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#pounditThursday, December 1, 2022

Tom Brady weighs in on Bucs replacing Rob Gronkowski

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady will be playing this season without his longtime teammate, Rob Gronkowski. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is under no illusion that his longtime tight end is remotely replaceable.

Brady was asked if he felt the Buccaneers’ current group of tight ends could compensate for Gronkowski after the veteran retired following the 2021 season. Brady more or less said that replacing Gronkowski was impossible, but that the Buccaneers could still succeed by playing to the strengths of the tight ends they do have.

“Gronk’s one of the all-time great players in the league. I don’t think you just put together a team and think that there’s another Gronk out there. There’s only one,” Brady said. “It’s really a unit. It’s not one player. It’s a bunch of different players. You’d much rather play with a guy like Gronk than not, but he’s not here. We just have to do other things and play to the strengths of the players that we have.”

Brady certainly isn’t hiding the fact that he’d still prefer to have Gronkowski around. It’s a possibility that Gronkowski’s own agent will not rule out, even though there are no indications right now that the tight end is even thinking about a comeback. Brady is also realistic, however, about what the scenario actually is.

Cameron Brate and Kyle Rudolph are likely to get the bulk of the reps at tight end to start the season for Tampa Bay. Rookie Cade Otton could also be a factor at some point.

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