Bruce Arians: Rob Gronkowski Not in 'Florida Shape,' 'Heat's Kicking His Ass'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs with the football during an NFL football training camp practice Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Rob Gronkowski is 31 years old, sat out the 2019 season and has never played for an NFL team outside of the New England Patriots.

As a result, he isn't exactly in what Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians deemed "Florida shape" during training camp, per Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports:

"He's probably in New England shape right now. He's not in Florida shape. The heat's kicking his ass pretty good. It's different, man. When you train in New England and come down here, it's different. We laughed about it out there today. I don't think he's ever sweat that much in his life.

"So it takes a little time to get into the Florida shape, but as far as playing a game he's more than ready right now."

Gronkowski joined fellow Patriots legend Tom Brady in joining Tampa Bay this offseason and will look to replicate his prime when he was a three-time Super Bowl champion, four-time All-Pro selection and five-time Pro Bowler.

He has four seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards on his resume, although he had just 682 during the 2018 campaign before retiring for a year.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay, it doesn't have to solely rely on the veteran for tight end production with O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate on the roster. It also has Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at wide receiver, so Brady will not be hurting for targets in his first season away from New England.

As for Gronkowski, he has some time to get into "Florida shape" before the Buccaneers start their schedule on Sept. 13 at the New Orleans Saints. His first game in Florida will be on Sept. 20 against the Carolina Panthers.