Rob Gronkowski Says He Feels 'A Lot Better' in Bucs System Entering 2021 Season

Adam WellsSeptember 4, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) jogs onto the field during an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)
AP Photo/Matt Patterson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Rob Gronkowski has high expectations for himself this season simply because he feels more comfortable in Bruce Arians' system entering Year 2 with the defending Super Bowl champions.

Speaking to reporters about the upcoming season, Gronkowski said his mindset has changed.

"Just knowing a whole new system, a whole new playbook and knowing in the back of mind now," he said. "So, right when I break the huddle, I just go out there and just do what I gotta do and just react as a football player instead of thinking. I just feel a lot better out there this year and just overall in terms. Just gotta keep on working to improve every time."

Gronkowski ended his retirement last year and was traded to the Bucs to reunite with Tom Brady. A litany of injuries, including back issues and multiple concussions, led the four-time All-Pro to hang up his cleats after the 2018 season at the age of 29.

There were indications last year that Gronkowski got his feet back under him as the season went along. He had 399 yards and four touchdowns through Week 11 but piled up 224 yards and three touchdowns over the final five games of the regular season.

Gronkowski was Tampa Bay's leading receiver in Super Bowl LV with six receptions, 67 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Bucs will begin their title defense Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium.