Skip to main content

Bucs Tight End Makes Opinion On Rob Gronkowski Very Clear

Rob Gronkowski warming up before the NFC Championship.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 24: Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to their NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on January 24, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

With Rob Gronkowski retiring, Cameron Brate is going to have to step up into the starting role for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers once again. But how has playing alongside Gronkowski influenced him?

Speaking to the media this week, Brate joked that he learned more from watching Gronkowski than from listening. He stated that he won't be the same player as Gronkowski, but made it clear that he has the experience to do what the team requires of him.

“He doesn’t always do a good job of explaining how he sees the game and stuff,” Brate joked, via ProFootballTalk. “But I mean, he’s probably the best tight end to ever play. So, just seeing the way he went about his business every day, the kind of unique way he sees the game, definitely benefited me a ton.

“Obviously, I’m not the same player as Rob — people just bounce off of Rob. When I get hit, I get hit hard — it’s not the same for me. But, just being around him, trying to soak up as much as I could from his game, it was awesome, and we’ll definitely miss him this year. But I’ll try to teach some of these young guys some of the stuff I’ve picked up from him.”

“[Gronkowski’s] in there 90% of the time, so for me, I think that’s a little bit harder of a role — when you’re not playing all the time and you’re kind of just thrown out there on third down and got to beat man coverage and stuff,” Brate said. “After having that experience, now where I’ll probably be used more a little bit on early downs, I love that – kind of get into the rhythm of the game. [I’m] excited for that challenge and looking forward to it.”

Cameron Brate has been a solid target for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since joining the team in 2014. But he's played well enough to lock down the starting job.

In 115 games, Brate has 253 receptions for 2,683 yards and 33 touchdowns. 

Brate will need to make a big leap in 2022 to replace the production that Gronkowski is leaving on the table. 

Will Brate have a career-year this season?