Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowksi has returned to a place that has appeared almost like clockwork for him in his career – a conference championship game. This will be the sixth time that Gronkowski is playing for the right to be in the Super Bowl, and this one is obviously a new chapter for him as he does it with a new team.

Whether you’re a player like Gronkowski that’s been there on multiple occasions, or like many of his teammates that are reaching the penultimate game of the season for the first time, the feeling of excitement is all the same.

“To be where we are now is unbelievable,” Gronkowski said. “It’s exceptional. It’s just so hard to win games in the NFL. Just week-in and week- out, it’s just hard to win games. The main goal obviously is always to make it to the Super Bowl, but it’s hard.

I feel like it’s well deserved overall as an organization, everyone’s been working hard, everyone’s been putting their time in, but just overall it’s been a great experience. I’m not surprised that we are this far, but at the same time I know how hard it is to get this far and how much work you need to put in.”

Gronkowski went on to call his Bucs’ teammates one of the most talented groups that he’s been a part of. And for a man that’s won three Super Bowl championships, that’s a ringing endorsement.

What makes this playoff run special outside of the fact that the Bucs haven’t been to the postseason in 13 years is the reality that the Super Bowl is in Tampa Bay. We all know the history that no team has ever hosted the Super Bowl in their own stadium, but as you drive to the practice facility each day and see the signs and banners for Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium, you can’t help but think what it would be like if the Bucs can play in their own backyard. It’s not lost on Gronkowski either.

“It definitely hits you and it hits you in a great way,” Gronkowski said. “It gets your emotions going and its cool to come in and be a small part of it, to do my part and just bring an organization together and on top of it bring the city of Tampa together by just going out there and helping the team win games. It’s just getting super real now with Super Bowl banners going up in the air and everything, it’s a lot on the table and more motivation to keep on working hard when we get in the building.”

And because Gronkowski has enjoyed the journey so much in his return, this isn’t a ride off into the sunset. He confirmed again on Thursday that he plans to play next season with the Bucs.

“Yes, definitely,” Gronkowski said. “I don’t see why not. There’s logistical things, I mean I’m just on a one-year deal, and my main focus obviously is the season, going to Green Bay, but if I had that question now I just don’t see why I wouldn’t be coming back for the 2021 season.”

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eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung
1 year ago

Two biggest obstacles will be paying Lavonte David and Chris Godwin. I don’t think Tampa lets David walk and this administration has surprised me at how much they fight to keep who is good (unlike former Bucs administrations who have had no problem letting their best players walk). I highly doubt they let Godwin walk. After that, I’m 100% on board giving Gronk and AB some team-friendly deals to stick around. Just not at the expense of David or Godwin. Gronk is just a proven winner and AB hasn’t lost much in the way of explosive skill and talent.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  eaustinyoung
1 year ago

AB has a sexual assault court case coming up Dec 2021. Depending on the outcome, he may not be available for the playoff next season.

Spitfire
Spitfire
1 year ago

I hope they use every bit of that motivation from the Super Bowl setup to pounce on the jobbers tomorrow! I hope they keep Brate next year but at a lower cost, and I hope they can lock up David for his last contract and Godwin and that everyone else will take a reasonable salary knowing the cap issues next year across the league. I would like to think that everyone would want to stay any way they can for another run next year because next year we will be even better after having a year under our belt, an… Read more »

TBChucky
TBChucky
1 year ago

Honestly we have a lot of good players that will soon be FAs. I’m hoping they find a way to keep the majority of them. Continuity is king. Everyone seems to be meshing and buying in at the right time. Gotta get that W tomorrow!! GO BUCS!!

Buc76
Buc76
1 year ago

I said a few days ago on this site that those guys practice next door and the banners are going up all over the stadium for the super bowl and it’s real and tangible. I think they are not going to let Green bay take that away from them. Also remember NFC is the home team so we would be on our own bench if we make it. Go Bucs!

surferdudes
surferdudes
1 year ago

We can’t keep everybody, but Gronk should be here as long as Brady is. That’s his boy, he ain’t going nowhere. Our O line has been very good this year, and Gronk has been a big part of that. I watched him in the Wokeskins game, and he handled their #1 pass rusher alone on many plays that day. He also led Fournette into the end zone on a T.D. run knocking guys down like a bowling ball knocks down pins. I can tell he’s been a major factor in the locker room too. Gronk want stay…me want Gronk to… Read more »

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  surferdudes
1 year ago

Gronk was very instrumental in helping out the left tackle. Brady would have been hurt badly without him. Have not seen the real Gronk yet, give him another year to get his running back in shape, magic will happen

BigSombrero
BigSombrero
Reply to  surferdudes
1 year ago

Wokeskins. Lol.

fl0nase
fl0nase
Reply to  surferdudes
1 year ago

Ha, wokeskins.