For about seven years there between 2011-17, Rob Gronkowski was the best tight end in football. So, it stands to reason that when the Raiders players are watching tape of Josh McDaniels’s offense over the years, it’s going have Gronk all over it.
In turn, no one gets more excited about this offense than Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller.
“I’m excited. It’s asking me to do a lot of things,” said Waller. “We watch a lot of tape of Rob Gronkowski running wild from old New England clips, so it’s exciting to see the different ways that I’ll be used. And I’m very excited about it. It’s a challenging system but I love a good challenge.”
At times in his days dominating the league in New England, Gronk looked like a man among boys. Health was his main issue, but all four of his full seasons in 2011, 14,15, and 17 he went over 1000 yards and was named an All Pro.
For a tight end, he was incredibly versatile and a superior athlete. So, it’s more than fair to say Waller can do just about anything Gronk could do and you figure McDaniels will be asking that of him.
“Up the seams, over routes, catching short passes and just blowing through people,” Waller said of Gronk’s considerable duties in McDaniels’s offense. “Catching fade balls on the outside, I mean he’s lining up everywhere doing everything really.”
You can understand then why Waller is not at all concerned with losing any targets to Davante Adams or anyone else. He’s very confident that he’ll be a big part of the offensive game plan this season.