Bruce Arians not surprised by Rob Gronkowski's lack of receiving production

Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to chase another ring or two with his old pal, Tom Brady.

Through two weeks, Gronk is just trying to catch his buddy's attention. The tight end has seen just four targets in his first two games as a Buccaneer, including a lone target in Tampa Bay's Week 2 win over the Carolina Panthers, which resulted in an interception. A second target didn't register in the official box score, but did result in a pass interference call against Carolina.

None of this comes as a surprise to Bruce Arians, who didn't expect to feed Gronkowski in an offense filled with playmakers.

"Not really," Arians said Monday. "He got a nice pass interference call for us. Missed him on the over route. We're not throwing the ball 50 times to the tight ends. That's what we have receivers for, that's the way our offense is built. Gronk's playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets."

Gronkowski's Pro Football Focus grades back up Arians' statement. While the veteran has registered a pedestrian pass-catching grade of 50.1, he's made a much greater contribution as a run blocker, earning a grade of 68.3. He was especially effective in Week 2, blocking for a grade that landed just shy of 75.

The future Hall of Famer has posted offensive season grades of 90 or better in all but two seasons prior to 2020 -- 2010 and 2018 -- and he's blocking near the level of expectation he established in his prime. His offensive grade has suffered, though, because of his inability to get going in the passing game.

It's a problem not exclusive to Gronkowski. It took Brady and Mike Evans two weeks to get on the same page, and he's the only one who can legitimately claim as much right now. There are a lot of new moving parts involved, which will make the Buccaneers' peak more difficult to achieve in a short amount of time.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay, there are still 14 weeks left to play. That's plenty of time for Gronkowski to bring his pass-catching even with his run blocking.

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