The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will miss Rob Gronkowski at tight end as they eye a second Super Bowl title in three years. Gronkowski was a key piece in the Buccaneers’ first championship run, but so was Cameron Brate — who emerges as the No. 1 tight end in the offense.
Recently retired Bruce Arians doesn’t think they’ll be a significant drop off with Brate, who has been productive in his eight NFL seasons.
“It’s a step back, that’s for sure — because he’s a Hall of Fame player,” Arians said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “But I really like the room right now. I love the young kids we’ve got in there and Cam Brate’s a good veteran player that Tom really trusts.
“Now, he’s not Gronk. That size and what he brings as a blocker and receiver I think is unmatched. You don’t replace that guy, but we also have Codey McElroy … I think it’s time for him to break out as a receiver.”
Brate has caught 253 passes for 2,683 yards and 33 touchdowns in his career, including 30 catches for 245 yards and four touchdowns as a backup tight end to Gronkowski last year. His best season came in 2016, when Brate caught 57 passes for 660 yards and eight…