Rob Gronkowski came out of retirement to join his longtime quarterback Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. The decision paid off big time, as the organization went on to win Super Bowl LV comfortably over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Buccaneers run to their first championship in nearly two decades earned them the ESPY award for “Best Team” on Saturday. Without Brady in attendance, Gronkowski accepted the honor and decided to reflect back on his first day of practice with the team.
The 32-year-old tight end shared that he was stunned with the amount of talent on the Bucs from day one and knew that the team could go on to do something special.
“First day of practice I was just looking around and I was like, ‘Damn, we got a s— load of talent, baby,” Gronkowski said during his ESPYS speech.
“This is the best roster I’ve send around. Coach BA kept saying all year that if play together, if we keep sticking together, no one is going to beat us. When we were down, we all stuck together and we bounced back. He was right. When we all played together, no one could beat us and we just kept whooping that… you know.”
— ESPN (@espn) July 11, 2021
Gronkowski’s first impression of the Buccaneers proved to be correct. On offense, the veteran tight end joined an explosive group of pass-catchers, that included Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown. With Brady under center and Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette in the backfield, Tampa Bay’s offense was loaded with talent.
But the Buccaneers defense proved to be the team’s strength during the playoff run. A front seven led by Shaq Barrett, Devin White, Lavonte David, Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh was backed up by a reliable secondary that held the high-powered Chiefs to just nine points in the Super Bowl.
Gronkowski will be pleased to know that the Buccaneers returned almost the entirety of last year’s roster for 2021. With the defense back at full strength and Brady flanked by a talented group of weapons, the Bucs will be one of the favorites to walk away with the Lombardi Trophy again next February.