Bruce Arians may be a players’ coach, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll allow them to run the show.
So when the team signed Patriots castoffs Tom Brady and Bruce Arians, there was talk about the Bucs giving them certain luxuries that the rest of their teammates wouldn’t be awarded.
It didn’t take long to realize that that was not the case.
Not only did Brady and Gronk have the same level of participation in training camp as their teammates, but they also weren’t above receiving criticism from their head coach. Arians called out Brady for his poor play in the team’s Week 1 loss, and he recently checked Gronk, amid the talk over his usage.
“We brought him in to just play tight end. If that means no catches, that means no catches,” Arians said. “If it means 10 catches, it means 10 catches because he’s open and that’s where the ball goes.”
Gronk, to his credit, didn’t challenge his head coach, and instead appears to be on board with his role on the team going forward.
“I didn’t forget [how to catch],” Gronkowski said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “But every game plan can change differently week in, week out. And there’s sometimes in my career I would be targeted 15 times and there’s other times I’d be targeted for just a few. It all depends on how defenses are playing us. How the defenses are lining up against us. Who they’re taking away.
“It’s just two weeks into the season, so I’ve just got to go out there and keep on fighting, you know? Just give it my all in whatever aspect of the game it is.”
Gronk has always been a team player, and it doesn’t look like he’s changed in that regard.