not.
I mean, he had a center out there with him so he can get in sync with his center.
Ah, from what I understood, they were doing red zone drills.
They were doing patterns they were doing, um, you know, deep in their own end zone.
I mean, Brady was running a real practice with these guys.
I believe Gronk wasn't there, but the rest of the regular characters were and yeah, absolutely.
And that's a Brady way of doing things.
It's also in New England way of doing things with preparation.
And I think a lot of those Tampa guys were used to James Winston just letting the ball loose and going.
They need to recognize Tom Brady's Not when Tom Brady lets go of the ball. It's for a purpose.
It's to a place that's where to go, and getting them in sync is gonna be so important.
So Yeah, I wouldn't surprise me if they're out every day, to be honest with you, with somebody just just getting in rhythm and sync with each other, even if it's not every day right now, the closer and closer you get, the more often that these kind of things will start happening with him.
So, yeah, I'm even though I think they'll struggle early on like you do.
It's mainly because it's live action that you could practice all day.
But it's not the same when you when you're playing against other people in a live game.
So you know, I think they'll struggle a little bit early on due to that.
But I think they will start to catch on a little bit.
It just depending upon how many times and how far Tom Brady has to throw that football through the season.
I guess it's a wait and see.
Ah, we will keep tracks.
Obviously, throughout this entire offseason into this season, on how Tampa Bay is doing some.
Sure, it's a story that will never go away until Tom Brady retires.
Ah, is Gronk worth the $9 million fourth round investment that's still a wait and see.
7% chance is going to get hurt.
A minimum of 3.5 games missed.
I don't know, but I think today we've kind of showed you both sides of the argument.
We hope that, you know, let us know in the comments what you guys think.
And, ah, with that being said, guys, this was another addition.
SportsCastr News again. My name is Ray wrote.
That was Lawrence O.
And we will be back later tonight with our boy Joe to probably have a big argument about something.
Thanks a lot, guys.
Take care later.